Stories of success
Before and after StayOn: words from an ambassador
Meet Kasia, a young 21-year-old woman who took part in the StayOn project. In this interview, she shares her journey and how this project has impacted her life.
Kasia describes her experience in the StayOn project as very positive. “I am very satisfied with my participation in the StayOn project. Through my participation, I was able to develop my interpersonal skills. It allowed me to re-construct my CV and write my resume. In addition, I learned what career opportunities I have among the local community.”
When asked to describe herself before and after her participation in one word, Kasia chose “resignation and motivation.” Before the project, she was concerned about not being able to find a job and felt excluded by the environment around her. “I needed support, knowledge, and motivation,” she added.
Thanks to the StayOn project, Kasia achieved what she was aiming for. “Yes, definitely. Thanks to my participation in this project, I feel motivated to take action. I learned that there are many opportunities for development in my area.”
For those who are not sure if they want to participate, Kasia shares some advice. “If you feel excluded and passive, this project is made for you. It is a huge dose of knowledge – how to improve your competences, how to search for information about available development opportunities. Thanks to StayOn, you will receive a dose of motivation that will open the way to a better tomorrow.”
When asked to share a funny story that describes the change she experienced, Kasia smiles. “Well, I don’t have a specific anecdote, but I can say that even talking about StayOn makes me smile. It has made such a positive impact on my life.
” Kasia believes that the StayOn project has impacted her success by making her feel prepared and motivated to make changes in her life. “The opportunity to participate and collaborate in a group has allowed me to broaden my horizons,” she said.
In conclusion, Kasia would like to express her gratitude. “I would like to thank Norway Grants and The Polish Farm Advisory for the opportunity to participate in the trainings. Without this project, I don’t think I would have had the same level of confidence and motivation that I have now.
This is a story set against the backdrop of another story: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ’s The Little Prince. “There is an especially beautiful and meaningful sentence in the book, which goes like this: ‘If you are different from me you do not diminish me, you enrich me’.”, who said it was Ana Ferreira, a StayOn 2022 participant, now an ambassador.
We talked to Ana during the project’s international conference, in São Miguel, Azores, where she also attended to tell her experience. Ana is a Social Worker by training and today she is employed at the Regional Directorate of Housing, of the Regional Government of the Azores. “The project gave me an opportunity for personal and professional development. It motivated me a lot while I was unemployed. Before participating I was a bit demotivated, I think no one wants to be unemployed. But when I joined I started to feel quite active again and another thing that helped me a lot was the fact that I met many people who were going through the same situation. I felt that I wasn’t alone and that it was possible to improve.”
When we ask Ana what advice she can give, she promptly replies: “never give up. Never give up. Don’t stay at home! Get involved! We are already unemployed and there is no point in waiting for a job to come to us.
Besides the motivation, training and tools that the project offers, there is still time for laughter, jokes and unexpected situations. Ana tells us that “one day we were driving in the van to get to the training place and, suddenly, the van broke down in the middle of the road. We were stopped, but nobody was waiting for the van to start working. We all got out of the van and immediately started hitchhiking and asking for help. Luckily, a tow truck showed up, and helped us out of the situation.”
Today, Ana is employed again and says that when she went back to work she had “the feeling that she came back with more skills, with more ease”. She says that today she still feels like participating in more projects like StayOn, talking to people and encouraging them.
“We have to fight for what we want, but with StayOn in the mix, it is even easier to get there!”, she says.
Ana Ferreira, you are officially an Ambassador of the Project! We are counting on you!
Before and after StayOn: words from an ambassador
“If you told me a year ago that I would be here recording this interview and sharing my story, I probably wouldn’t believe it.”
When Sara, a 28-year-old young woman, sat down with us to share her story, we sensed something that she came to confirm throughout the conversation: “there is a Sara before StayOn and a Sara after StayOn”.
Who is the Sara who is now an Ambassador for the project? “Something has changed, something has made a difference. I feel happier and more fulfilled. The experience was very positive and rewarding, I felt that I was listened to and encouraged to do better and that I had… I have the skills.” At this point, coach Lisandra Almeida reinforces, saying “I really liked that correction you made now, you went from ‘had’ to ‘have’, because you really have the skills”. Sara smiled and confirmed: “yes, StayOn helped me unblock. My self-confidence was low and now I can say that it has increased immensely.”
During the participation in the project, there were several moments to remember, Sara highlights: “our car trips to the places and the study visits. We were comfortable, we laughed, it was a time of fellowship. It also made all of us, the participants and staff, closer, without any differences. I felt I was part of it, there is no sense of difference between coach and participants. I felt valued. Because in the end, we are all the same: people.”
Committed to her role as a StayOn ambassador, Sara leaves a reminder: “personal evolution is one of the most important thing that has happened to me on this journey. I never imagined I would be here recording this interview and sharing my story. I would have imagined I would be at home, less happy. As long as we evolve as people and feel happy, this project is already important”, says a smiling Sara.
We interviewed Giada, 26 years old, participant in the StayOn project in Italy. Here’s her story:
Participating in the StayOn project was a life-changing experience for many people, including myself. It was an opportunity to delve into a passion, challenge oneself, and learn from experts in the field.
I participated in the Photography Course, which was one of the most motivating experiences I have ever had. It allowed me to understand the many facets of photography from the inside and challenge myself to improve my skills. I also had the privilege of being coached by Luigi, who helped me identify my current skills and put possible ways forward into play.
If I were to describe myself before and after my participation in one word, I would say “aware.” I was concerned about not being able to find a job and struggled to identify a path to follow. However, after participating in the StayOn project, I became more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and finally found a path to follow.
For those who are not sure if they want to participate in the StayOn project, my advice is to take advantage of the opportunity to be held by the hand when you don’t have a clear idea of where to start. The project provides guidance and support, which is invaluable for those who need a little extra help.
During the project, I learned many valuable lessons, including a funny one from Luigi. He warned us not to publish a photo with our arm cut off in our CV because we had previously edited a photo in which someone was standing next to us. It may sound like a small thing, but it reminded me of the importance of paying attention to detail and being careful with the images I share.
The impact of the StayOn project on my success cannot be overstated. I feel reassured because I have started on a path that can turn into something. I am motivated and have the desire to put myself on the line compared to what I have done in the past.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Francesco for allowing me to realize a small dream and delve more specifically into photography learning during each moment. I also want to thank coach Luigi for helping me to identify more concretely what could turn out to be my future path. The StayOn project is an excellent opportunity to discover new passions and gain the confidence needed to pursue them.