Presentation on theme: "The first steps Anna Lóa Ólafsdóttir Career counselor og project manager of The First Steps."— Presentation transcript:
The first steps Anna Lóa Ólafsdóttir Career counselor og project manager of The First Steps
Our Goal! o To encourage young mothers to take their first steps to a better life for themselves and their children o Participants make some plans about their future and their first steps to a better life o Participants were chosen in cooperation with the social services and the unemployment office o 10 came in the beginning – 7 were active the whole time
Participants o The participants in this project are young mothers in Reykjanesbær (average age 24 years). None of them has finished upper secondary school but all of them started there but stayed for a different length of time. o They´ve all had some problems in their personal lives which are related to drug abuse, poor social environment, sexual abuse, adhd or other. o Some of the mothers have lost or risk loosing custody of their children.
Previous learning exsperience o There was some social factors that were difficult and made learning hard to perceive o The environment was not a good one, bullying and sexual harassment by a teacher to name two of them o Adhd, drug abuse and other personal problems were also a big factor among the ladies o Some of them had difficulties with the content but mainly it was outside factors that made it difficult for them to stay in school o They want to give education a second change but talked about vocational education instead of too much reading and writing.
The course – three categoties 1.Boosting the self esteem Issues that were addressed and worked with: o Introduction o How can we boost up our self-esteem? o Different appearances o What threatens self-esteem? o Our identity o Communication – Communication technics o Communication skills o Listening - Reviews – Compliment o The Cinderella syndrome!
2. Civil consciousness o Civil consciousness Issues that were addressed and worked with: o United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child o Your role as a parent o Parent role for children in kindergarten o Parent role for children in schools o Your community; its responsibility – your responsibility o If you were a mayor for a day! o Municipality vs. State o Trips to organizations and companies o Why cutbacks? o Different child raising methods o Responsible network use
3. Creative work Those issues were addressed and worked with: o Your values in live o Your dreams o Your strengths o Your future o Your goals
Where and when o In our organization – MSS o Visiting other organizations o 2 – 3 times a week from 09:00 – 12:00 o 85 teaching hours o 10 weeks
Teaching methods o Lectures o Group conversation o Learning by doing – for example in creative work o Visitation to various companies and organizations o Private interviews with career counselor
How did it go!! o Difficult in the beginning o They were very unorganized and didn´t show up on time o They didn´t have respect for each other or other peoples time o They had trouble concentrating in the beginning o Lot of personal problems got in the way which had negative effect on the group o They were sensitive about spoken and unspoken things
Trust o As time went by they learned to trust each other and the teachers o Everything changed for the better Came on time Showed some interest in the course – one girl was especially interested in studying more and got some homework Helped each other (ride to school, personal problems for example) The all loved the creative part
External evaluation o Found the creative work was the most useful one o Thought that the course could have been more practical o The evaluator thought that the women would have gained from a more open conversation about the Cinderella complex and used as a eye opener for them o More time for individual consultation was recommended
Improvements o External evaluator suggested more time for individual consultation or interviews o The decision was made to offer all the participants to come to an interview with the counselor o Out of seven participants counselor was able to reach five of them o They were all more then willing to come except one of them which had moved to the north and was willing to have a phone conversation
10 questions for all of them All the women got the same questions which were: 1.What have you been doing since the course ended? 2.Do you feel that you gained anything by that course? If yes, how so? 3.Do you have goals now about where you are heading or what you want to establish? 4.Do you have ideas on how to reach those goals? 5.What options do you see for yourself in the future? 6.Are there any obstacles you see now and if yes, what are they? 7.What would be your first step towards your goal? 8.When are you going to take that first step? 9.When are you going to reach that goal? 10.Do you want to come to counselor again and if yes - when?
Today o Three out of the five women have started in school o One is working o One has been taking some courses o Asked if the course had helped them in any way four of them said yes and one said no o Asked how it had helped: - helping me out of my comfort zone - getting me to think about changes - opening my eyes and helping me realize that I could actually learn
Their goals o Three of them wanted to finish some kind of education o One wanted to be free from the father of her child – she has already moved away o One wanted to stop obsessing about the father of her children (her former boyfriend) o All of them were rather positive about their options in their future
Conclusion o First steps have been helpful for these women o They have also been getting some help from the social services and their families o Some of them have used the course to take their first steps into a better life for themselves and their children o In the future we will use our knowledge to work with small groups that are in need for some change in their lives o MSS is thankful for this opportunity!!