Support of the Activities for Children and Youth in Slovakia
In 2008 a new system of the Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic oriented on ensuring good conditions for children and youth was launched. The grant program ADAM supports systematic work with children and youth, and other types of activities as well.
The biggest part of the grant (2 million €) is to be used to support the yearlong, regular and systematic work with children and youth in citizens’ associations and youth organizations. To get this support, the national organizations with branches in 5 regions of Slovakia at least, will have to get registered and show the register of their memberships with the activities plan (for children above 3 years old). Another condition is a certain number of registered members (at least 100). Further financial support (which can vary each year, in 2008 it is 340 000 €) will be divided amongst projects in the area of youth information and counseling support (the beneficiaries in this case are the Youth Information Centers), regional youth policy (Slovak Youth Council and regional councils) and project management in the priority theme of the youth work development area.
The support of information and counseling development forms an important part of the youth development. In the framework of the grant it is possible to support not only the existing Youth Information Centers, but also to create new center in localities, where such an important form of counseling is absent.
The support of regional youth policy is connected to youth legislation at the national but also European level. The support in this area is meant to make the communication of the subjects at the regional level, whose agenda contains youth work, more effective.
The area of the support of the project work for children and youth is a novelty in the grant system. In the new system, it is not just the citizens’ associations and self-administrations who can apply for the grant, but also non-formal groups get this opportunity (however, they have to comprise of 4 members at least and at least one member has to be more than 18 years old). They can apply for a support of activities dealing with problems or needs of children and youth in the area of human rights education, youth volunteering development and active participation of the young people in the life of school or village. Each year the applicants also have an opportunity to orient their projects on a theme announced for the given year, for example in 2008 it was the health theme – like the European Year of Health support.
All the areas of the activities support in the new grant system have their own appeal; the exception is the area of the project management support, which has several appeals in one year. Thus the applicants can realize their projects during the whole year.
Another means of financing the activities of young people is the Youth in Action program. It is a communitarian program of the EU, aimed primarily at international youth mobility and the bulk of its support is covered by international youth exchanges. This program provides an opportunity for youth workers and leaders to take part in trainings or working stations in foreign organizations. In Slovakia the administration of this program is realized by the Slovak Youth Institute – National Agency Youth in Action. Apart from allocating grants, it also offers consultations for the applicants, methodic materials preparation, training activities and spreading the information about the Youth in Action program and the like. For more information about the Youth in Action program, visit the Council of Europe’s website www.ec.europa.eu/youth