Civil society projects to start in Slovenia 

The Slovenian NGO programme aims at addressing concrete problems in society, like youth unemployment, decrease in participatory democracy, migrant workers, increasing poverty, discrimination, gender inequality etc. as well as supporting the organisational development of NGOs. Recently, 15 Slovenian organisations and their partners received EEA Grants funding to implement projects to contribute to solving these issues. 10 of these projects have partners from either Iceland or Norway.
The projects include themes like Roma empowerment, combatting human trafficking, empowerment of young women, hate speech, psycho-social support to cancer patients, heritage, youth unemployment, environment and eradication of discrimination of LGBT.

DIKE – Empowerment of LGBT Persons and NGOs for the Eradication of Systemic and Structural Discrimination of LGBT people, Enhancement of Active Citizenship, Rule of Law, Democracy and Social Justice

  • Project Promoter: Društvo Kulturno, informacijsko in svetovalno središče Legebitra (Association Cultural, information and consulting centre Legebitra)
  • Partner: Landsforeningen for lesbisk og homofil frigjøring (LLH), Norway
The main objective of the project is to set up a sustainable system of empowerment of vulnerable and marginalised groups for effective eradication of systemic and structural discrimination of LGBT persons through legal means. The project is expected to analyse relevant sections of legislation in order to identify systemic discrimination and establish a sustainable system of monitoring of legislation changes and violations of LGBT rights. We will research the extent and reasons of LGBT persons being under-informed on and unengaged in legal matters and tackle this problem with an informational campaign. We will build a sustainable certified network of specialised LGBT friendly lawyers and a sustainable system of peer-to-peer legal counselling for LGBT persons. One of the most important issues will be the empowerment of social partnership among relevant stakeholders, such as governmental and non-governmental organisations, institutions on local level, academics and LGBT human rights activists. We will learn from our Norwegian partners Landsforeningen for lesbisk og homofil frigjøring and implement their good practices in the Slovenian system.
Strengthening of self-organized communities for direct democracy and codetermination
  • Project promoter: Društvo za podporo Radiu MARŠ (Association for support to Radio Marš)
  • Partner: Citizens Foundation of Iceland, Iceland
In Slovenia and even more so in the city of Maribor, public attitude conveys a conviction that public officials and traditional forms of democratic participation are flawed, corrupt and do not adequately represent the citizens. The massive protest in the winter of 2012 showed conclusively that there is a very large gap between the policy preferences of the citizens and the policies actually carried out by their representatives. After the protests toppled the mayor citizens began organizing and articulating their own unconventional forms of participatory democracy through neighbourhood assemblies, uprising council and other form of direct participation in governance. The project looks to support and further empower the efforts of the citizens taking part in these new iniciatives. It will offer support to the informal group of people organizing the assmblies as well as general population of the city through presentations, information campaigns, informal education, legal support, promotion of formal forms of participatory democracy like participatory budgeting. It will raise the capabilities of active citizens to play a role in the governance of the city. It will also use the experience of the bilateral partner The Citizen Foundation of Iceland to build bridges between formal political structures and the forms of participatory democracy improving the prospects for all active citizens in Maribor.
®EVOLUTION FOR YOU –young wind
  • Project Promoter: Klub Zgornjesavinjskih študentov (Zgornja Savinja Student Club)
Youth Employment in Slovenia in the population of rural areas becomes/remains a major problem, the existing state system does not allow its solution. With local networking, we will develop an alternative platform for youth employment and the creation of sustainable jobs in rural areas.
The project will focus on three target groups:
  1. 8- and 9-grade students of elementary and high school students. Aim:to guide them in high school and later university education for green jobs important for our area.
  2. University students, young graduates and unemployed people to 30 years. Aim: to help young people with self-activating for the job retraining, for the creation of green jobs and for improving their competences.
  3. Non-governmental organizations operating at the local level will be linked in a network. We will strengthen their power and train them for cross-sectoral cooperation.
Joining point »Transition«
  • Project Promoter: Racio Social, Zavod za razvoj socialnih in zaposlitvenih programov (Racio Social, Institute for development of social and employment programmes)
  • Partner: Lyk-z & daughters as, Norway
Transition of youth with disabilities (YWD) from school to labour market in Slovenia is not integrally and adequately organised. Support system should be introduced to monitor them while they are still at school and prepare them for entering the labour market. The objective is to empower vulnerable groups by establishing a comprehensive system of assistance and support network in two Slovenian regions. They will offer informational, educational and counseling activities for the YWD, their parents, staff of institutions and services that come into contact with YWD and employers. In both regions a supportive network of institutions, agencies, employers and other NGOs will be created with the objective to ensure high-quality and well-managed process of transition of YWD. Solutions deriving from the project will be used in proposals for the responsible government institutions and bodies on national level with the aim to ensure a change in regulatory framework.

In the same boat – young guardians of heritage

  • Project Promoter: Pajn Zavod za sonaravno bivanje (Pajn Institute for sustainable living)
  • Partner: The foundation Museums Centre in Hordaland, Norway
Despite the international renown of Cerknica Lake the unique knowledge of former generations that learnt to adapt their lives to the cyclical rhythm of the disapearing lake will be lost unless actively preserved. Now, through the good auspices of the Museum Centre of Hordaland, Norway, a new educational programme will be starting at Heritage House, Dolenja Vas. Young Guardians of Heritage will be run buy local specialists on the preservation of our intangible heritage. The programme will work to preserve traditions and develop sustainable products and skills. The programme will connect generations, vulnerable groups and the many visitors in creative handcraft activities which will help the environment and give local people a new meaning to their lives.

Organization of psychosocial care for people with cancer and long-term ill children and youth in Celje region

  • Project Promoter: Društvo Srečališče, društvo za psihoterapijo in skupinsko delo (Association Srečališče, Society for Psychotherapy and Teamwork)
  • Partner: Diakonhjemmet University College, Department for Social Studies, Family Therapy and Systemic Practies (DUC), Norway
In the less developed regions of Slovenia there is a clear gap in services for long term ill that could prevent and treat mental health problems that may consequently occur. The aim is to form partnership among NGOs (offering support), local hospital (where support is needed) and faculties for psychotherapy (offering knowledge for efficient support) all to empower the ill and their families. Besides organisation and setup of a new social service, major project outcomes are activation of target groups, raising awarenes of equality in different project outputs: mental first aid office, ongoing psychotherapy groups, family counselling and psychotherapy for the ill and their families. The Norwegian project partner will offer guidance in working with groups of parents of long term ill children and in family therapy. Main aim is to transfer specific psychotherapy knowledge and an example of good practice from Norway to Slovenia and then develop it so it fits to Slovenian people and culture.

PERSONal friends

  • Project Promoter: Kulturno ekološko društvo Smetumet / Cultural ecological association Smetumet
  • Partner: Lillehamer University College, Norway
Unsustainable consumption and waste are poorly addressed topics in Slovenia. Old childrens’ toys have potentials of being upcycled. At the same time, disabled people are facing high unemployment rates and discrimination, together with poor public infrastructure. The project combines the idea of ​​recycling waste toys with training and employment of disabled persons. It manufactures unique toys with messages – PERSONal friends – that communicate ecology as well as discrimination. The project will improve the accessibility of the environment and design of public spaces as well as increase public awareness on subjects of recycling and people with disabilities. Old toys and will be upcycled into innovative learning tools- PERSONal friends-aimed for children up to 14 years. Workshops and exhibitions will further communicate on the subjects cowered in the project. Individuals with disabilities will benefit through employment, through higher awareness and by fisical changes in their environment. The donor partner, Lillehamer University College, will carry out a case study analysis of the project, as well as advice on communicating the intersecting topics.

Responding to Hate Speech – Activation of an Independent Conjunctive Body

  • Project Promoter: Mirovni inštitut (Peace Institute)
Hate speech is a frequent feature of public discourse, often accepted and unsanctioned. The project addresses this problem by establishing a sustainable independent body for public response to hate speech. The objectives are less hate speech in Slovenia, empowerment of vulnerable groups, encouragement of active citizenship, and inclusion of the term ‘hate speech’ in legislation. Specifically, the project will setup an independent and sustainable system for regular public reaction to the problem of hate speech and enable cross-sectorial partnership, especially with state institutions. In effect, increased activation in terms of rejecting hate speech is expected and all the key actors in the field of prevention from and fight against hate speech are expected to benefit: CSOs, marginalised/vulnerable social groups, students, university lecturers, journalists, editors, online fora moderators, politicians, institutional representatives, and wider public.

Equality of the national communities of former Yugoslavia and their members in Slovenian Istria

  • Project Promoter: Kulturno-izobraževalno društvo PiNA (KID PiNA – The Association for Culture and Education)
  • Partner: University of Stavanger, Faculty of Arts and Education, Norway
Since the national communities of former Yugoslavia do not have an official minority group status which would provide them specific collective rights, they are forced to deal with factors that hinder their proactive participation in the public life, which would allow easier integration.
The goals of the project therefore are the empowerment of the target group; raising the awareness of the target and the general public on the issue of unrecognized minorities and their rights; the change in the institutional framework of the target group at the local level. We will enforce the fundamental rights of the target group by establishing a contact point, publishing a minority journal, offering free legal consultancy, introducing minority rights advocacy which will be conducted by a cross-sectoral working group the work of which will result in the reform of the local financing system of the cultural activities of the minoritarian NGOs. UiS, Department of Educational and Sports Sciences, Norway will contribute with its expertise on the Forum theatre method as a tool for empowerment of minority groups, which will be transferred to the minoritarian NGOs via workshops.

Meta girls / promotion of active citizenship of young women

  • Project Promoter: Zavod Metina lista
  • Partner: The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association , Iceland
There are not enough women involved in Slovenian politics. Plural democracy is possible only through active involvement of women, including younger ones. The objective of the project is to help improve situation with advocacy, public awareness raising and most of all through empowerement of younger women themselves. A research will be done to find out why more women aren’t entering politics, what are the obstacles they face and what is stopping them. Younger women – equipped with the practical manual “Politics for beginners” – will be mobilised to participate in capacity building workshops. Targeted groups are women (beneficeries 18-40), NGOs, experts, political decision makers, political parties, media and general public. The project is expected to initiate public discussion on the limited role and involvement of younger women in politics in Slovenia, encourage them for active role in participatory democracy and empower them for active citizenship.

Yes! To the Life Without Trafficking in Human Beings!

  • Project Promoter: Društvo Ključ – center za boj proti trgovini z ljudmi (Društvo Ključ – Centre for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings)
Trafficking in human beings is widespread and Slovenia is no exception when it comes to the exploitation of people, being country of transit, country of final destination and to certain extent, also country of origin for young girls, sold in other European countries. The main objective of the project is to raise awareness about the problematic of trafficking among young people in Slovenia through numerous workshops for children and adolescents, by offering them a youth novel, computer game/application, and it also attempts to include the problematic into school curriculum. The objective is also to raise awareness among lay and professional public through the exhibition My dreams, presenting the problems of young Roma children, who are often victims of labour or other forms of exploitation, e.g. forced Roma marriages.
  • Project Promoter: SKUP-Skupnost privatnih zavodov (SKUP – Community of Private Institutes)
  • Partner: Citizens Foundation Iceland – CFI, Iceland
EXIT (izhod) is a social innovation program for activation of users and support for the exit from Social Protection Programs (SPP) enabling them to enter the social entrepreneurship and find employment easier. These women are socialy, financialy and otherwise deprivileged.
The general objectives are the effective exit of users from SPP and social innovation activities and innovative financial mechanisms as a result of cross-sectoral partnership impacting in social impact in social protection system. The project is expected to develop innovative EXIT procedures, tools and applications to enable exit of users from SPP, effective print of EXIT program on potential, motivation and users competences, enable users to enter the social entrepreneurship activities and find employment easier, social innovation activities and activation of users and stakeholders will contribute to quality of SPP and activities will contribute to cross-sectoral partnership and development of infrastructure for social innovation and financial support for users of social protection system.

Eco-ethno Roma Fashion

  • Project Promoter: Romsko društvo Romano Veseli (Roma Society Romano Veseli)
The Roma community in southeast Slovenia faces extremely low rates of education and employment. Social exclusion, prejudices and stereotypes at all levels of social life are deep barriers against inclusion of Roma people into work, education and an active life. The objective is to empower and inspire the members of the Roma community in southeast Slovenia to encourage them entering the labour market. The project is also expected to achieve better conditions for employment of Roma in this region by establishing support networks of Roma and non-Roma organizations. Through the project, the methodology of empowerment of the vulnerable (Roma) groups will be developed on the basis of their needs and rights. An inclusive Roma eco-ethno workshop/studio will be established as a multicultural place with new job opportunities for Roma people as well as for other equal members of society. The project will benefit Roma women, groups of Roma men, families, youths as well as the whole community of southeast Slovenia in diminishing the gap between Roma and non-Roma.

The wolf is fed, the lamb alive

  • Project Promoter: Društvo ekologi brez meja (Association Ecologists without borders)
  • Partner: Matvett SA, Norway
Slovenia is a good exampleof modern interdependence. Demand for food is increasing, recession intensifies, and agriculture suffers, while enormous amounts of food are still wasted at different stages of production and consumption. Effective communication and cooperation between all stakeholders is missing. We see only the tip of the iceberg. The project will establish network and strengthen cooperation among stakeholders by creation of national platform for Zero Food Waste Slovenia. The platform objectives are to strengthen non-governmental organization for food waste prevention activities, to strengthen communication and transfer of knowledge by creating a communication gadgets and tools for the prevention of food waste in the economy, public institutions and households and to improve connectivity, responsiveness and efficiency of stakeholders and the public for future preventive action in generation of food waste, and mobilizing the public. To achieve the objectives a partnership of organizations from Slovenia and Norway (Ecologists without borders, eTRI cooperative and Ostfoldforskning) will cooperate in preparing a highly interactive web portal with toolkits, food waste situation assessment, pilot reviews, communication campaign, contributing to better connectivity, responsiveness and efficiency of food waste stakeholders.

Environmental defenders

  • Project Promoter: Pravno-informacijski center nevladnih organizacij – PIC (Legal Information Centre for NGOs – PIC)
The project addresses the problem of poor and inadequate legal protection of the environment by NGOs, arising from the lack of lawyers qualified for environmental protection and spatial planning.The project will establish a network of qualified legal professionals connected with other natural science experts in order to achieve effective legal advocacy in thee fields NGOs. The objective of the project is effective legal protection in the above-mentioned fields, therefore stronger environmental NGOs and more effective public participation in decision-making processes in these areas. The project is expected to establish the environmental defenders network which will offer legal aid and advocacy activities in the area of environmental protection and spatial planning. Also there will be created and implemented educational system module for unemployed young lawyers for working in the net. By collecting cases of good practice there will be prepared recommendations for effective public participation.
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