The project responds to the need to support young people experiencing a variety of difficulties, including aggression problems, depressive-anxiety disorders, addictions, educational neglect, learning problems, including young people under the care of educational care facilities in Elbląg and Elbląg County. Every year several dozen minors commit crimes in Elbląg. Data from the KARAN Youth Therapeutic Centre in Elbląg indicate that 95% of young people end up there because of drugs and alcohol. At the same time, every year the Police intervene several hundred times in families due to violence against children and young people. The number of suicides committed by young people is also increasing. The situation of young people worsened in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic, which did not encourage the establishment and maintenance of peer relationships, often locking children and young people in their homes.
A group of young people aged 15-21 (20 people) received psychological and emotional support – both at individual and group level. The young people benefited from psychological consultations, participated in thematic workshops (on sexuality, crisis intervention, family systems, group process), social competence training, independence training, a series of creative and art therapy workshops. The study trip to Olesno resulted in the participants preparing – in cooperation with the staff of the Rajstopy Theatre – a performance entitled “Would you call yourself an optimist? “. The performance was presented to the local community of Olesno, as well as in three Elbląg secondary schools and during a picnic in Elbląg. As part of the “something for themselves” initiative, the young people also organised joint outings (e.g. to a museum or ice-rink), and as part of the “something for others” initiative, they participated in charity events or prepared leisure time activities for the local community.
As part of the project, a group of young people went through a process of working on themselves – their emotions and their relationships with their environment. They learned self-acceptance, group work, developed social competences, practised attentiveness and agency and independent thinking, and discovered their strengths. The group formed lasting bonds with each other and the whole experience was also a big lesson in empathy for the participants. Preparing the performance and then staging it in various venues gave the young people a sense of agency and greater confidence in their abilities.