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Group Initiative Projects

Here you can read about approved Group Initiative Projects, and maybe get inspiration for your own projects!


Organization: The Kristinestad’s Youth Council
Contact Person: Jessica Bardsnes
Number of participants: 12
Activity dates: January 2003 - 30 November 2003
Place of the realization: Kristinestad, Finland


Some youths in Kristinestad wanted to make a youthpaper in order to give everyone in Kristinestad a chance to increased influence and empowerment. The youth should be given the chance to give their own opinion about things that concerns them. We also wanted to create solidarity between the two groups in Kristinestad (Finnish and Swedish).

The youthpaper group consists of 12. Everyone in the youthpaper group are interested in writing and many of them dreams of a career as a journalist. We began with the planning already in autumn 2002, where we on meetings discussed about the idea and what contents this paper should have and so on. We applied for money to the National Agency in Finland (CIMO) and to everyone's joy we got 7500 Euros for carrying out this idea!

We started the realization in January 2003 and in April we published our first youthpaper which was given out to every household in Kristinestad (approximately 4000 households). Now we are working with the second paper and we hope to secure more youths to be involved in this project. One goal is to finance the second paper with help from enterprises in Kristinestad in form of advertisements.

This youthpaper- project will have it’s end this November, but we hope to get financial support in the future, so we could continue with our work.

Why our project is a good practice...
With this paper we aspire to improve the youths everyday life in a positive way and take up questions like education, work and leisure time. We aim to give the youths possibility to:
- learn to write and to work with a paper,
- write about their opinions (family, love, friends problems, sex, drugs, etc.),
- take responsibility,
- increase the engagement in writing and reading,
- make better contact between the Finnish and Swedish speaking youths,
- increase own tongue and the second language,
- decrease the distances between the villages in Kristinestad,
- big local signification,
- will give opportunities for exchange in Europe.

The newspaper is in favor not only for the youths, but also adults, pupils, teachers, workers and enterprises.



Organization: ZAK Tarxien
Contact Person: Jeannete Vella
Number of participants: 25
Activity dates: 1st December 2001 – 30th April 2002
Place of the realization: Tarxien, Malta

Daily Life Around the Temples

This project aimed to enhance awareness of the importance of the Tarxien Neolithic Temples as a world heritage site and the need to protect them against all possible dangers. This project was carried out with four age groups: 5 to 10 year olds, 11 to 14 year olds, youths and adults. Throughout the period of their project the young people developed an activity book which they used in fieldwork with one of the groups. A website including photos of the temples and information on how we can preserve the temples was set up. Among other things the Tarxien group also produced leaflets and a video related to their project. The young people themselves managed the entire project and involved themselves in research, artwork, and all the necessary preparations for such a project to be a success.

Organization: Inizjamed
Contact Person: Jeannete Vella
Number of participants: 14
Activity dates: 1st May – 31st October 2002
Place of the realization: Malta
Re-Creation – putting discarded material into creative games

This project aimed to foster the concept of re-using discarded material creatively, in such a way as to encourage sustainability, co-operation and team spirit among young people with less opportunities and other members of the community. Inizjamed encouraged a group of young people to co-ordinate a series of sessions dealing with the creation of traditional and original games using discarded material. The project aimed to allow young disadvantaged women to make full use of their potential. The young participants had the opportunity to meet and work with other young people and be responsible for the research and planning process of the project.

Organization: Zurrieq Scouts Group
Contact Person: Jeannete Vella
Number of participants: 70
Activity dates: 1st December 2001 – 30th November 2002
Place of the realization: Zurrieq, Malta
Participation of Youth in Maltese Village Feasts

The Zurrieq Scouts Group related their project to the aspect of feasts in their village. Youth participation is very crucial for the two feasts organized and sometimes this brings some conflicts between the different groups. The aim of Zurrieq Scouts was to bring together these two groups and other youth groups in the village to organize a form of street theatre based on traditional Maltese Easter celebrations. This helped the young people involved to work for the same aim together and be aware of each other’s abilities. The project was spread over a year in which the young people involved worked on the costumes, the script and the props among other things. The group also worked on the production of a newsletter and a website related to their project.

Organization: Third World Group
Contact Person: Jeannete Vella
Number of participants:
Activity dates: 1st December 2001 – 31st May 2002
Place of the realization: Valletta, Malta
Rhythms for Life

Through this project the group involved adolescents and young children, coming from an economically and socially deprived environment in Valletta, to participate in several drum circle workshops. The project was run and completely managed by a group of nine young people working as volunteers in the organization among which some of them coming from the deprived area in Valletta. The main objective of this group of young people was to encourage the disadvantaged youths to identify new strategies to improve their lives and at the same time empower them to become leaders within their own community. After the preparatory phase the managers of the project accompanied the appointed musical director in implementing the workshops and helped the children and youngsters to play the drums. Following the drum circle sessions the participants made a performance in St. Joseph Street in Valletta.

Organization: Hienet
Contact Person: Dimitris Psoras
Number of participants: 80
Activity dates: 2001 - 2002
Place of the realization: Pireas, Greece
Web Site:
Youth Comics

Youth Comics was a Youth Initiative where we made short stories about actual themes of society like drugs, aids, sport, racism, etc.

Organization: Hienet
Contact Person: Dimitris Psoras
Number of participants: 120
Activity dates: 2000 - 2001
Place of the realization: Pireas, Greece
Web Site: 
Youth Magazine

Youth Magazine was a Youth Initiative where we published with our youngsters 4 issues with the actual news about our Organization and the Programs we are working with and participating in.

Organization: Razvojno raziskovalni zavod 2010 Sevnica
Contact Person:
Number of participants: 25
Activity dates: 1st May 2001 – 19th April 2002
Place of the realization: Sevnica, Slovenia
Promotion of Ajdovski castle

Short description of the project: 5 young people from 18 to 25 years old (3 boys, 2 girls) decided to promote Ajdovski castle with the intent to attract tourists and young people and to show them living style as it was in the 5th and 6th century, to visit different villages around Ajdovski castle and to get to know people and culture from the region. They hoped also that it will make young people to stay in the region where they were growing, to employ themselves and to develop local environment.
The mean of promotion was the internet.

Outcomes: Firstly the group of young people found the appropriate place for computer room and signed a contract for the rent of the premises. The room was equipped with electricity, telephone lines, ISDN, desks and chairs. Security was put on the windows of the computer room, 4 computers were purchased and literature about Ajdvski castle started to collect. Funds from the YOUTH program was not the only support for this projects, there was a constant search for additional funds from local authorities and other sponsors.
Project was promoted on the local radio, people were trained to make webpages and webpages were developed.

Why it is a good practice?
- development of local environment,
- direct inclusion of young people with less opportunities,
- project continues – other young people are using computer room for Internet, to make different reports and many of them are thinking to make their own homepage.

Organization: DZMP Krsko
Number of participants: 6
Activity dates: February - September 2002
Place of the realization: Krsko, Slovenia
Youth Television

Krsko is not the town where young people would have a lot of possibilities to realize their interests. We are definitely not pleased with the situation we are living in, so we decided to influence on the world around us with the use of the media. Usually media is attracted by the "big" themes and events as spectacular as possible, but at the same time they are the only weapon of the small and the weak. If existent media is not interested in our "small" problems, we have one possibility: to create our own media in which we will create the themes by ourselves. Most members of our group are interested in the film and video, but the strongest medium is still television, the broadcast on television.

The elementary idea about the youth television was developed during the film and video seminar in the beginning of the year 2001. We soon made the concept of the broadcast, but we also soon saw that it is not going to be easy, because we had neither the knowledge nor the equipment.

We found out about the Youth program, with which it is possible to carry out also the initiatives like this. We almost changed our minds when we saw the application forms. They wanted a lot of argumentations and details about the project. The more experienced members of the Society of Soft Landing helped us and also the employees from National Agency answered some questions. We found out later, that filling in the application form was very useful, because we knew better what we wanted and needed.

After few months of preparations we began carrying out the project in the beginning of February 2002. We started with extra education in the field of film, TV journalism and creating web sites. We invited several professionals who presented their knowledge to us in different lectures, workshops, supervision and practical advices. We used this knowledge for creating our own broadcasts. In the period of this project we carried out more than 200 hours of education and over 500 hours of practical work. In this time we created 18 feature and documentary films and the number is still rising. These films were shown on the local television in Krsko and Brezice and on different public projections. We also distribute them on the VHS tapes, video, CDs and the Internet.

With these broadcasts we want to influence on the awareness of the problems in the society, especially the problems that the young people and marginal society groups have. In our broadcasts we critically present the people, events and organizations in our surroundings. At the same time we want to help young creators and organizations, which we believe are working in the positive direction in the same field. We do not limit ourselves geographically and with presentations of the positive examples from abroad we want to make changes at home.

With public presentations (especially on television) we achieved better notification of the young and other people about the real things around us and released reflections and discussions about certain themes. This certainly has the influence on the relationship between the majority society on one side and the problems of the young and the marginal society groups on the other.

We obviously poked deeply in the problematic of the young in Krsko with the short film Hunting Young People, which was shown with several (also very stormy) comments, which followed public broadcasting. Comments were from praises (in majority) to (some) threats with a lawsuit. The proof for reaching our goal is a statement of one viewer, who doesn't agree with this kind of (critical) showing of the problematic, because in this way people can find out that something is wrong in this surrounding. But on the other hand we showed some positive examples (Art of Tolerance, Seminar Guerrilla Production, Mocvara...) and proved, that the young are capable of taking care of ourselves, that we know what we want and we don't use our free time only for strolling and drinking. We also succeeded in presenting the situation of the young in different surroundings and their programs and activities (Mocvara, Otokultivator...). We deal with marginal society groups in the short film "Gadjo Hike", in which we illuminate Roma problematic and present the programs of The Society of Soft Landing in the biggest Roma settlement Kerinov Grm.

We also show our broadcasts abroad. After the projections during the Peacefest in Wales we contacted a Dutch group, with which we carried out the project of youth exchange in February and we are also discussing the creation of European network of allied organizations or groups, which would relieve mutual cooperation in the future. With the exchange of this kind of projects and carrying out of mutual projects the young from different surroundings will have extra opportunities for getting to know each other and learning about other cultures.

Why our project is a good practice:
With the help of this project we stimulated considerations and discussions about the themes, which are usually left out of the media. Besides that we made filming and making a broadcast popular among the young and we are happy to find out that there are more and more people who want to do this. We will use the knowledge and experience we got in our behalf and it will also make our profession decisions easier.

Organization: NGO JUVENTAS
Contact Person: Ave Henberg
Number of participants: 23
Activity dates: 15th Mai – 30th November 2002
Place of the realization: Tartu, Estonia

Know how to act: Development of social skills of children and youth in orphanages

In our group there are altogether 23 young people. Most of us met each other during high-school days and about 8 joined during 1st year of university. Now we are all university students from different fields. Since high schools most of us have been implementing several youth projects - mostly concerning drug prevention, children's' rights, social skills education - peer education projects. Since 2002 we are concentrating on social skills and child rights development programs and our main target groups are orphanage children and other children in need.

The project, initiated by 6 of us, aims to prevent drug usage among children in orphanages, it also aims to develop their social skills and teach and motivate them to carry out their own projects. We plan to organize social skills training for 20 orphanage children and youth in the age of 9-17. Before that we compile materials (appropriate leaflets, CD-ROMs) for these trainings.
In all our activities we always include the direct target group in the preparation work as then they feel themselves comfortably in the main part of the projects, which increases its effectiveness.

Outcomes and what makes it a good practice:

By raising young people's consciousness about their rights and duties and by developing their social skills we hope to prevent drug usage among them and raise their motivation to initaite their own projects. By now all the preparation has been completed, needed materials compiled and in September 2002 also the training sessions started.
According to the Estonian National Agency this project is one of the good examples being the youth led initiative in the field which is really urgent need in Estonia. Also to, it is good to admit that some of the members of the core group have been implementing group initiative projects also before, which definetely supports the quality of the current project. Even though the project is not finished yet, the youth group is interested to develop further perspectives of their project by looking for partners and developing an idea for networking project in the frame of Action 3 (please see the initial idea below).

Materials worked out in the frame of the project: CD-ROM with training materials compiled by the core-group

Additional information and proposal for future co-operation: The planned target groups in our follow-up activities are orphanage children and other children in need. The content of our next projects, incl. networking project, would be child rights and social skills issues. In our view within coming networking project, we could work out thorough booklet, which could be used in social skills trainings for children and youth in need (street children, children in orphanages). We could also exchange ideas how to organise the trainings and brainstorm, how to motivate young people to carry out their own projects.

Organization: Akrites Youth Group
Contact Person:
Number of participants:
Activity dates: 1st September 2001 – 31 December 2002
Place of the realization: Nicosia, Cyprus

Campaign against the use of plastic bags from supermarkets

In the framework of the awareness campaign a series of actions took place:

(a) A survey was carried out in the local community and supermarkets in order to identify the size of the problem and to identify European applied practices and solutions.
(b) Information material (leaflets and posters) were produced focusing on the impact of plastic bags on the environment and offering alternative solutions for their use. The information leaflets were forwarded to the consumer’s association supermarkets, schools, the relevant governmental departments, local authorities and media.
(c) A day on the road was organized by our members to disseminate the information leaflets to the public from certain central points of Nicosia town.
(d) An info-day open to the public was organized which included presentations, video and etc. The information material along with cloth shopping bags was also available for the participants.
(e) During the whole period of the campaign, signatures against the use of plastic bags by the supermarkets were gathered to be send to the community and town supermarkets and also an website for presenting the activities was developed.

Outcome: With the activities of the project there was a great impact in the community in the use of plastic bags. There was also printed leaflet and posters with statistical information of the use of the plastic bags and the negative affects of it on the environment.

Organization: Enviro-club AMAVET Nitra
Contact Person:
Number of participants: 26
Activity dates:
Place of the realization: Nitra, Slovakia

Protection of the area of the Nitra river

Project is organized by the group of 26 young people - members of the Enviro-club AMAVET Nitra, who are interested in a clean environment and in helping by removing the ecological damage. The applicants prepared various activities such as cleaning and adaptation of dead river branches in the city park, eco-educational campaign for youth from the local community connected with the competition, installation of information labels and foundation of the educational environmental path, which will be further used in the further activities after the completing of the project.

Organization: SUR LE MOTIF – Paris
Contact Person: Alice Muller Feuga and Audrey Folacci
Number of participants:
Activity dates: 2001/2002
Place of the realization: Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain
Artissants d'Europe, European « cafes » 2001-2002

Alice, Audrey and the other members of the Parisian association « SUR LE MOTIF » wanted to organize « cafes » in a different style in which people could talk about European identity and cultures. These European « cafes » took place in different working class parts of Paris and Barcelona (Spain). In Barcelona they realized a photo exhibition with the title « three word about Europe ».They invited immigrated journalists, artistes, cookers, dancers, musicians, singers… from all over Europe. These cafes became intercultural meeting places.

A good local initiative to discuss about European cultures which could be developed in other countries. In 2002, the organization decided to apply for another Youth Initiative project in order to create and develop network of European cafes in Spain, Poland, Ireland, Germany…

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 Action 5.1 activity 9 “Support for quality and innovation of the Program Youth.”
Project no: 5.1/R1/2003/06 Made by Hienet working Teams in cooperation with T.E.S.