Itt a helyed! Supporting young people in transition from school to work
In January 2018, the Hungarian Red Cross launched “Itt a helyed!” (Your place is here). The scheme invites young people between the ages of 18 and 22 who have finished secondary school but have neither continued their studies nor started working, to participate in voluntary service with the Red Cross.
|"Volunteering has provided a great opportunity to get to know the work of the Red Cross. I have learnt a lot, and it was great to work with and for people.” Mariann O., Volunteer|
At this stage in life, young people who are not in education, employment or training (sometimes referred to as NEET), can benefit greatly from adapted support for the transition from education to work. The objective of the scheme is to improve their chances on the labour market by spending a gap year in a meaningful way and gaining valuable life skills. The young people get involved in different Red Cross services for the community, while they develop their soft skills, and receive first aid training, mentoring, and language classes with a certificate. They are also offered a financial contribution to cover their health insurance and an opportunity to obtain their driving licence.
During their service period, the young people get assigned to the coordination of blood donations, first aid training and service, disaster response, or activities in the area of social assistance. Each person spends 80 hours per month gaining relevant work experience, acquiring new skills that are applicable to the labour market, and becoming part of a highly active team. So far, 120 young people have started a voluntary service through “Itt a helyed!”; the aim is to engage 200 young people over a period of three years.
|"I learnt and experienced a lot during my six months as a volunteer. It was a nice adventure.” Pál K., Volunteer|
Eleven coordinators in the participating local Hungarian Red Cross branches are responsible for providing support and mentoring to the young people engaged in the scheme. The coordinators ensure that the youngsters are assigned to interesting and diverse tasks, introduced to the local community, helped to develop a good team spirit, and supported to benefit from their activities in the best possible way. The branches equally benefit from the programme through the continuous capacity building of the coordinators in project management and volunteer coordination. In addition, many of the young people in the programme decide to continue volunteering with the Red Cross after their voluntary service project is over.
Elizabet is 19 years old and comes from a big family with ten siblings. When she had finished high school, she learned about the voluntary service opportunity from her former classmates. Helping people is what Elizabet is eager to do. Her professional ambition is to become a nurse. Through this voluntary service, she has gained diverse experiences, become familiar with team work, broadened her perspective, and met a lot of new people. Her experience in the blood donation service will definitely serve her professional goal. “I think that after I finish cooperation in the frame of the project, I will continue my volunteer activities at the Hungarian Red Cross and will be able to respond to calls for help in the future”, says Elizabet.
Itt a helyed! (Your place is here)
The “Itt a helyed!” scheme is implemented by Red Cross branches in nine counties throughout Hungary. For more information visit the Hungarian Red Cross project website. This project receives financial support from the Human Resources Development Operational Programme of Hungary, co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). For more information consult European Commission Regional Policy Operational Programmes.