Zaragoza, 26 May 2016. The Spanish Association of Second Chance Schools, with the support of the UfM Secretariat through its labelled regional programme “New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC)” and Obra Social “la Caixa”, organised on 25 May its first national meeting in Zaragoza. Students and ex-students from E2O schools were the day’s principal focus.
The Association’s aim is to give a voice to young people and enable them to express their own reality. Luis, an E2O student, emphasised that “E2O has helped me to mature, to see that I am capable of doing and achieving something and to see the need for education. I’ve gone from not studying in high school to completing my secondary education and enrolling in further professional training.”
With this structure of a national network of schools, the Spanish Association of E2O wants to consolidate a common, effective and recognised pedagogical model aimed at young people between 15 and 29 years old. Its core principles can be found in an official letter, signed in November 2015 by the founding members of the Association at the headquarters of the UfM Secretariat, in Barcelona. This pedagogical model is based on an innovative education that reinforces basic job skills, individualised support for the young students and assistance in their search for active employment, while maintaining close ties with the business world.
José María Usón, President of the Association, said that “The aim of E2O is to encourage long-lasting professional and social integration for those unemployed young people who find themselves outside the education system. The Association aims to join forces and work with existing mechanisms at national and autonomic levels.”
Sergi Farré, diplomatic advisor and spokesperson for the UfM Secretariat, said that the initiative is part of the regional cooperation project “New Chance Mediterranean Network (MedNC)”, supported by the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean under the Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs). MedNC, promoted by the Office of Economic Cooperation for the Mediterranean and the Middle East (OCEMO), promotes the development of a Euro-Mediterranean network of accredited E2O schools that work towards the professional and social integration of young people excluded from the labour market. “Encouraging the human development and socioeconomic participation of our young people is fundamental to achieving the stability and integration that our region needs”, said Farré.
During the meeting a roadmap was presented which involves extending the network by means of the addition of new members, organising a series of seminars and debates on the E2O model and defining a collaboration framework with centres that form part of the wider MedNC Euro-Mediterranean network (including E2Os in Algeria, Egypt, France, Morocco and Tunisia). The next national meeting for all E2O schools will take place next year in Andalusia.
 The founding members of the Spanish Association of E2O are: Fundación Adsis, Fundació El Llindar, Fundación Federico Ozanam, Peñascal Kooperatiba, Fundación Proyecto Don Bosco, Fundación Tomillo