Eurodiaconia is delighted to announce that the 2014 Eurodiaconia Award has been awarded to our member Church of Norway for their “13-20” project. We are also pleased to announce that the “Highly Commended” certificate has been awarded to Slezka Diakonie in the Czech Republic for their project ‘TIMOTEI Bruntál’. You can read a brief description of the two projects below.
The 2014 Eurodiaconia Award aimed to recognise innovative projects and services that support young people in gaining access to education, employment and training and that enable their active participation in their community and in society. In total, we received seven entries for the Award which was evaluated by three panel judges: Davide Rosso, member of the Eurodiaconia board; Kristine Jansone, General Secretary of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe and Anne Guyaz, Member of the World Board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The Award was presented to the recipients on 3rd December 2014 during an evening reception and exhibition in the European Parliament in Brussels. All award entries were displayed in the exhibition. We hope that receiving these Award certificates will be an encouragement to the staff and volunteers involved in the work in both Norway and the Czech Republic. We also thank the other member organisations who entered a project for the Award, which were all of excellent quality.
We want to say a big congratulations to both members for these excellent projects and we wish them and all our members every success in the continuation of the work you are doing to support and empower young people in your local communities.
Award Recipient: “13-20”, Church of Norway
13-20 is a diaconal counselling service for youth between 13 – 20 years old, who live in Baerum, an urban community with 120.000 inhabitants close to Oslo. The project’s aim is to be a support for youth and their caretakers in a period of life that may seem difficult or confusing to many. Overall, the project is fighting for the recognition, acceptance and positive regard of young people. 13-20 works in four main areas. The first one is individual counseling, where 13-20 staff talk to youth in one-on-one sessions. These sessions may occur in an available conversation room, in schools, in the 13-20 car while driving, while taking a walk or at a café. The second focus of the 13-20 project is on courses to prevent sexual assault, which are held in youth clubs, church congregations and in schools. Thirdly, 13-20 implements a ‘snatch project’ in cooperation with a local shopping mall and the police with the aim to make young people reflect on their actions and reconcile with the manager of the store where they stole items. The fourth area is to coach the youth worker in the church congregation.
13-20 is innovative in a way that churches/diaconal organisations have been given a more concrete place within the society. The community sees that the church is more than just words and preaching, but also compassion in practice. The close cooperation the church obtained with other actors in the community who work for youth, is something new and exciting. Through 13-20, Diaconia has become a clearer bridge between church and society, and the church is more a part of a whole community, instead of standing outside the municipal service provision.
Contact person for more information: Mariann Solberg Lindtjørn, Church of Norway, firstname.lastname@example.org
Highly commended: “TIMOTEI Bruntál’”, Slezka Diakonie in the Czech Republic
The half- way home “TIMOTHY” is based in Bruntál and provides counselling and accommodation to young people who are between the ages of 18 and 26. The service users come mostly from the Bruntál region, Moravian-Silesian region, from Ostrava or occasionally from other parts of the Czech Republic. Many of these young people were previously in foster homes, juvenile correctional facilities or were living within dysfunctional families. Support for service users is based on individual needs and includes budget planning, shopping plans, debt counselling, job counselling, employment training as well as assistance with improving their living conditions.
This project is innovative in a way that it uses a stage system to slowly accompany the youth living at TIMOTEI towards independence. All the service users must pass the first stage, during which they are obliged to take part in 15 activity hours per week. These can be morning sessions, therapeutic sessions, work activities, leisure or educational activities, cooking sessions or other individual activities based on their individual plan. In the second stage, the number of obligatory activity hours is reduced to 10, and the residents are allowed to leave the facility overnight. Also, the rules concerning visitors become more relaxed during this stage. In the third stage, the service users move into training flats, where they share the household with other users. If stage 3 has been successful for the users, they have the chance to apply for a rental flat managed by Slezska Diakonie in the “Social housing” programme.
Contact person for more information: Zuzana Hazan, Slezka Diakonie, email@example.com
A booklet showcasing all award entries and their projects focusing on youth inclusion is available for download here.