Have you moaned enough this Christmas? About how you were forced to cut your losses, buy less, not give ridiculously expensive presents, enjoy no more that 20 dishes on your table?
Well wake up from the festive binge and meet Unemployed so What?, a group of master students at the University of Nicosia Digital Media and Communications department, who have established a digital cause at just the right time, an innovative way of trying to break through unemployment problems.
They worked as part of a class, Social Media Management, taking up leadership in the web, organising the logistics and setting up the mechanisms needed to launch the campaign.
It was all part of an exercise to familiarise themselves with digital communication but it soon became very much a real goal, not just a theoretical search for knowledge. It grew further than that into a very noticeable cause created by the young for the young.
Unemployed, So What? became a digital channel engaging with the 15-24 year old unemployed in Cyprus, which as we speak, have become one every two.
This is the second highest EU percentage and a tough reality with an uncertain future, if one takes away the numbers. The platform also comes into contact with people with friends and relatives that are actively seeking work or even simply those who can help through experiences, share online, enriching the debate and the exchange of ideas and most importantly job opportunities.
Those out of the market so to speak now have a 'home' of their own, beyond all the websites publishing jobs, where they can actually meet people in the same situation, obviously not just for a chat and a group moan, but a practical brain emptying exercise where each delivers their own experiences about how to prepare for interviews, find job vacancies, funding projects and government EU opportunities that will add to their skills.
The platform encourages in so many words, pure activity in the job market, waking up people who might have lost their incentive or psychological drive, to get back in there by meeting others and try to boost their employability, connect and most importantly, realise that they are obviously not alone. There's more than 50,000 now in Cyprus, a sad statistic, but one that can unite all these youths in bringing down the numbers.
It's not just about the unemployed of course but also the support group around them, friends and family who are also despairing to see them dwindle away into figures that have lost their will and motive to get back into the market. The platform provides teaching methods for us, basically, so we can learn more effective ways of supporting people close to us that are out of a job.
Christina Lambidoniti, one of the members of Unemployed So What? said that the idea came up through a successful brainstorming session in class. "I think the reason why the idea has been so welcomed is because we have a diverse class with different backgrounds". As she says, this has brought up the creativity level and thus the content, making a group of students very happy that they can actually provide something tangible in helping through the tough times.
scheduled to be launched and engage with people.