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Project MAR–active, social and inclusive society | Civic Europe
Social inclusion

Project MAR–active, social and inclusive society

Project MAR (eng. Care) aims to mobilization, activation and reintegration. Our mission is to connect and foster peer-to-peer support between people, especially vulnerable groups.


Who is behind this?

Mateja Žagar

Indriya Institute


Who is joining forces?

The Prava poteza Institute



Idea pitch

We are sure that a small gesture coming from the heart can mean a big change. Our challenge is to connect vulnerable groups - older adults, ethnic minorities and migrants, the unemployed. This includes women in particular, as they are the most socially excluded. We want to conduct research to identify the needs of vulnerable groups, set up MAR centers and produce "MARsians",sewn toys/mascots,which represent the project and raise awareness of the importance of solidarity and non-discrimination.

Where will your project idea take place?

Our project will be taking place (mostly rural) regions Pomurje and Podravje in Nort-East Slovenia.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We want to include vulnerable groups who are most affected in terms of social exclusion and the poverty line. According to Statistical office of Slovenia (source: statistics there is 12,5 % of population who we consider vulnerable. So we decided to operate and activate in the Podravska and Pomurska regions. The threshold for social exclusion and poverty is still rising for unemployed and seniors - especially women.
The level of risk of social exclusion was highest in the Pomurje statistical region (21.6%); followed by Podravska (19.2%). In these regions is a large share of unemployment, a growing number of older people and Roma communities. We want to provide a social solution based on our research for acceptance and social integration and piloted activities.

Who are you doing it for?

Our aim is to establish MAR centers which are highly needed in particular regions.
MAR centers will be a form of social network, as connection with others is the foundation of human needs.We want to create solutions for the needs/problems identified by our research. The centers will work on intergenerational and intercultural integration. We would establish help at housework for seniors, information support for unemployed raising social competencies through workshops at the intergenerational and intercultural level, emotional support in life crises, presentation and networking activities to eliminate prejudices, sewing mascot toys by older women, Roma women and unemployed women. The mascot serves to promote solidarity, non-discrimination and developing volunteering.

How do you plan to get there?

M1: Starting awareness for the project and start of field research (survey);
M1-2:Establishing cooperation with municipalities, local associations,...;
M2-3:Preparation for development of workshops
M3-5:Development of workshops according to survey results;
M6-12:Conducting different workshops: intergenerational workshop (sewing projects, exchange of products),intercultural workshop (customs, language, cuisine, knowledge) at in the premises of the first MAR centre (at Indriya in MB)
M3-11:Carrying out weekly on-going activities: Support and counseling for vulnerable groups,Assistance with tasks
M7-13:Pilot implementation/establishment of one MAR center;
M8:Evaluation of implemented activities through a survey and proper analysis;
M1-13:Dissemination of pr. activities and results.

What are the expected results?

Success for us will be identifying the needs of vulnerable groups and suggest concrete solutions to increase the social integration of our target groups. We would change the dynamics in local communities, raise level of importance of accepting and awareness of the needs of vulnerable groups, establish MAR centers (a physical space) in areas of regions suffering from lack of social integration programs. Our project will empower the community by encouraging for participation and raising active citizenship.
Each individual has some unique knowledge, talent or value (as a MARtian) with which they can help or support someone else. Our main goal is to make people feel accepted/involved in the project, aware of this and encourage others to participate through our workshops and MAR centers.

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

We want to strengthen equal access to opportunities, inclusion, raising the competencies of the individual and greater employment opportunities.
Seniors are often considered as a financial burden to the society.Unemployed people are considered less capable or lazy.Roma communities are considered inflexible, even dangerous.These social disparities and levels of inequality in society lead to a split that can seriously undermine the democratic bond at local, regional and national levels.
The aim is to encourage collective action in each municipality, so that everyone should be able to fully develop their personality.With our research we want to pinpoint the needs of both marginalized groups and other citizens that we can affect and thus draw attention to the necessary changes.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are motivated by the desire to raise social awareness that no one is a number. That each individual counts. No matter what is her (his)story, skin color, or gender like. We all have needs for integration and acceptance. Everyone can contribute to society that is unique and helps someone else. We want to combine this into the idea of caring for each other and raising the level of acceptance and help. What we do, we do with our hearts and soul, and we believe that such an approach can convince and encourage others for volunteering and contributing in social programs. The goal of the MAR project is the same for everyone - to eliminate stigma and stereotypes and accept difference.

€ 48800,-

Total budget

€ 48800,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Cost type/ Unit /Amount:
Staff cost (1,2 employees)/ 13 months X 2400 €/31.200 €
External staff (experts) 10 X 1000 €/10.000 €
Volunteers (travel cost) 20 travel X 50 €/1.000 €
Equipment (sewing machines) 2 X 300 €/600 €
Material cost (7 months of piloting) + workshops/7months X 100 € + 300 €/1.000 €
Promotion (design, publications, web page…)/5.000 €/5.000 €

SUM 48.800 €


Mateja Zagar

Idea created on May 22, 2020
Last edit on May 26, 2020

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