Social inclusion, Youth participation and empowerment

Empowering Youth for Adulthood

Assisting young people in becoming responsible adults and active participants in civic society.


Who is behind this?

Katja Kovsca

Drustvo prostovoljcev Vincencijeve zveze dobrote



Idea pitch

To provide a non-profit accommodation in a healthy and structured environment for young people who are moving to independence. They receive assistance in finishing their studies and gain life skills. Students with their knowledge help children with learning disabilities and the homeless in the Goriška region. The project aims to empower youth to become responsible adults and active citizens who help tackle poverty and social issues in the local community.

Where will your project idea take place?

Mirenski Grad, Miren, Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In our work, we are coming across an increasing number of young people at the end of their studies who lack motivation and have no direction for their future career and need help in graduating and moving on. By offering them accommodation and life in a community where they acquire core life skills and help the disadvantaged (children with learning disabilities and the homeless) will empower them to become responsible and active adults who will help tackle social and poverty issues in the local community. Furthermore, living in a small community teaches them the importance of cooperating, coping with everyday relationship issues and respecting any kind of work which we believe are vital aspects for working in a team, raising a family and establishing a professional life.

Who are you doing it for?

The project’s target group are young adults who are on the way towards an independent life and socially deprived groups (children with learning disabilities and the homeless) to whom the young help as volunteers.
The program provides support to young people in their personal development, improving their self-image, recognizing their competencies, taking responsibility for their goals and offers them positive engagement education, family education, education for non-violence and informal learning. Furthermore, the program provides psychosocial support, education for responsible and true friendships and relationships, as well as offer comprehensive support in their everyday search for life direction.

How do you plan to get there?

First, we give great importance to personal relationships. The activities are based on conversations, learning non-violent communication skills, self-evaluation, community life and socialising. Second, the young play an important role in the formation and co-creation of activities with their suggestions, ideas, and wishes.
Below you find other methods by which we achieve specific goals:
• assistance in building functional relationships
• active involvement of youth in volunteering (they help children with learning disabilities and the homeless)
• self-help groups: role-playing games, Jigsaw method, group discussions, interaction games for acquiring organizational skills, leading small groups,
• learning self-management skills,
• youth guidance and assistance in everyday issues
• prevention and raising awareness of the harmful substance abuse and educating young people for a quality, healthy and active spare time
• learning everyday skills for independent living (housekeeping, cooking, sewing, plant cultivation, animal breeding, etc.)
• informal learning of foreign languages, computer programs and craft skills
• developing young peoples’ creativity and positive self-image: opportunities for young people to create and express themselves,
• cultivating a sense of solidarity and acceptance of difference: providing opportunities for youth to help socially disadvantaged

What are the expected results?

The program aims at long-term results, to ensure better opportunities and to build a genuine community that is willing to help each other.
By providing informal and formal education, we will empower the youth to have better opportunities to gain independence, reduce risk factors that cause poverty and social exclusion among young people, ensure greater intergenerational cohesion and solidarity, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience between generations. Besides, we will place a particular emphasis on the health and well-being of young adults and health inequalities to ensure them a safe start to professional and independent life.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Taking into consideration that these young adults come from different parts of Slovenia and with a wide range of study degrees, after their graduation they will transfer their own personal development and acquired skills to their local communities and to various working sectors across Slovenia leading to a positive societal impact on a wider community. We believe that by empowering these young people we would contribute to a positive social, as well as the economic impact on our country.

Why is this idea important to you?

We run a Family Centre that assists children, youth and families within the Goriška region. Currently, around 100 active volunteers help us run various programs. By working with them, we have realised they have difficulties in completing their studies and need help in transitioning to adulthood.

Project team leaders:
- Peter Ž., D.Sc. priest, theologian, leader of marriage and youth groups, 25 years-long experience of working with the homeless and helping young people in crisis
- Maja P., a social pedagogue working with adolescents and children with learning difficulties for more than 13 years, head of the Family Centre, leads youth groups, mentors volunteers and offers psychosocial assistance.
- Andreja L., teacher and specialist in couple and family therapy, leader of summer camps

€ 60000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Employment costs: 20000 EUR
Accommodation costs: 10000 EUR
Costs of external services: 2500 EUR (accounting)
Office expenses (4% of total expenses): 2500 EUR
TOTAL eligible costs: 35000 EUR
We have donors funding the rest of the budget that would not be covered by Civic Europe.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We will be glad to get any kind of feedback on our project.


Drustvo prostovoljcev VZD

Idea created on April 12, 2021
Last edit on April 21, 2021

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