Final Conference of the RAISE Youth Project

After five years of successful implementation in Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain and Romania, a final conference of the RAISE Youth project took place this December in Croatia.

Overall objective of the RAISE Youth was to contribute to providing decent and productive work for youth through social innovation in rural areas of 4 EU countries and to pilot and promote an innovative RAISE model of (self)employment for NEETs based on sustainable agri-business in 4 rural regions of EU with high unemployment rates and depopulation. Finally we can say – We did it!

It was never easy but with the support of donors, fund operator, local stakeholders and with dedicated work of all partners RAISE Youth surpassed all of the initial target indicators and has laid the groundwork for future initiatives. It all started with the analysys of the situation in rural regions of 4 target countries. Economic structure of rural regions was changing and there was a need to create more sustainable models of agro-food production in rural areas in order to stop economic decline and depopulation.

Young people were especially affected by this problem as it directly affects the possibility of their independence, future planning, building their own skills and competences. RAISE Youth created a sustainable transnational framework to pilot and promote an innovative RAISE model with rural NEETs and established RAISE DEMO centers as training, demonstration and production centers in rural areas facing depopulation. Małgorzata Nowak i Gian Luca Bombarda.

The RAISE Youth DEMO Centers have been conceived as “collaborative spaces for open experimentation”. The particularities, challenges and strength of each territory have played a prominent role in the conceptualization of the Centers. This is the reason why they have been designed while keeping in mind a global perspective that can be adapted to a local context, which makes it replicable in different areas. 

Through the identification of new NEETs, involvement in various types of trainings, mentoring and learning, work and psycho-social support, more than 3600 NEETs benefited from the project. However, RAISE Youth did not only focus on the tangible results and numbers, rather, one of the main objectives was to achieve the sustainability. Through networking nationally and translationally, policy dialogues, exchanges between countries, creating tourist applications, web platforms for crowdsourcing, use of smart farming, new technologies combined with multi-generational mentoring and family and individual learning RAISE contributed to the development of a new eco-system in the rural areas. During the final conference the RAISE Youth team was proud to hear support and acknowledgement from the EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanism Office, Fund Operators from Ecorys Poland and JCP and Norwegian Embassy in Croatia through video messages they prepared especially for this occasion. We seize this opportunity to extend our gratuities to all of them for support and above all friendly approach in dealing with everyday challenges. It was the real-life example of working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe! crowdsourcing platformi, izrade online baze treninga do razvoja suradnje s brojnim institucijama i mrežama i prenošenja metodologije.

Završna konferencija projekta RAISE Youth bila je prilika i za predstavljanje uspješnih priča mladih poduzetnika pa su tako u drugom dijelu događaja predstavljene poduzetničke priče iz Bugarske i Španjolske a one ličke osobno su ispričali Ivan Vlainić, Marija Obućina, Nikolina Golić, Mateo Lulić i Marko Hečimović, mlade osobe koje su pravi primjer kako je moguće uspjeti i iskoristiti prednosti ruralnog područja.

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