From the 4th to the 15th of March 2020, 3 representatives from CET Platform Macedonia, attended a training course “Boosters of Youth Employability” that held place in Thessaloniki, Greece, alongside youth workers from Greece, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. The training course was hosted and organized by our known partners United Societies of Balkans – Greece, an NGO that works in the field of youth mobility, participation, and facilitation of youth awareness about social issues.
As we got to know each other, our first task was to explore and discover Thessaloniki’s hidden and well known treasures, learn the stories and tales that this city hides. Through the guidance of our exceptional trainers, Bojan and Aris, we were able to tackle the countries realities regarding the youth unemployment. While learning what are the obstacles that each person faces during his search for a job, what are the obstacles you need to face while you’re trying to start a business, at first we got the impression that it has a whole science behind it.
On our 5th day of the TC, we had a study visit, to an NGO, called FIX in Art that works as a hub for professional and amateur artists all over the world. Located in an old brewery factory in the port of Thessaloniki, renovated with their own hands and the helping hands of lots of volunteers that spent some time there over the years. An astonishingly, beautiful place, as we were wandering around, while Evita and Dionisis, shared with us their story of how everything started and how step by step, they’re closer to what they’ve always aimed for and wanted, we realized that it doesn’t matter how hard it may seem or be, what matters is that we should never give up.
As we were already inspired by our study visit, the trainers thought we were ready for the continuation of our program and designing our own business plans. It was time for us to put our dream business into action, designing, thinking outside of the box, taking into consideration also the legal and lawful side of opening your own business. Then, each of us had to partner with someone who has a similar vision to our own, or if not, individually we were supposed to get ready to present our ideas to potential investors. The plot twist was that we were the investors. Each project(business) was presented and then we had to decide which business is worth investing in. It was a path in which we had our ups and downs let’s say, but a path that was crucial for our self-development on the topic.
We spent our last days being in our trainers’ shoes and developing workshops that we could implement back home in order to tackle the topic of youth unemployment. Some of us went into the direction of non-formal education and improving soft skills, some of us went into the direction of showing the different realities.
As the situation with the pandemic was starting to get out of our hands, sadly, some of the participants were urgently going back home and some of us stayed until the end. But we will never forget this project and the people that were in it. In total chaos, pandemic surrounding us, we stayed together bonded, full of positivity, love and respect until the end. We will keep the people from this project always close to our hearts. Stay tuned for our follow-up activities. Until then, stay safe and stay home.