Among youngsters exists a problem, that before applying for a good job they need to have a practice of it. Even education sometimes is not enough. Unemployment grows, but youth see themselves in good positions. They prefer to have worked not just for money, but also for self-development. According to that, we see, that projects can give potential practice for building the future career. Nowadays in Estonia, there are a lot of youngsters who feel a passion for art, marketing, entrepreneurship, web design, and business. But it is hard to find an opportunity to combine all those skills in one case and get to know how to create something new. Of course, there are a lot of courses about design, purchasing, and selling, creating start-ups from zero points. But in most cases, people need to pay for that; no one gives a guarantee, that your idea can be realized in real life and it is hard to find opportunities for young people to get started in the business field.
We made the aim of our project to allow young people to try themselves in creating a start-up, but in a safe environment. It means that youngsters can get knowledge about marketing, product placement, how to create their clothing line and staff like hats, bags, pencils, bottles, etc with NGO Youth Club Active logo and how to promote things made by them from professionals and people who have a big experience in those fields.
After that the NGO YCA putting these clothes, souvenirs, backpacks, etc in an organization shop, from where members and workers of YCA can buy them and use them in daily life. It gives confidence that the products created by the participant will live after the completion of the project.
The aim of the project was to give participants new knowledge and skills for their future. For this project, 15 youngsters had an opportunity to create their own uniforms with help of their team members and initiative group.
The initiative team wanted to create a new uniform collection for Youth Club Active as a visible result. New uniforms disseminated Solidarity Corps projects as well as a center for youth in Tallinn. By designing garments participants got a lot of useful skills for their future such as designing, promoting, brainstorming, time-management, marketing, working with customers, teamwork skills, etc. Also, they upgraded the uniform for all workers and members of the organization so they feel comfortable and supportive of Youth Club Active.
All started with preparational work, where we discussed the way of working. Initiative groups decided to make teams with different topics as Human library, volunteering, workshops, and projects (all of them are Youth Club Active activities) to each team worked in a specific way and it had more powerful meaning. Also, we chose a pastel color palette and basic tailoring to facilitate communication between teams. All choices were made on the basis of a questionary, which was answered by 112 people aged 13 to 49, with an average age of 17.
When participants were selected, started teamwork. In each team, we had a minimum of one representative of the initiative group to periodically report on the work done at the initiative group meetings. Despite COVID-19 we regularly had meetings with the initiative group. Representatives of the teams were responsible to have at least 3 meetings with their teams a week. It helped to do all works faster and also gave young people an opportunity to manage their time and be responsible for their parts. In every team we had people with digital drawing skills and participants could learn a lot of tips on digital designing.
We created 4 groups for designing with different topics, where participants and the initiative group learned how to create designs and got final results. each team created their own design for T-shirts, hoodies, and blouses. All designs went to print and the final product was received. Each participant was able to receive 1 item of collection and every person now can buy a new uniform from Youth Club Active online shop.
After receiving results we started dissemination. We did 4 training in summer camp for kids from 8 to 15 years old, where we talked about our project and gave them an opportunity to create some designs on their own.
Theoretical and practical lessons included lessons and theoretical presentations about starting a business from coaches training about marketing, budget, research, and cooperation with companies, brainstorming ideas.
As a result, we plan that each participant will have their own product model that he would like to bring to life. Then, in a general discussion, we would choose 5 main ideas and begin their preparation. Preparation includes creating a final design, searching for companies to buy the materials, starting cooperation with printing companies, making procurement, getting final results. In the end, we want to make a presentation in a way of a fashion show for Youth Club Active members and for all interested people. At the end of the project will be given to participant YouthPasses and Thanksgiving letters for trainers.
Evaluation of done work:
– Meetings with initiative group and trainers after each sessions evaluation of all the pros and cons of the lesson
– meetings every month with an initiative group to share the feelings and opinions, discussing technical moments
– final evaluation of the target group (self-reflection, group reflection, discussing what competencies did they develop after all classes.
– final evaluation for the initiative group. viewing all the work done
At the beginning of the project, the initiative team had a lot of preparation work that started in March. We had four meetings for the initiative group where we were discussing methods of working, finding participants, and a future approximate work plan.
In the same month, we created a questionnaire for different target groups, starting from participants of Youth Club Active to older people who saw this questionnaire. The survey asked people for their opinions in choosing a style of clothes, its color, and a wish to participate in the project and create a new uniform for Youth Club Active. As a result, we had thirteen future participants and an initiative group of five.
Because of the COVID situation in the country, we didn’t do a face to face meeting with participants and the initiative group.
At the end of the fourth meeting with the initiative group, we created teams for future work. In each team, we had a person with professional drawing skills, who taught participants how to make their designs. Thanks to the survey we come up with a pastel color palette and a specific font. It helped separated groups to work on the same level. Every team had its theme: Human library, volunteering, projects, workshops, and events. So every group worked on different tasks.
Teams had regular online meetings where they distributed responsibilities and watched intermediate results of work. Each member of the initiative group was a mentor and participated in intermediate meetings with other mentors to present the work done.
At the beginning of June, we had our work done and started selling on Youth Club Active online shop. As a result, we have 27 new items in the shop in different colors (green, grey, beige), shapes (t-shirts, hoodies, sweaters), and meaning (Human library, volunteering, projects, workshops, and events).
for dissemination, we held a number of activities in Vihasoo summer camps for 60 youngsters of different ages.
Every participant could have their work done for free.
We had a final evaluation with participants and the initiative group to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work done. Now ONLINE shop is working very intensive and everyone can order this type of clothing. There is no income in it because the initiative team planned to price all types of clothing and print, there is nothing more added.
You can find this collection here