Community development

Pass it on!

Making stronger network of young leaders for local changes in Slovakia


Who is behind this?

Jana Ďaďová

Center for Environmental and Ethical Education ŽIVICA



Idea pitch

In Socratic Institute we work each year with 20 young leaders from various communities – they get an intensive year-long training and make their own local projects. In this project we want our 140 graduates to network regionally and 15 of them provide with 4 trainings, mentors and small grants for their activities in order to start long term local initiatives with and for locals. 5-7 local iniciatives in less developed regions of Slovakia should arise.

Where will your project idea take place?

Trainings in Zajezova (central Slovakia) and local initiatives in selected towns/smaller communities

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Mainly outside Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia has many small towns and villages with their specific problems of young people:
- Higher unemployment of young people and fewer opportunities to spent leisure time make young perspective people leave Slovakia for Bratislava and abroad.
- Due to the crisis of our out-of-date schooling system, training of critical thinking is neglected. That leads to increasing trust in alternative media and conspiracy theories, as well as rise of extremism.
- It is also connected with one of the trends among young people: local patriotism that is in some cases transformed to nationalism, xenophobia, racism, and hatred for migrants and minorities.
Our alumni should identify one challenge in their community and with its memebers search for local solutions.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group depends in every iniciateive on the choice of our alumni. Mostly they work with local youth from high schools, young people (families with small children, singles up to 35) and elderly. Our methodology is, that our students always make detailed problem analysis and identify needs of their community. As mentioned above, they have to cooperate with locals, involve them in finding solutions and organization of their activities. In this way we strongly support participation and common problem solving. All our students get training in facilitation and how to work with people with different opinions.

How do you plan to get there?

We will carry on 4 weekend trainings for 15 alumni with topics as personal vision, communication with media, couching methods and community organizing. 2-3 alumni will make problem analysis in their community and during 1st training they will discuss the project proposals and pripare joined projects. They will get also their mentor and small grant for basic activities. 5-7 local initiatives should arise. In addition we will also organize 3 regional meetings and 6 local festival Showcrates so that the alumni have opportunity to show results of their work and present inspirational activities to the locals. We will publish a text book ( extended 2nd edition) with topics as project management, work with media, facilitation, leadership and active citizenship that will be also offered to locals.

What are the expected results?

5-7 new strong local initiatives: actively involved at least 15 locals in each of them and the specific projects goals of our alumni in their project will be reached
Empowered local community should have stronger voice in Slovak regions: there should be at least 4 media outputs (local, regional or national) about activities and outcomes of each initiative.
Follow up activities for next 6 months should be planned there.
The alumni community will be networked regionally: 80% of alumni from every 3 main Slovak regions (West, Center, East) meet at least once.

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

Participation, critical thinking and dialogue are the key principles of all our activities. Our students have to do their projects as volunteers and philanthropically, involving the community in all stages of project: identifying problem, planning, implementation and evaluation. They should also be an active part of the community and create a core team from locals. Our students get a basic training in legal system and using tools in order to demand their rights in local level. They are also trained how to work with local media and communicate their projects, and how to use their power in correct way not misusing it against less powerful. We are convinced that they will use what they have learnt in their future work and pass these methods to their peers.

Why is this idea important to you?

In September 2020 we will start our 8th academic year with 22 new students and we will have a potential network of 147 alumni. On one hand our alumni are asking for more education and networking. On the other hand we are aware of great potential of cooperation and synergy effect of mutual alumni work. We also need to innovate our activities, get some new ideas, inspirations and feedback from abroad; and improve our methodology. And last but not least is our vision: make a strong network of cooperating young leader who are supporting each other in humble work for empaworing their communities and eventually making visible changes in Slovakia.

€ 55850,-

Total budget

€ 43760,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

4 weekend trainings: 6780 € (8820 €)*
Microgrants: 10000 € (10000 €)
3 local meetings: 300 € (300 €)
6 Festival Showcrates: 1200 € (1200 €)
Textbook: 2000 € (4000€)
Personnel costs: 14300 € (21450 €)
PR: 4400€ (4700 €)
Office expenses: 3780 (5380 €)
*total sum in brackets; for cofinancing we have other partners and individual donors; we want also our alumni to cover part of the expenses of trainings - food and accomodation (150-200 € each)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

During the standard year study we teach students how to fundraise for their projects - they won´t get any financial from us. As they already have fundraising skills, during this project we would like to give them micro-grants to save their time and focus more on content. What do you think about it?


Jana Dadova

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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