MoreThanAJob: Boosting Social Inclusion and Empolyment through the Social and Solidarity Economy
Hello from Athens!
My name is Anna and I have had the chance to be involved in the IVY initiative as a volunteer in EUROTraining Educational Organization, partner in the MoreThanAJob project. “MoreThanAJob - Reinforcing social and solidarity economy for the unemployed, uneducated and refugees” is implemented in five (5) Mediterranean countries (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanom Italy and Greece) in the framework of the ENI CBC MED Programme.
The latest financial crisis in Europe, as well as the unstable financial and political situation in many Mediterranean countries sorely tested the fundamental applied economic model. The whole Mediterranean area has to cope with the challenge of serious job deficits. In the above described framework the idea for the MoreThanAJob project was born. The project wishes to bring a change in the way that Social and Solidarity Economy Actors (SSE) actors and public institutions collaborate for services provision to vulnerable groups, including the unemployed, uneducated and newly arrived migrants or refugees.
Since I joined the host organisation, I have had the chance to be involved in a series of activities that had taken place within the MoreThanAJob Project. During my fisrt days and after meeting my new colleagues, the MoreThanAJob team, I was introduced to the project material and had the chance to study all the available documents and resources. This introductory period has been quite helpful, in order to feel at ease in the new environment. I slowly started being integrated into the projects activities and I have the chance to see how a project, with a cross-border focus, is being implemented on a day to day basis. Moreover, I participated in the internal project meetings and with the guidance of my mentor I was assigned tasks that would give me a first hand experience in new fields. One thing that I was quite fascinated about is that I had the chance to participate in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assesement for the project that takes place every three months and measures the carbon footprint of the implementation activities for the consortium partners. As EUROTraining is the activity leading partner, I collaborated with the project team and the staff that had the related expertise. The knowledge gained is quite crucial, if you take into consideration the important role of sustainability in our days.
In addition, I had the opportunity to communciate with several project stakeholders and actors for disseminating the project activities and namely the current call for sub-grants that has been published within the project. I find this activity really important and meaningful, as there will be the chance to fund innovative proposals of SSE actors that will boost SSE and Public Administration synergiess for the provision of social related services to vulnerable groups. The sub-grants call takes place in all the countries, almost at the same time, and that gave me to see not only how cross-border cooperation is working but also to be involved in an activity that has a solidarity focus as it is aiming in social, welfare and employment inclusion of vulnerable groups.
To make the long story short, I think that it was quite a good idea to embark on this IVY journey. I am sure that I will have the chance to gain new knowledge and skills and in a way to contribute to a solidarity cause, focusing on the ones that feel to be on the margins of society. For this opportunity, I have to thank the IVY team and of course my new colleagues within the MoreThanAJob project team for their support and help. So, if you made it to read this piece till the end, I strongly suggest to give it try and reach out for the IVY opportunities available!
My warmest regards,
Anna Kalaitsidi, Interreg Project Partner at MoreThanAJob project.