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Break down or break out!
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

‘Break Down, Break Out’ demonstrates and documents how new learning strategies for long-term unemployed adults 40+ in difficult situations, can empower them to take action. These low qualified Europeans are hit the hardest from economic pressures and the process provides simple and practice based guidance. Learning through acting in the community, the adults become subjects of change instead of objects of change The partnership finds new ways to help these adults change mind-sets and engenders much needed innovation in adult learning: unfolding in the community: the community is the classroom, the landscape of mentality change produced through community action. The project is based on a simple methodology cycle: OBAMA • Orientation • Briefing • Ability • Meeting and Action This process is an iterative one, with a variety of themes and initiatives, through which it will create a spiral of increasing capacity to act, including social needs and innovation, local entrepreneurial activity, creating resources and funding, health and environment issues and active citizenship. Initiatives start and end in the community, and the end is always a new beginning. Learning, capacity-building and empowerment takes place through community, not prior to or isolated from it and is always linked to an authentic situation, an emerging need, not to an abstract dictum. In the first year the project will work side-by side with the first group of adults, learning to create and practice step by step the community action mentality. This ‘Breaking Down’ year will take as its starting point the life and work situation of the long-term unemployed adults, and identify opportunities and potential resources. An initial group of 10-20 adults will be established by each local partner, who will be supported to: • slowly increase capacity to address the community • build up small eco-systems of networks as a consequence of their efforts • directly benefit from their entrepreneurial actions or take further action for change • mentor other adults and contribute to the Virtual Guidance services In Year 2, second local groups of 10-20 adults are helped, this time mentored by a team of unemployed adults from the first year. Impact expected is that mentors feel enabled to offer post-project virtual guidance and/or create new life directions for themselves based on their new competences It is anticipated that 75% will follow the full activity and change mentality; 50% benefit from the activities in different ways; 25% benefit directly through leaving difficult situations and/or becoming mentors Secondary target groups include facilitators, forming part of the local project partner team. They will build up important community relations and networks in support of their missions, supervise and support adults and mentors and serve as key players in the virtual guidance services. They will themselves be increasingly empowered along the first project year, learning alongside the unemployed adults, participating in their own local groups but with direct opportunities for meeting and working with local groups transnationally as part of four focussed six day workshops held at the same time as partner meetings in four different partner localities. It is anticipated that all will increase their community action competences and networks and 50% will choose to engage in the virtual guidance services post-project Indirect audiences are Europe wide and include local communities, Adult empowerment provision, Policy-makers and funding programmers, labour market services and outreach initiatives to long-term unemployed adults The following results are expected from the project. 1. Breaking out virtual platform including all guidance and counselling materials 2. OBAMA community action Guide 3. Breaking News - thematic appetizers 4. ‘Breakin’ on’ virtual guidance services 5. Video documentation 6. Policy paper on support measures 7. Local Breaking Out workshops 8. Final celebrations linked to virtual guidance services 9. Validation of mentoring competences 10. EACEA – Empowered Adults Conducting Empowerment of Adults The virtual platform will be maintained for at least 3 years after the project and is the reference point for all dissemination and exploitation activities, through the project and beyond. This will intensify as outputs become available. Dissemination is integrated in the project’s documentation and sharing policy with target groups seen as co-creators, empowered by the use of professional virtual networks, going far beyond the impact of traditional dissemination. Post project, the local eco-systems of collaboration will link the outcomes to new initiatives, the project’s policy papers are expected to be in circulation for several years and increasing interest in 21st century learning across Europe will motivate stakeholders and players to identify and use innovative resources in this field.
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8 Partners Participants