Stay-on focuses on Support Area 1, Innovation and Exploration, and uses an innovative "down-up" multi-stakeholder participation method, where transnational external actors facilitate local communities' capacity to mobilize internal resources and unlock youth potential in rural areas.
In the EU, rural areas are affected by a higher share of NEETs (those not in employment, education or training), and a higher proportion of the population faces the risk of social exclusion. Stay-on's ultimate objective is to create conditions that enable young people to "stay on" rural land by ensuring their access to opportunities, benefits, services and jobs. The project aims at fostering youth empowerment providing adequate skills for the rural labour market, such as digital skills, abilities to manage environmental impacts, and personal development.
To achieve these long-term goals, the project has identified a series of outputs that promote stakeholders'' participation at local, project, national and supranational levels. Stay-on's core implementation activities build on community-based development, a participatory approach that fosters collective action by communities by putting them in control of innovation.
The direct target groups will be at least 1,450 NEETs between 25 and 29 years old who live in rural areas and are more at risk of social exclusion. The diversity of the partners and all stakeholders involved is an excellent opportunity as there are plenty of different experiences and knowledge to benefit from. By providing tools for effective intra and inter-project dialogue, we hope to improve transnational cooperation to benefit the end beneficiaries, their communities, the partner organizations and their networks in the different participating countries guaranteeing a long-term impact well beyond the project's life. The project is meant to be replicated over the next years on a larger scale, providing rural areas with an approach to fight demographic and socio-economic decline by unlocking potential.