Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

No Excuse Activists Zasavje

Establishment of an active local youth unit, based on the award-winning program of activation of young people who create positive changes in the local environment in the Slovenian region of Zasavje.


Who is behind this?

Mia Zupančič

No Excuse Slovenia


Who is joining forces?

No Excuse Zasavje


We will also include other local units: No Excuse Ljubljana No Excuse Kranj No Excuse Celje No Excuse Maribor No Excuse Obala No Excuse Postojna No Excuse Novo mesto No Excuse Nova Gorica


Idea pitch

Every young person has a right to be an active citizen. We want to establish a group of young active citizens in Slovenian region of Zasavje. The basis of our program is the slogan "criticize, suggest, act", which encourages young people to prepare local events in order to make positive changes, especially in the areas of healthy lifestyle, youth participation and sustainable development. The program received many awards and UNESCO highlighted the program as an example of good practice.

Where will your project idea take place?

Region of Zasavje, Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Despite the small size of Slovenia, there are large differences between regions, which is especially pronounced in Zasavje. The entire economy in this region has always been based on coal mining and industry, and due to the closure of the mine and the collapse of local companies, unemployment has started to rise. For this reason, young people are largely emigrating from the region or even from the country. The number of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 is thus declining much faster in Zasavje than in the entire country, especially among young people with a higher level of education. With our project, we want to encourage young people in the region to become active citizens, to create new opportunities and to change the situation in the local environment for the better.

Who are you doing it for?

We are connecting young people from different backgrounds to make a positive impact in their local community:
- 12 young people aged 15 to 19 (activists) in Zasavje - participants in the program who will develop prepare local initiatives
- 2 young leaders who will be the main link from the local units to the central organization
- entire local community, which will benefit from the implemented local initiatives that address perceived problems in the local environment, and all residents of the places where the local initiatives will be implemented will also be invited to local initiative events. Local unit will involve schools, NGOs, youth organizations too as a part of the activists’ initiative through which they will gain knowledge, skills and local connections for their future work.

How do you plan to get there?

The program will be implemented through the "No Excuse Method", which includes strengthening social and life skills and empowering young people in the field of public health. With this method we strive for the active participation of young people and encourage their active spending of free time. Participants will receive an extensive 1000-hour educational process through which they will acquire the necessary knowledge and develop skills to promote healthy lifestyle. We ensure the quality and consistency of work with young people by following various competency models, which will also be developed or improved within this project, by educating various groups of young people involved in the project and providing support for skills development through a program of mentors and youth workers. Young people are involved in all areas of the organization and are not only recipients of knowledge and programs, but also their active creators, thus successfully empowering them for active citizenship throughout life. It is very important that we allow young people to make mistakes, fail better and then continue rather than holding them to a high institutional standard. The unique feature of the programme is that it teaches project management. Young people prepare local initiatives to let them know that they have the power to change their environment and that their opinion matters.

What are the expected results?

We will have at least 12 young people involved in the program who will implement 3 local initiatives the region of Zasavje. We will prepare and implement 5 joint trainings for activists and an improved competency model with a set of skills, knowledge and attitudes for personal growth. Participants will acquire skills that will help them spend their free time actively, to be active citizens and to also activate their peers and also benefit them in employability. They will have relevant information and social skills to decide on a less harmful lifestyle which will lead to a lower incidence of harmful behaviors. The program will have an impact also on the entire youth sector by supporting the addressing of public health issues and thus on the majority of the population.

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

Our focus is: Criticize, Suggest and Act. While it is easy to criticize, we encourage young people to go further and come up with solutions to tackle the problems they have identified. We let them know that youth work is an important sector that can also make a significant contribution to political events, we educate them in this field in Slovenia and in Europe, and we give them the knowledge how to use their potential and achieve greater change in their local environment. and broader. Besides local initiatives we try to connect people from many backgrounds and in many regions of Europe so our activists have an opportunity to experience international trainings. The program is connected to global SDGs and with EU youth policy cooperation for 2019-2027.

Why is this idea important to you?

The program will be led by youth leaders from Zasavje region who have been involved in local events from an early age and are already active in their local environment. To help them, experienced youth workers employed by the national youth organization, of which the local unit Zasavje is a member, will be available to help the leaders successfully lead a group of young activists. We are aware of the added value of our programs, especially in less developed regions, so our great desire is to expand the program to more places in Slovenia and later also abroad. Our main topic is preventing chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which kill 41 million people each year. Our organization acts as a slovenian youth NCD alliance and targets youth in which the prevention of NCDs is most important.

€ 35219,-

Total budget

€ 30219,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Travel and accomodation costs: 3.000,00 €
Material and consumable costs: 3.400,00 €
Leaders costs: 5.919 €
Employment costs (part-time): 10.000,00 €
Expert fees: 5.000,00 €
Promotion and marketing: 7.400,00 €
Other and indirect costs: 500,00 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

As much advice, comments and feedback as possible so we can make our program even better and more suited to the local environments. We also strive for implementing the program internationally so we would be happy to receive information if this would be possible in other countries.


No Excuse


Manca Kozlovič

Idea created on April 19, 2021
Last edit on April 20, 2021

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