This is an archived version of
Rise and shine | Civic Europe
Community development, Youth participation and empowerment, /

Rise and shine winner

Supporting young people to find their place in the community.


Who is behind this?

Lara Žmaher

Razvojna agencija Kozjansko (OE Mladinski center Šentjur)


Who is joining forces?

Društvo Epik Teater




Idea pitch

Our challenge is to engage youth in the local decision making processes and the development of the community. We want to give them a chance to actively take part in solving community challenges. We will implement activities where they will be empowered to propose solutions on current local challenges, create projects and also carry them out. We want them to know that their ideas and projects are taken into account and that they play an important role in local planning and decision - making.

Where will your project idea take place?

In Eastern Slovenia, in the 13 settlements of municipality of Šentjur.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We`ve lost the participation and engagement of young people in the life of our community. From seven youth NGOs there is only one left that is active. In general young people think that they can not change anything, that adults do not listen to them. They are generally privatized in their interests and their thoughts are rarely directed to the societal level. They do not trust in institutions and they believe they have low or no influence on local institutions. We want them to gain trust and believe in participating in civic actions again. We want them to believe that they can bring upon positive change and that their action matters.

Who are you doing it for?

We plan to directly engage around 100 young people (13 to 29 years old) scattered in 13 rural settlements of the Municipality of Šentjur. 2492 young people live in the municipality. Some of them are high school and faculty students (1415), daily or weekly migrating, the rest live in community, drive to work or are unemployed.
At the moment they are not engaged in the community, they think their opinion is not valid or valued by the community, also they lack confidence and “know how” in how to engage and take action in the community.

How do you plan to get there?

Meetings with young people in all 13 settlements, introducing the project and inviting them to cooperate and together identify community challenges that they think are most crucial for the development of the community. Hearing out their needs and challenges.
Making a list and short video clips of 10-15 most crucial challenges of our community, identified by youth.
Youth meets with stakeholders to get info on identified challenges, to prepare well on finding creative solutions.
Training young people to gain creative problem-solving skills to develop ideas/projects and inclusive solutions to meet community challenges.
Training young people to express themselves and be confident in presenting their projects and ideas. To speak out and stand straight and confident.
Young people's solution ideas are published (written and video clips) to be voted on. Three ideas with most voices will be rewarded. The rewards are meant to inspire young people to take part in the solution giving process.
Young people prepare project proposals and local decision makers discuss with them on the feasibility of their projects.
Open call for youth to apply their projects. Youth promotes their projects. Youth votes and elects projects that will be implemented in the community.
Local developers, and decision-makers support and mentor young people in carrying out the elected projects.

What are the expected results?

Integration of youth into the process of community development with clearly defined roles and opportunities to actively participate, rather than having passive roles.
Youth will be confident in developing solutions for societal challenges and in presenting their ideas and projects (skill enhancement, and leadership development).
100 young people being involved and learning through the project activities, involvement of 15 local NGOs, 13 local committees, local authority and other public institutes.
Established youth voting system and process of finding solutions and implementing projects for the community problem.
4 to 8 youth projects will be implemented and up to 30 young people on a yearly basis will gain experiences in project management and contribute towards development.

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

We will support and empower young people to take an initiative and to dialogue with local stakeholders, to express how they see development of the community and to propose their own projects to improve it. They will be trained to be able to find creative solutions, present it and prepare project proposals. Youth will meet with locals, stakeholders and local authorities to present their solutions and the projects. They will be given advice on feasibility of their projects before putting them on vote to the community of youth that will be able to elect projects important to them. Our team, local developers and municipality`s personnel from different departments will support them in implementing the projects.Youth will be heard and involved in improving their and community quality of life.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are a group of people, all living in the community where the project will take place. We daily face the challenges of involving young people into activities and finding tools to wake them up and give them a chance to show up in the community. We want their voices and acts to be considered so they can create a sense of belonging to the community and feel as its true parts.
The team has experiences in working with young people, development work, project management, public speaking, shuting videos, graphic design, public relations … We are a team of local Youth center and NGO striving to create the best impact on the development and well being of our community and young people that are our main concern.

€ 41100,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs - 16.500 €
Promotion of projects and its activities: 2.000 €
Costs for training young people in creative solutions searching process: 4.000 €
Costs of training young people in presenting their ideas & projects: 2.000 €
Costs of creating short video clips with youth and community: 2.000 €
Implementation costs for 4 to 8 projects - 8.000 €
Rewards for 3 most creative solutions - 600 €
16 young people work on implementing the projects - 6.000 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are open to any feedback that might upgrade and improve our project idea as well as to hear from teams with similar ideas or teams that are using any other mechanism to engage young people into their communities.

Project Journey

Heroines and heroes


We made it to the end of a new start!

Reacher for new experiences, new skills and ten new youth projects that were implemented from January to November 2023.

66 young people were more actively involved in the project, 31 of them were part of the training and 35 were the leading part of the project, preparing and implementing their ideas in the local community.

They were the driving force of ten small youth projects that involved approximately 200 more children, youth, and some elders.

At the beginning it was quite a challenge to encourage young people to get involved. Especially as those were the days after the covid isolation and special situations. But somehow with being persistent, we made it. We gathered around the youth center quite a few young people who are going to be involved in different activities in the future.

We built up a strong foundation to go beyond the pilot phase of the project and we will continue with the activities also after the official finish of the Rise & Shine 2022. 

During the project we created the website, the mirror of all the implemented projects and the ideas given by young people. Part of the website is also a voting application so in the next few years we will continue to inspire a community of young people to propose their ideas and vote for their favorite projects. We made the foundation and now it is on us to continue with empowering and encouraging young people to be involved and active in the community.

We are very grateful to the Civic Europe community for the opportunity and support to work on empowering youth and through them in our community. We have never had such supportive and understanding project guardians, encouraging us and being aware that when working with people everything is possible and not always things go as planned. That we learn from mistakes and that from the point of mistakes we can do it differently, enriched with new experiences and cognitions.

MCŠ on Nov. 14, 2022
Join forces!


Three out of ten supported youth projects are finished and seven are on the way to be implemented till automn. 

Young for younger - a team of young people had workshops and games in 4 different local communities and entertained all together 80 children.

Let`s draw a party - we drew two children`s games in community Dolga Gora and renewed children amphitheater in community Planina pri sevnici. 

Let`s improve our community - a group of young people restored old wine pressing machine, paint their only bus station and painted 80 pillars of their local playground fence.


MCŠ on July 20, 2022
Take this idea!

Youth ideas and projects

Our journey continues. We managed to set up a website and a voting system for youth ideas and projects.

We received eleven ideas and ten projects that will all be implemented by youth during the summer. Three ideas with most voices were rewarded and the projects will be financed to be implemented:

Placing geocaches in the Municipality to attract tourists and make local heritage more recognizable.

School of Environmental Protection - a set of three-day activities for children who want to learn more about environmental protection and spend their holidays actively in a fun way.

Teenage week - four days of activities for teenagers to socialize, connect with peers and gain new skills

Be - You - young girl will offer to the community (all generations) relaxation techniques, mindfulness, sonic bath and yoga dance.

Let`s improve our community - a group of young people will restore old wine pressing machine that is decorating center of the community (cultural heritage), paint their only bus station and restore (paint) 80 pillars of their local playground fence.

Camp for teenagers - three days camp for teenagers done by two students in one of the local communities.

Let`s draw a party - drawing children`s floor (permanent) games in two communities.

Young for younger - a team of young people goes around the community with workshops and games for children.

Game board kaffe - restoring and making more attractive local youth place for young people to socialize, play board games ....

Music room in Kalobje - restoring place where youth and local interest groups can have rehearsals, preparations of cultural/artistic and other content.

We are having very busy summer and we are looking forward to that. 

MCŠ on June 15, 2022
Road to impact


Young people and the local community are participating in joint efforts for a better life in the municipality of Šentjur. 

The journey has started with meeting young people by introducing and inviting them to be part of the project with contributing their ideas for the improvement of life in their communities. Meetings were done on line and in live as soon as the circumstance allowed that. 

Young people shared their observations, challenges, likes and dislikes of their communities and some of them joined training to gain creative problem-solving skills as well to develop ideas and inclusive solutions to meet community challenges.


Some of the challenges were to reach young people and to inspire them to take active part and to gain their opinion and observations about their communities. 

Calls for Ideas 2022

In April young people are invited to share ideas that can improve their lives, the lives of their peers and citizens. Three voted out ideas will be rewarded.

MCŠ on April 15, 2022
Road to impact


The Rise & Shine project started in order to wake up the spirit of local youth to take an active part in improving the life of the community.

It is a challenge to animate and engage young people in seeing and alerting community challenges, and in being ready to propose or even create solutions and to contribute towards the development of community.

Some of the reasons for their inactivity are lack of knowledge, skills and experiences as well as sometimes the realistic and very down to earth opinion of the adults what is possible and what is not.

Therefore, a small team of local enthusiast combined of youth center staff, NGO representative and couple of youth decided to do something about it and start preparing the ground for the continuous cooperation of youth in the local development.           


Our aim is to reach out young people to come on board, to take part in trainings, in identifying community challenges, in proposing solutions, creating projects and together with the community support contribute toward the small changes and improvements of the life in the community.

MCŠ on March 14, 2022






Idea created on April 16, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

Write comment