As the majority of recent scientific studies related with NEET population have proven, risk factors associated with NEET status are always interwoven with indications of low self confidence and selfesteem (Dorsett and Lucchino, 2014, Public Health England, 2014), as a result of various problematic socioeconomic and domestic conditions, structures and barriers (Genda, 2007, UCL Institute of Health Equity, 2012).
Besides, from our personal experience in the years of working with vulnerable youngsters, we have also come to the conclusion that the problem of NEET constitutes the consequence of different situational barriers, medical issues and social and economic distresses, which eventually lead to social exclusion, poverty and tendency to delinquent acts, as a result of the cultivation of a series of negative feelings and thoughts which bring undesirable effects in the formation of individuals’ selfconfidence and self-esteem. It is also proven that NEET youth show higher rates of mental health and addictions (MHA) problems (Baggio et al., 2015; Fergusson et al., 2014).
Taking into consideration that when it comes to NEET population, the parameter of low self-esteem functions in multiple levels, as at the same time it constitutes both the reason for becoming NEET, but also the effect of becoming NEET, this particular work aims at the enhancement of the basic pillars of self-empowerment of NEET population through alternative methods, primarily interwoven with Performing Arts. Specifically, the project ‘I NEE[T] ART’ is addressed to staff, youth workers, social workers and educators who specialize on the didactic methods of the notions of self-empowerment and self-esteem, with the aim those to be endowed with innovative tools and modernized methods of operating towards their target groups, thus achieving an increased ability in addressing the needs of NEET population.
The following outcomes will be accomplished through the conduction of specially designed workshops, that could be divided into three different categories: (i) Contact Improvisation Based Workshops; (ii) Dance and Movement Therapy oriented Workshops, and; (iii) Storytelling and Theatre Improvisation-based workshops.
In other words, individuals who belong to NEET population will use methods that derive from performing arts, in order to emphasize on their self-empowerment, whilst in parallel realizing and experiencing the notions of discipline, courage, teamwork, self-esteem, passion and confidence.
Furthermore, they will learn alternative ways to communicate their emotions and to convey human experience. They will cultivate empathy and imagination, by being able to put themselves into the shoes of another character/ person. Through public speaking, disadvantaged groups such as NEET, in this particular case, will be encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions openly in a supportive environment.
Exercises will also challenge participants to be quick thinkers and decisive actors, channeling them to listen carefully, speak clearly and use language authentically and spontaneously, thus guiding them on how to achieve social integration and inclusion by simultaneously forcing them one to step out of fixed or premeditated behaviors, helping them to explore their unique creative impulses.
Additionally, through Contact Improvisation activities participants (NEET) will experience mutual trust and support in order to realize the notions of uniqueness of individuality, but at the same time they will experience the necessity for being supported and projected through the others. Hence, participants-NEET trainers will realize the importance of existence of an organized group which operates within equality conditions whilst in parallel shows respectfulness to the individuality of all its component members; in this way, notions such as social inclusion, social integration and active citizenship will be reinforced.
To conclude, the main aim of the ‘I NEE[T] ART’ training constitutes the modernization in terms of teaching and training staff’s skills, by using (a) more effective contemporary activities, based on well established methodologies for the benefit of local communities and generally all the people of their societies who belong to disadvantaged groups and (b) improved youth work methods and practices to actively involve young people and/or to address long-term unemployed and NEET in general, etc.
‘I NEE[T] ART’ project will be hosted in Larnaca, Cyprus by C.I.P. Citizens In Power from 1st to 7th of April 2019, in cooperation with partner organizations from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, which will be represented by two participants each.
Few of the reports from participants
Duration: 01-02-2019 till 30-06-2019