Job Shadowing with Pistes Solidaires Méditerranée

Job Shadowing with Pistes Solidaires Méditerranée

Marseille, France

14 – 27 November 2016

My journey to Marseille is part of SILC Project that VSA is partnered with Europe House Slavonski Brod (NPO Organization) in Croatia.

“Seeding Social Innovation in Local Communities” (SILC) Project aims to promote active youth participation in their communities and to build youth workers’ and youth leaders’ capacity to maximize youths potential for social innovation and entrepreneurship in tackling the problems of youth unemployment and for promoting social inclusion, social innovation, gender empowerment and sustainable human development in participation communities.

One of capacity building activities is job shadowing in partners’ organization in different countries.

The journey to Marseille starts with 14 hours flight from Bangkok to Paris and 4 hours fast train from Paris to Marseille St. Charles Train Station. The weather is colder than I expected, it might be because Marseille is a port city on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. It is the second largest city after Paris.

I am spending two weeks with the non-profit organization named “Pistes Solidaires Méditerranée” in Marseille to learn and understand more about the operation of organization in Europe which might be different from Asia in one way or another, this is what I need to find out!

Pistes Solidaires Méditerranée was created in May 2013. Its objective is the development of a conscious and participate eco-citizenship through fair, sustainable, solidarity-based social, cultural, educational and economic

exchanges, respectful (of oneself, of others and of its environment) in the region. It aims to promote the educational

mobility of young people.

Here, they have more support locally and nationally which can drive and make many projects happen to support young people in Europe. The movement of young people around Europe can create strong unity within and open perspective in many which can lead to more understanding of humanity.

In Europe, they have a high rate of unemployment as well as France. The government has created a youth volunteer program called “Service Civique” to support young age of 16 to 25 to work in a non-profit organization to help to develop/increase youths’ capacity for their future.

Furthermore, they have another program called EVS (European Voluntary Service). This program is supported by European Commission. The age of participant is between 18 and 30. I have a chance to visit two EVS projects here in the first week.

One is called “Cosmos Kolej”, an organization found by an artist named Wladyslaw Znorko in 1981. It is located in the north of Marseille. The founder has created this place as “the free station” or a sanctuary where people, poetic and artist can stay, create and show their piece of art. The place combines with a house, a garden and an abandoned factory where artist can display and express their work today. EVS here is from Spain. She has been working for 3 years and deciding to come here to meet new people and have a broader perspective for her future study in Strategic Leader toward Sustainability.

Another visit is called “SYMPA La Sympathie”. This is a private organization which supports by the city itself. This place has a history back in 1950s where it used to be a center for retired solider who has been dedicates their life for the country. In 1998, the building has been bought by the city and turn to leisure center for children. Here, there is ‘no school ‘on Wednesday so the city thinks it will be useful to have a place where children can do activities and learn with friends while their parents are working during the day. Most of the staffs here are interns (university students who study on social studies) and volunteers from the area and other European countries. They have two volunteers from Greece and Italy. One has comes to France with journalist degree and her main goal is to learn French and travel. Another has studied communication in media institution joins this program because she loves children as a starting point and also France. She wants to pursue her study of social worker in this country.

Main activity of my second week is sharing Thai culture to high school students (11-15 years old) with Service Civique volunteers. Each volunteer has to teach own culture to students for a week. Each class is about 20 students. Volunteers are come from Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy. It is very interesting to see different style of presentation and how each volunteer can control the class. Some classes are tuff even their teacher is there. I have a chance to teach one class and my students are adorable and noisy. I can see they are eagle to learn and surprise with their knowledge of Thailand. We are popular!

Overall, this trip is a great opportunity to discover and create a stronger bridge between partners to build stronger youth led organizations’ and youth workers’ capacity for institutional sustainability.

Parin Charoenchanaporn