We started to work in the Kopčany neighborhood in November 2003 when we were mapping the needs of local young people before launching the community center programme. Since then, street has been our working space and a meeting place with children, young people and parents who use our services. It is our playground, place for establishing and maintaining contacts, as well as a counseling spot.
Social street work with children and youth
Through attractive leisure activities, team of street social workers establish and maintain contact with children and young people who spend their time in the Kopčany neighborhood. At the same time, as a part of this activity, they create a space for consultations of topics which are currently important for young people. The most common subjects are conflict solving, partnerships, change of residence, career orientation, leisure time, school results, etc. For good functioning of this service, establishment of long-term relationships based on trust is essential. Street work also enables to establish contact with other neighborhood residents and get to know their needs and challenges they are facing at this location.
The Playground club
The „Playground club“ activity focuses on the smallest kids. It takes place during summer holidays which is when most of the regular club activities „have holidays“ too. During the outdoor activities in the neighborhood, volunteers and center staff study and play with the kids but also use the opportunity to teach them life-coping skills. We invent different games and often the focus of these games is mostly experiential, thus most of them are invented on the spot. Children learn this way that there are number of possible ways to play even with limited spectrum of tools or toys.
Neighborhood and community activities
It is important to us that children and young people who we work with consider their neighborhood a nice place. We are therefore trying to organize interesting events directly here, in the Kopčany neighborhood. Some of the activities are already considered a tradition; others are new, often invented with the help of young people from the neighborhood. The youth organize some activities on their own, with our support. Alternatively, volunteers from cooperating organizations prepare the program. Links to more information about individual organizations can be found in the Cooperation section. Overview of some activities can be found here
Neighborhood area changes
With the aim to create a space where children and youth can spend their leisure time actively and safely, we have started with a few ambitious changes in the neighborhood. Apart from cleaning and decorating of selected areas, in 2011, we managed to agree with the Petržalka city part on the reconstruction of a neglected playground. The opening ceremony took place in June. Step by step, with the help of the municipality, neighborhood residents and donors, we manage to change the neighborhood area and make it a more pleasant place.
Preparation of materials for the realization of the VČAS project (Leisure Area resort of the Kopčany Neighbourhood), a part of which is also a planned sports playground, took us a great amount of energy. In 2011-2012, we fought out a few paper victories and in the end of the year we started with the realization of construction. Fully functional sports playground for youth is one of our big dreams. More about the whole project can be found here.