Mission and values
Brief history of the Association
We launched “The Social Incubator” Association in April 2014 and we knew, since then, that it would be an important milestone for each of us. Five friends, professionals from different fields (business consulting, entrepreneurship and banking) started the Incubator that we know today and that we make more professional with each new day.
But what is the reason we chose to work together? The answer is simple and intuitive. We were united by similar visions in the area of social responsibility and that led us to choose a common path, in which to (re)build in small, but committed steps, a safe framework for the development of vulnerable young people in Romania. Each of us already had extensive experience in volunteering, thousands of hours in which we tried to help especially young people from the foster system.
We set out from the very beginning to contribute to increasing the chances of social and professional integration of vulnerable young people in our country. The experience of each of us with NGOs has shown us that their needs are much more complex than it might seem at first glance, and that without individual and long-term support, real and sustainable change will not be possible.
In addition, the public education system in Romania needs dedicated partners, experts in various fields, who are dedicated to supporting vulnerable young people in the long term. We intervene through a series of complementary and alternative concepts, aimed at increasing the absorption of institutionalized young people on the Romanian labor market.
Our actions within the Incubator represent, since 2014, the joint effort of a team that includes psychologists, vocational counselors, trainers, mentors, ambassadors of the Association and volunteers. We work together in support of vulnerable young people, on the way to self-knowledge and finding a vocation.
Since the first year of activity, we have created the main program of the organization. Supporting young people who have left or are about to leave the child protection system (16-26 years) has become the main focus for each member of The Social Incubator.
At The Social Incubator we emphasize the importance of the transition from institutionalized life to adult life. Only real skills ensure independence for young people, and the programs we run work on their efficiency and empowerment.
ATSI’s Mission, Values and Methods
Since 2014, we have verbalized our mission and values at The Social Incubator Association.
Our aim remains to ensure and simplify the transition to independent living for beneficiaries from vulnerable backgrounds. We are always looking for innovative social solutions. This is the only way we can contribute to solving the problems faced by vulnerable young people.
Our values – those without which The Social Incubator would not have reached so many vulnerable young people in Romania with its message and projects:
The methods we work with that have proven effective in our first Incubator years
· Vocational and psychological counseling;
· Non-formal education;
· Facilitation of internships;
· Organization of thematic workshops;
· Organization of exploratory visits;
· Support for finding a paid job (from partner companies or from Retuș Art, the tailoring workshop – social economy enterprise of The Social Incubator)
The figures of the Incubator
The reality in Romania is not very encouraging, but this motivates us to do even more good deeds for vulnerable young people in Romania, especially in the context of the global pandemic. The extensive risks deriving from marginalization bring us a series of serious problems of the whole society:
· Vulnerable young people end up on the streets;
· Vulnerable young people become victims of drug trafficking and/or human trafficking;
From here, a series of problems arise that are translated into the annual statistics presented by the authorities;
• Approximately 3,500 young people leave the child protection system every year, unprepared for independent life;
• Only 1 in 40 young people who leave the child protection system are employed with legal forms;
• Romania is the first in the European Union in terms of the number of trafficked persons.
Challenging these numbers and dramatic realities is an important impetus for us. We remain optimistic and motivated to make a difference for these vulnerable young people. From 2014 until now, we have collected many stories with happy endings, but also numbers that make us proud and hold us accountable.