Project "Include & Activate!"
Between 2016 and 2019, the Slovenian Book Agency will implement the "Include & Activate!" scheme, supported with funds from the EU's European Social Fund.
The purpose of the scheme is to facilitate the development and implementation of interdisciplinary social activation programmes aimed at the following four target groups:
- Persons with mental health disorders,
- Persons with mental disabilities,
- Persons serving prison sentences scheduled for release and
- Persons participating in drug rehabilitation programmes.
The main objective of the scheme is social activation of these vulnerable groups through integration into cultural components with the aims to support the participating individuals' transition to the labour market and to decrease unemployment and consequently the share of persons living below the poverty line. The participants will partake in activities based on creativity and culture and acquire skills and competences that will enable them to actively integrate into society and subsequently gain access the labour market.
The plan foresees the inclusion of approximately 200 individuals (60% from the Eastern cohesion region and 40% from the Western cohesion region).
The main thread of the programme and its content-specific activities will be conveyed through stories featured in books by acclaimed Slovenian authors, to which the participants will be introduced by a specialist mentor and experts from various other fields.
The programme will be divided into the following modules:
- Creative Writing and Expression,
- Digital Literacy (activities related to working with e-books, mastering the COBISS system, and accessing library material in libraries and via remote access),
- Individual modules adapted with regard to the needs of individual groups (e.g. public speaking and self-presentation skills etc.).
In addition to elaborate interdisciplinary social activation programmes, the scheme also includes a selection of experienced guides/mentors, represented by acclaimed authors of books about education and didactics specialised to work with the target groups the programme is dedicated to. The mentors will be chosen based on their geographic connection to the local areas where the programme will be implemented. A workshop for mentors will take place each year before the beginning of the individual training sessions. The content of the workshop will be oriented towards the specific characteristics of the target group, which a particular mentor will accompany. The activities will also feature meetings between the participants and Slovenian writers, translators, illustrators and other book experts. During the course of the training, the mentors will be accompanied by experts from different fields (Sociology, Journalism, Cultural Studies) who will assist them with disseminating specialist content specific to particular topics treated within the scope of each respective training module. The programme will be adapted to the specific problems faced by individual target groups concerning integration into society and accessing the labour market. The target groups and the training locations will change each year. The topics of books and discussions will vary between the individual target groups based on the concrete interests and needs of the respective participants.
Almanacs featuring literary texts and illustrations conceived and composed during the course of the training programme will be published at the end of each project year.