This year’s Young Faces – Young Spaces Award goes to the project “Rise and Shine” from Šentjur, Slovenia for the involvement and participation of children and young people (13-29 years) in the design of the area municipality.
In all 13 villages of the municipality, young people came up with ideas to improve life in their communities. Which project should be implemented was determined by voting on a separate portal. Over the summer of 2022, the three ideas with the most votes were implemented together with the young people and the implementation of eight other projects began. About 266 children, young people and some adults were reached through the project.
In particular, the following persons will be honoured:
- Jan Rudez and Timotej Bezgovsek (representing the youth of Šentjur)
- Lara Zmaher, head of the Šentjur Youth Centre
Aims of the project:
The participation of children and young people is a valuable opportunity to solve local challenges. The democrats of tomorrow can actively participate in shaping their living environment and acquire the skills to find their own creative solutions, present them and bring project proposals to implementation.
Aims of the participation process are:
- To work out the wishes and ideas of the young people,
- Establish a voting system for youth and a process for finding solutions and implementing projects for the problems of the community,
- Improve skills and develop leadership,
- Promoting civic engagement,
- Instilling political self-efficacy,
- Building trust in institutions.
Target group of the project: The target group was the children and young people of the 13 rural settlements of the municipality of Šentjur. 2,492 young people live in the municipality. The target group was reached through meetings in all villages where they were invited to participate with their ideas. The meetings took place online and live.
Project funding: The project was funded with €35,000 by Civic Europe. The project was coordinated by Lara Zmaher, director of the youth centre, and a team of civil society representatives and some young people.
About the town: The municipality of Šentjur, population 18,900, is located in the Spodnja Štajerska (Lower Styria) region of Slovenia and consists of numerous villages and settlements. Around 4,700 people live in the main town.