painting-wallOur member in the Czech Republic, Slezská Diakonie, is continuing to support young people and young offenders leaving institutional centers and finishing their sentences to reintegrate into society. The project, “Zkus to sám už teď!” (Try it on your own now!), was initially started in 2010, and after being discontinued for a time, is now enjoying increased financial support allowing it to continue to the end of 2018. The aim of the programme is to support young people and young offenders who might be at risk of social exclusion with the skills they need to live their adult life independently, and to participate in society and the community.

The project, which takes place in Slezská Diakonie’s TIMOTEI Bruntál center, provides social services including accommodation for young people between the ages of 18 and 26 who leave institutional facilities for children and teenagers or end their sentences. Slezská Diakonie supports users through group, individual and experience-based activities, allowing participants to discuss problematic topics with other young offenders, and rebuild their self confidence. In addition, the programme also includes focused support on financial management, public administration, and advice and support relating to independent living, further education and job possibilities. The project therefore gives young offenders not only the knowledge and skills to reintegrate into society, but also to improve their confidence and self-worth following detention or periods in institutions for young people.

The ‘Try it on your own now!’ project is currently being implemented in three regions across the Czech Republic, The Moravian-Silesian Region, the Olomouc Region and the Zlín Region. To support the activities provided at the center itself, the programme also allows young offenders the chance to meet with social workers and psychologists, and also to visit the department of employment and the department of social affairs in the municipality of Bruntál, as well as visiting local companies.

You can learn more about Slezská Diakonie’s projects through their website.