Youth Cluster - A World of Opportunities

Associação Youth Cluster - Um Mundo de Oportunidades

Media materials:

Organisation:

Associação Youth Cluster - Um Mundo de Oportunidades

Country:

Portugal

About organisation:

The Youth Cluster is a youth-led association focusing on informing young people about national and European programs to address youth unemployment. Each team member has participated in various opportunities, including ESC Volunteering projects, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges and Training Courses, Erasmus internships, and studies. Recognising the importance of disseminating these opportunities across Portugal, the team established the Youth Cluster platform - this platform compiles information on programs available to young people and maintains an updated agenda of opportunities, covering internships, contests, grants and more. The Youth Cluster collaborates with newspapers, educational institutions, associations and municipalities to spread these opportunities, ensuring that young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, have the chance to step outside their comfort zone, experience the EU and acquire a diverse skill set.

Contact person:

Margarida Freitas

Title of the project

Youth Cluster - A World of Opportunities

Start date:

January 1, 2021

End date:

December 31, 2023

Source of funding:

The project initially relied on the founding team's resources and volunteer efforts. Once the organisation was established, funding sources expanded: from the EU, through the European Solidarity Corps (specifically Solidarity Projects) and Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges (YEs); nationally, funds were received from the Institute of Youth for activities and local volunteer support; and partnership cooperation brought support from entities like Associação Mais Cidadania and the Garagerasmus Foundation.

Objectives:

The Youth Cluster, established in 2020 as a platform promoting financed opportunities, was inspired by best practices, such as the Eurodesk Opportunity Finder. Our primary objective was to compile accessible and reliable information about National and European financed opportunities for young people in Portugal - volunteering, internships, grants, etc. In 2021, our association started actively promoting the platform and the above mentioned opportunities across Portugal, thus, the project we are submitting to the Eurodesk Awards includes the creative methods we used for promoting these opportunities in Portugal, but also among European youth so far.Our team experienced first hand how it is difficult to get information about the opportunities and get involved in the first place, therefore we collaborated with municipalities, educational institutions and media outlets across the country to reach our main target group. We also used creative dissemination methods, like postcards, flyers, articles, activism campaigns, pic-nics, booklets, monthly agendas, among others to create awareness among young people about the various European and national opportunities that can be used to tackle challenges of NEETs, while enhancing youth involvement and empowerment.With a follower base of over 5000 and having supported many young people in finding suitable opportunities, our objective is to continue reaching more youth and making them aware that these opportunities exist for everyone!

Why does it correspond to the thematic category:

We are applying under the thematic category Creative Youth Information, since the Youth Cluster initiatives to disseminate information about national and European programmes aligns well with it, but we must mention that our project also actively works towards both of the other categories. We highlight some of the approaches used and in the attachments we share more images: Posters, stickers and postcards with QR codes: posters promoting financed opportunities were sent to educational institutions and placed in relevant places, like cafes, libraries, among others. Stickers were placed around the country including on streets, bus stations, parks, etc. After YEs we also give away stickers and participants spread them in their home countries. Postcards were illustrated and sent to young people by Christmas, but also placed in relevant places and shared with participants of Erasmus+ projects. Instagram Stories and Monthly Agenda: every month we upload an agenda of opportunities in our social media and website with relevant deadlines. Our team shares all the relevant opportunities we find in our Instagram Stories. Activism Campaigns: We implement activism campaigns, eg:. #PayYourIntern sent materials and created a booklet to explore how the programmes can be used to acquire professional skills. Testimonies: We organise financed national volunteering to invite young people who took part in the programmes to share testimonies, which are uploaded in each page about the opportunities.

The impact the initiative had on young people and the local community:

We had significant impact on both young people and local communities so far and our objective is to continue to increase this impact.In regards to young people we have impacted them on a national and EU level by providing accessible and reliable information about national and European financed opportunities through creative methods as mentioned above. These methods have been allowing to reach young people from North to South of Portugal, including islands and many of the young people who got in touch with these opportunities for the first time took part in them, allowed them to develop multiple competences. We specially highlight our focus on young people with fewer opportunities, since often, youngsters who lack accessible opportunities may feel disconnected from society, however, those who discover and engage in these opportunities tend to become active and engaged citizens. Therefore, our project's core impact lies in making these funded programmes known to guide them to travel, volunteer, work, connect, learn, and believe in themselves as agents of positive change, which has an impact not only in their personal and professional lives, but also in their communities.In regards to community impact, we have cooperated with multiple local entities, including municipalities and educational institutions across the country and remote areas, equipping them with information to support their young residents to learn about these opportunities, take part in them and be empowered.

How it ensured the visibility and promotion of Eurodesk:

As mentioned previously, Eurodesk and especially the Opportunity Finder, but also initiatives like Time to Move and others were inspirational to start the whole project of the Youth Cluster and to find better ways to disseminate the opportunities among our target groups in Portugal.Our organisation became an official Eurodesk multiplier in Portugal in November 2021. Since then, the Eurodesk logo has featured prominently in most of our materials. This inclusion aligns perfectly with our primary goal to promote opportunities and European programmes. We ensure Eurodesk's visibility through several means, of which we highlight the following:1. On our website's footer (https://youthcluster.org), the "Eurodesk Portugal" logo is displayed alongside other financing schemes that support our project. Eurodesk is also highlighted on the dedicated page for the Opportunity Agenda (https://youthcluster.org/pt/agenda-de-oportunidades/), since we collect information from there on a monthly basis.2. In our monthly agendas of opportunities, which are shared on our Instagram and Facebook, the Eurodesk logo is always present, and we tag Eurodesk's Instagram account since we became an official multiplier.3. The Eurodesk logo is also included in various materials created to promote opportunities, such as posters, flyers, postcards, tote bags, and social media posts.Attached documents and images showcase the integration of the Eurodesk logo in the materials mentioned above.

How it respected the green principles:

As a youth organisation made by young active citizens, the core of the green principal are part of our activities and of the different dissemination strategies with which we are applying to the Eurodesk Awards. From these we highlight the following points: 1. Digital Dissemination: The Youth Cluster relies heavily on digital platforms for disseminating information. By using digital channels like social media, websites and online newspaper, our initiative reduces the need for printed materials, thus aligning with Eurodesk principles which advocate for environmentally friendly practices and this also allows us to enhance engagement and interaction with young people.2. Sustainable Materials in Physical Promotions: For physical promotional materials such as posters, flyers, postcards and tote bags, We strategically print in limited quantities and reorder based on demand, minimising waste.3. Reducing Carbon Footprint: for the promotion we used digital tools, sent materials by posts and when travelled to places across the country to promote opportunities, we would use public transport.4. Awareness and participation: we believe being an active citizen goes hand-in-hand with having more sustainable behaviours and learning about our impact. By empowering young people to take part in the above mentioned opportunities, the projects equipped them with knowledge on different topics, including environmental consciousness, thus having impact in their journeys as change-makers.

The Youth Cluster, established in 2020 as a platform promoting financed opportunities, was inspired by best practices, such as the Eurodesk Opportunity Finder. Our primary objective was to compile accessible and reliable information about National and European financed opportunities for young people in Portugal – volunteering, internships, grants, etc.

In 2021, our association started actively promoting the platform and the above mentioned opportunities across Portugal, thus, the project we are submitting to the Eurodesk Awards includes the creative methods we used for promoting these opportunities in Portugal, but also among European youth so far.

Our team experienced first hand how it is difficult to get information about the opportunities and get involved in the first place, therefore we collaborated with municipalities, educational institutions and media outlets across the country to reach our main target group. We also used creative dissemination methods, like postcards, flyers, articles, activism campaigns, pic-nics, booklets, monthly agendas, among others to create awareness among young people about the various European and national opportunities that can be used to tackle challenges of NEETs, while enhancing youth involvement and empowerment.

With a follower base of over 5000 and having supported many young people in finding suitable opportunities, our objective is to continue reaching more youth and making them aware that these opportunities exist for everyone!