On Wednesday, May 10th, we celebrated the graduation of the 26 YouthBuild Cluj students of the last two groups. The young participants, who didn’t have a workplace and weren’t following a form of education or training, gained a professional qualification that is recognized by the labor market. The qualification courses were completed by English classes; the young people also participated in nonformal activities in which they learned how to better communicate and work in teams, skills useful in any field of work. They also provided services for the community and a part of them gained their driving license. The participants of this promotion are from Cluj-Napoca and surroundings, being young people who were forced to give up school to support themselves and their families.
„These are hardworking young people, who come from vulnerable environments, where it is difficult to find the resources necessary to finish school or to find a decent workplace. Through the YouthBuild program, we offered them an accesible method to learn a job and gain a diploma that is recognized by employers,”, says Alexandre Combes, the program coordinator from Habitat for Humanity Cluj.
Of the 26 graduates of the current promotion, 13 have learned manicure-pedicure, 10 learned hairdressing and 3 gained their driving license for transportation vehicles. The participants with good results and a greater need for mobility received a bonus: the oportunity to gain their driving license, which will increase their chances of being employed. „To be able to support their families for the duration of the course, the participants receive a participation scholarship conditioned by their attendance and a monthly bonus if they show an increased quality of work”, explains Alexandre Combes.
Part of the YouthBuild graduates is also Eduard, a young man of 24 years, living in Cojocna, a commune near Cluj-Napoca, who became a hairdresser.
„I applied because I liked the idea of becoming a hairdresser. I like it when someone leaves my chair pleased by the haircut I just gave him. YouthBuild is a place where I’ve received very much: from the courses, to encouragement and new experiences. And I am glad I got live them. From now on, I want to keep working as a hairdresser. I will start with friends, at social center of the parish in Cojocna. And whoever will come there, in need of a haircut. When I will feel more experienced, I want to come and work in Cluj-Napoca”, says Eduard. For him and his collegues, the YouthBuild program was an enviroment in which they received many resources and encouragement. „I would like to say, from myself and my collegues from the program, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity, for the trust, for encouraging us and chiding us when we needed to be”, he concludes.
The graduates also received a message of encouragement from the YouthBuild International team, who facilitate all the YouthBuild programs in the world, including the one from Cluj.
„We are proud of all the hard work and persistence you have invested in your education at YouthBuild Cluj. Your patience and perseverance throughout your time at YB Cluj has paid off greatly and we look forward to the opportunity of hearing from you all on how you will use the skills and knowledge you received at the program to better yourselves, your community and impact the world.”
YouthBuild Cluj is the result of the collaboration between Habitat for Humanity Cluj and six other organizations who contributed to build a diverse and inclusive program, each with their own specific input. The program is developed for young people living in modest conditions, who need a pathway towards a job, to develop their entrepreneurship, and the opportunity to lead a life that brings wellbeing to themselves, their families and their communities. The YouthBuild Cluj 2016-2017 was coordinated by Habitat for Humanity Cluj in partnership with the associations Thesaurus, Go Free and Magic People. YouthBuild received the support of the Pata-Cluj project, of the Autonom foundation, of Sykes Romania and VE Interactive, and also the Driving School Rodna.