What is Riverside?
"Riverside" youth centre, with its characteristic glass fasáde, is situated at Vaterland bridge next to Akerselva river in the centre of Oslo. The three story building, offers different leisure activities and skills improvements activities for young adults, ages 16 to 20. "Riverside" is open for all young adults within Oslo in the target group. The house is open every day all-year around. The surrounding area has been one of the most incriminatory areas in Oslo. Many young adults are at risk of developing problems associated with inebriety, violence and crime. Many lacking affiliation to school or working life. An important objective has been forming an area of preventive initiatives to prevent recruiting of young people to the vulnerable acting communities in the centre of Oslo. "Riverside" is based on three main strategies:
-skills improvements activities
On the first floor we have a youth cafe, which functions as a meeting point and the base of the "Riverside". The youth cafe is an approach to reach the target group. Adults can build realtions to the youth and thus find youngsters in trouble. To make "Riverside" appealing, we have focused on the Internet and computers which is future-oriented, as well as popular amongst the young adults. From our top modern kitchen and catering you can also get a bite to eat while in the Internet cafe. Youngsters also work here as a skills upgrading activitity for unemployed young adults. On average close to 150 youngsters visit "Riverside" every day. Most of them are boys, but the youth cafe notices an increasing interest amongst the girls. The Internet cafe offers the youngsters free access to 23 top modern computers. Most of the people using the place are young adults with immigrant background. The youth cafe has a permanent staff, but also uses civilian service workers engaged to VOKT. This is a violence-preventive project for young people run by Civilian Defence Administration and the Justice department.
Cafe and catering
"Riverside" cooperate with Elvebredden Catering, which is responsible for the in-house cafe and for the tutoring of 4 to 6 unemployed young adults.
The first floor also act as an information central. Here young adults come with all kind of questions associated to leisure, health, acommodation, school, work and receive answers from our information workers. The emploees in the youth cafe are experienced and have a good overview of the support measures avaible and can therefore refer the young adults to the correct authority, or to Riverside's own social workers. An ambulating nurse or health worker is also available in the youth cafe. The young adults can also talk directly to some of our social workers from the Riverside's youth team.
On the second floor we have the course premises, which are organised as skills improvements activities at daytime. Young adults are offered courses in IT by Riverside IT, web-/graphic design courses by Riverside Design, film-/video-production by Riverside Filmproductions. Skills improvements activities is an offer through A-etat (The Employment Service) and the period of time for the participants of the classes is minimum 3 months and can be prolonged up to 10. The goal is to motivate the course participants to return to school or to get a job. At the IT-course the youngsters are tought basic understanding and repairing of personal computers. At the IT-course the participants get to assemble and diassemble their own pc’s.
The course in web- and graphic design provides knowledge in the process of how to design properly for the web and professional printing. The goal for the course is to help the youngsters understand and use proper typography, graphic and web design, how to work in team and plan and finish real life projects from the start to the end of the process.
The course in film and videotechniques involves everything within a filmproduction (film, audio, manuscript, editing etc.) The course produces documentaries, short films, music videos etc.
The courses are based on "problem based learning" through mostly practical work, but also including necessary theoretical preparations. Up to 12 youngsters can participate at each course. The teaching is accomodated individually for each participant, and the correct level where the individual is at the starting point of the course. Besides individual tutoring, "Riverside" also focus on other aspects of the individual, not only the ability to learn. Many young adults need to get order into their lives before they can start on something new. The recruiting to the courses occurs through personal request, or is being refered from A-etat, Social Services, schools and other authorities.
The topmost floor of the house includes offices and it's here the youth team is located. The youth team employes four social workers. Besides working in-house, they also do outreach casework in the areas surrounding "Riverside". The youth team focus their work on individuals and cooperates with the Childrens Services, the Police and "Uteseksjonen".
As part of empowerment of incriminatory areas surrounding "Riverside", Riverside has taken the initiative to positive activities outdoors. Examples of such activities are fishing, canooing, biking, skateboarding, outdoor movies, dancing, shows etc.
The youth environment is always in progression. "Riverside's" philosophy is that in order to reach our target group, we need to be felixible and have an open organization. Besides the basis activities, at all times there are projectbased activities which suits the trend progression in the youth groups. Examples are snowboarding, hip-hop conserts, salsa-dancing, streetjazz, tours etc.