In the first quarter of 1993 the number of unemployed people in Poland reached as many as 3 million people. More than 30% of them were between the age of 18 and 24 years old. While the tendency for the unemplyment within adults were expected to improve the unemployment for youth though (between 18 and 24 years old) were expected to continue to increase.
Aims of the programme
One of the way of preventing youth unemployment was supposed to be Unemployed Youth Activation Programme approved in 1993 by Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Its core was the cycle of activities stimulating participants development. It began with psychological training with its main target to increase participants self-awareness and self-confidence. In further part of the programme participants were encouraged to unblock their dreams, creative ideas, define social problems worth being taken care of. Essential part of this process was group-decision taking with regards to the project to be conducted as follow up.
Programme kicked off before Group TROP was established. It was kind of a pilotage programme for us and starting point for the other programmes that followed later on and influenced TROP Method.
The core of the programme was to build training team consisting of trainers and Training School alumni supervised by Jacek Jakubowski within Polish Psychological Society. Selected trainers experienced long-term self-development process (personality development) and had already an expertise in other social projects conducted before.
Trainers and facilitators of groups supported building of realistic business plan, organising and deploying concrete activities (including marketing, accounting etc). The project ended up with the root cause analysis of the success – both new skills and competencies acquired by participants as well as newly executed social processes.
Effects of the programme
The effects of the programme were measured on different levels by sophisticated evaluation research team conducted by external, independent consulting team. The methodological part of it was evaluated by team of scientists from University of Warsaw led by professor Janusz Czapinski, professor Janusz Grzelak and doctor Andrzej Nowak. Pre-test was conducted before the programme and post-test afterwards. The research was conducted amongst direct participants with comparison to control group (unemployed youth not involved in the programme). Thanks to the programme the social bonds and proactive, social attitudes were significantly strengthened, symptoms of psychological disorders reduced, focus on pragmatical values increased (work, education, money) and participants ability to handle their living conditions improved.
The majority of participants became different sort of leaders in their communities, organizations, clubs, voluntary centres. Many of them chose to undertake or continue higher education becoming also active leaders in their new communities. The Society of Youth Activation Programme was established as follow up after the programme and continues these days to supervise and advise on youth activation nationwide.