Youth Service Co-operatives (YSC) bring together 12 to 15 young people of secondary age (12 to 17 years old). Together and with the support of their community, they take up the challenge of setting up a co-operative business to create jobs in their locality. The youth of the YSC then set up a co-operative decision-making structure and divide up the tasks and responsibilities relating to the management of their co-operative and the services they choose to offer to their community (housekeeping, babysitting, lawn mowing, etc. etc.). Young people therefore benefit from practical and intensive training in collective entrepreneurship.
The YSC is born from the mobilization of resources from the community: a local organization creates a local committee (community groups, private companies, municipality, etc.) and thanks to the support of CDR-Acadie and its partners, the project can start.
The primary aim of the YSC project is to provide cooperants with an environment conducive to relative learning, the exercise of democratic power, collective business management and the world of work.
The pedagogical principles applied develop personal and mutual responsibility, solidarity, motivation as well as a real understanding of the usefulness of young people’s learning. Thus, the cooperants gradually come to take charge of their project. This support for the YSC is done according to the pace, interest and learning capacity of each of the young people and the group.
Over the years, many testimonies have been collected to find out what the project has brought to young people. The YSC allowed them in particular: to acquire leadership, to learn to communicate and to give their opinion, to make decisions and solve problems, to learn to organize themselves, to be in contact with significant people (animators, local committees, sponsors, the community, etc.), and even to earn a living while preparing for the job market!