As our project is entering the final phase of the implementation, it is time to learn from our challenges and build on the opportunities. The Annual FO seminar with the topic ‘Celebrating the European Year of Skills’ was a good nudge for us to reflect on the work done in one of our brainstorming sessions with the intent to synchronize and understand each other’s views on where we are at the moment as the StayOn community with our challenges and opportunities.
First lessons learned that we want to share is that we are in this together, so we take care of good organization and communication. Our buddy system helps us connect better, express care, develop relationships and share our knowledge & experiences. We take time to reach out and hang out, as well as for brainstorming and group reflections such as the one that led us to the preparation of this article.
Community element is not only essential among StayOn partners. We are actively practicing skills of empathy, sensemaking and flexibility, within and with participants & local and regional organizations, to ensure our project stays attractive, effective and relevant. Working on our mission to help young people recognize, develop and use their superpowers to StayOn rural communities opened up opportunities in our partners’ respective localities and we recognize this as one of the main opportunities of this project partnership.
Our Italian partner Atis is developing understanding for local communities by connecting with relevant stakeholders & partnering with local authorities and sector of trainers. For our Greek partner, Rezos Brands, the involvement of Regional Authorities is crucial when trying to increase job opportunities for the participants, in addition to showing them the benefits of learning.
Meath Partnership from Ireland & The Polish Farm Advisory and Training Centre are emphasising the role of flexibility and interpersonal skills in supporting and training individuals. The former is including the participants further, in the other activities of the organization, whereas our Polish partner is building more integrated communities & increased cooperation with all participating stakeholders.
The coaches of Cresaçor, our partner from Azores, facing youth’s demotivation and geographical dispersion, come to meet them in their localities to make them feel valued. An example of their community practices is Community Walking Week, a great opportunity for young people to identify, reflect on and build answers to problems in their communities, as well as meet inspiring local businesses and organizations.
By connecting to the community, we are more in touch with its issues as well as prospects. We can adapt better to make sure our trainings, coaching and other activities are in line with the real needs of our participants (and the region) & connect them to existing and potential opportunities, thus achieving our mission better.