Counselling and Educational Centre for children, youth and social inclusion
Ambidekster klub / Ambidexter club is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that contributes to a personal development, development of competences and a quality of life of children, youth and their families in Croatian society. It was founded in 2003 by motivated professionals - social pedagogues and educators, psychologists and artists that wanted to develop activities and services in accordance to the needs of children and youth. Since then, our focus has been on raising the quality of life of individuals and groups through tailor made activities, innovative programs, projects and professional interventions based on the principles of co-creation, participation and dialogue. We are specially focused on empowerment and social inclusion of vulnerable groups of children and youth, such as Roma children at risk of social exclusion, children facing poverty, youth with behavioural problems and NEET youth.
OUR MISSION is to contribute to the protection of human rights, social inclusion and raising the quality of life of individuals and groups, especially children and youth. This especially applies to groups that are at higher risk of social exclusion, such as children and youth with behavioural problems, as well as vulnerable children and youth with fewer opportunities and obstacles preventing social inclusion. In order to contribute to the realization of this mission, Ambidekster klub provides social services through various preventative and treatment programs, as well as professional interventions designed by an interdisciplinary team of enthusiasts and experts.
THE GOALS of Ambidekster klub / Ambidexter club are focused on:
- Development of non-formal education and social service programs for healthy development, competence building, social empowerment and inclusion of children, youth and adults;
- Development of education and lifelong learning programs for parents, teachers and professionals, focused on well-being and active participation of all stakeholders in the local community in order to improve living conditions of children, youth and families;
- Promoting activism, volunteering and self-organization of individuals, groups and communities;
- Developing social capital and strong civil society by associating and networking with other civil society organizations and institutions in Croatia and abroad, in order to promote the protection of human rights and raise social responsibility and environmental awareness
A large number of implemented programs and projects at a national, local and international level make the majority of Ambidekster klub / Ambidexter club activities and are focused primarily on providing social services and non-formal education.
Stakeholders in local communities are also actively involved in the implementation of projects and programs, especially employees of primary and secondary schools, social welfare and culture centres, police administrations, libraries, etc.
Included groups and beneficiaries of activities of Ambidekster klub / Ambidexter club are:
- Children, youth and their families;
- Young activists and volunteers who organize activities in and for the community;
- Youth and adults in conflict with law (prisoners, perpetrators of offenses);
- Experts from the social welfare system, judiciary, education system, health;
- Civil society organizations that can be involved in various forms of education and training in the fields of youth work and work with children and families, working socially vulnerable groups, as well as those with social disadvantages.
Prevention programs are implemented in cooperation with schools, approved by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, as well as the Agency for Teachers Training.
Psychosocial support and treatment is carried out in the counselling centre through individual and group psychosocial work and counselling. The latter is carried out by our experts and professional network of psychotherapists, social pedagogues, social workers and psychologists.
The Ambidexter club /Ambidekster klub is dedicated to youth work, psychosocial and socio-educational support to children, youth and vulnerable people. Ambidekster klub is recognized as an organization that systematically and continuously contributes to the prevention of isolation of youth with behavioural disorders from family environment and more effective implementation of non- institutional measures and interventions intended for children, young people and families (Social plan of the City of Zagreb 2014-2020).
Young people and their families are provided with comprehensive, integrated psychosocial support in partnership with social welfare centres, educational institutions and organizations of civil society. A comprehensive way of conducting a service involves creating an individualized program and tailor made service / psychosocial treatment according to the needs of each beneficiary (individual counselling and individual social pedagogical professional work, group counselling and education, support of volunteers in various forms of professional work).
OVERVIEW OF PROJECTS AN ACTIVITIES
The Ambidexter club /Ambidekster klub implements an average of six programs / projects per year and includes from 2700 to 4700 participants per year as well as 40-100 volunteers.
The Ambidexter club /Ambidekster klub is the founder of two counselling centres: SPIRIT in Zagreb-Dubrava and 'Boomerang Youth Counselling' in Gospić.
'Sunčana strana ulice' – Eng. "The Sunny Side of the Street" program also includes children, youth and their families in need of psychosocial support. The program has been implemented in four counties and was presented in the manual „Sunčana strana ulice - program za osnaživanje mladih PUPovaca“- Eng. "Sunny side of the street - a program for empowering young people with behavioural problems". It is co-financed by the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, City of Zagreb and the City of Gospić, with the average number of participants from 300 to 400 per year.
The Ambidexter club /Ambidekster klub conducts external evaluations and publishes results of programs. One of the key finding of evaluations is that a high percentage of so-called "involuntary" participants (85% to be exact) referred to us by the Centre for Social Welfare complete the program. In addition, they often express satisfaction with the counselling and counsellor. Personal change is possible only when participants take responsibility for making a change and for their actions. Therefore, the basis of all interventions is the voluntary nature, regardless of the method of their referral. After the initial interviews, a form of professional assistance is proposed and a comprehensive social service is planned if needed.
Increase of parents and youth involving in counselling voluntarily has recently been noticed. Voluntary involvement was increased by 280% in 2017, compared to 2014.
Given the growing popularity of the Ambidekster klub in local community, social services are becoming more accessible and self-initiated.
As stated by Valentina Kranželić, PhD: “The implementation of the program, while ensuring high levels of users participation, is described as a reciprocal process in which all participants create ways to achieve common and individual goals. Quality is proven by monitoring and evaluation of achieved changes, that is, the level of achievement of jointly set goals. That way a comprehensive approach is enabled which represents the highest standard of intervention, quality carried out “with young people” and “in cooperation with young people”.