Students have launched a participatory platform to guide 16-30 year olds looking for a job, psychological support or accommodation.
“The idea is to dialogue, help and guide young people who are often unaware of the resources available to them in Geneva, whether in terms of housing, the job market or various supports”, summarize Zoé Newton and Nina Carnal, international relations students at the University of Geneva (UNIGE). These young women of 21 and 22, who collaborated with a comrade in Canada (box below), are the founders of the platform Yusco (Youth and urban solidarity community) unveiled Wednesday.
The effects of the pandemic
This 100% free site, which is in its infancy, targets 16-30 year olds. It intends to guide them in their search for financial or material aid, a small job or a room to rent. “The participants express their needs and we direct them to an appropriate structure”, explain the two academics. In the future, a list of the various social, financial, or other devices will also be available.
While working on the project, their authors conducted a survey, to which 150 students responded. The vast majority admitted that they did not know which public or private structures could help them. In addition, several studies have shown the distress into which the Covid crisis has plunged students, apprentices or academics. “The need for psychological support is strong; but obviously, few know where to turn, observes Nina Carnal. The demand for mentoring, in the face of dropping out of school, is also significant. ”
Also from individual to individual
If the orientation towards existing structures, in particular in the administrations, remains the main raison d’être of Yusco, the exchange between individuals, for good plans or advice, is also on the menu. “In addition, the author of a project that helps other young people can also make it known through our platform.” The latter also intends to guide 16-30 year olds looking for a sporting or cultural offer, for example.
For the time being, UNIGE and the Maison des associations are partners in the project. Contacts have already been established with the City of Geneva and the site aims to attract various NGOs and associations to develop the panel of organizations available to visitors. “Our dream,” states Zoé Newton, “is for our platform to extend to other cities in Switzerland or abroad and thus create an international community of mutual aid for young people.”