This time we are talking with Vita Vītola, who works as a Senior project expert at LIKTA, the leading partner of the project Women4IT which is funded by the Fund for Youth Employment. If she could give a 20-year-old advice today, what would it be? Find out below.
Why is it important to empower and invest in youth?
“Our community has only one way to survive and it is to invest in our kids, in youth and in the next generations. We want the best for our kids, for the next generations of our countries, and we are responsible for tomorrow’s leaders - how will they grow up, what kind of values they will cherish. So this is why it extremely important to help today’s youth to discover their potential, talents and strengths in each individual. I strongly believe that our task in this world is to help to make the next generation better than ours.”
“Our community has only one way to survive and it is to invest in our kids, in youth and in the next generations."
What is the Fund for Youth Employment to you, personally?
“I have been directly involved in implementing the project Women4IT and I have had the opportunity to be the mentor of Women4IT training participants, and I have been positively surprised of the passion and energy I have seen in young people participating in the training program - such creativity and initiative that participants bring provides me with the gratitude that this initiative has provided a platform for youth to discover themselves. It is not only about the employment, it is also about finding a job that matters, how can one find ones place in this society by fulfilling ones potential.”
Women4IT is a project funded by the Fund for Youth Employment which aims to develop the digital competences of young women who are at risk of exclusion from the labour market, by improving their employability.
What is the most memorable moment working on the Fund for Youth Employment project Women4IT?
“I would point out that talking with the graduates of the programmes a while after graduation is the most memorable thing for me - to see the impact we have reached - in the beginning of the program you meet young women doubting what should they do or in which direction they should go, but after a year still keeping in touch I see already young professionals growing. This just bring me joy.“
A photo from the Women4IT project training program in Latvia, under which young women who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET), develop their skills in a variety of digital job profiles and receive career guidance.
How do you see the future for the youth in Europe?
“I’m optimistic - This is a whole new generation growing and valuing already much different things in life. In my childhood nobody talked for example about sustainability or the need of green thinking - these topics were just not on the table. But now there is generation who cares, a generation that wants to be heard and we should listen.”
“...now there is a generation who cares, a generation that wants to be heard and we should listen.”
How do Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein through the Fund for Youth Employment contribute to empowering youth in Europe?
“There are many good projects that could show their good examples on the impact they have been able to reach with the help of Fund for Youth Employment. Also in the Women4IT project we were able to train more than 600 young NEET women and help them in their path towards employment. But it is not just about numbers, behind any statistical number we showcase in our projects there is a real life person whose life we were able to change, providing the opportunities. And that would not be possible without the EEA and Norway Grants initiative.”
“It is not just about numbers, behind any statistical number we showcase in our projects there is a real life person whose life we were able to change, providing the opportunities. And that would not be possible without the EEA and Norway Grants initiative.”
What gives you hope for European youth today?
“Seeing the motivation, ability to speak up for themselves and the creativity in young people. They want to learn and if there is a will there is a way. All they need is a bit of encouragement and guidance.”
If you could give a 20-year-old advice today, what would it be?
“Start investing in yourself - even small steps count. Learn something new each day: read a page of a book, listen to a podcast, or look at a video - whichever is the most suitable form of learning for you. The opportunities are out there just take one and start. After starting small you will see the power of compounding and your knowledge and skills will grow creating a snowball effect. Just be persistent and never give up. “
Read more about the Fund for Youth employment here https://eeagrants.org/topics-programmes/fund-youth-employment
Read more about the Women4IT project here https://women4it.eu/
Read about the youth projects that the EEA and Norway Grants support here https://youthemploymentmag.net/