In project weeks, action days and weekly clubs around “Neighborhood improvement projects: safety and security for young people in public areas” we engage with the topics of violence prevention and taking responsibility for communities. RespAct supports the building of initiative and a sense of public service in children in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Using low-barrier-to-entry sports exercises, video and project work, participants learn to stand up for their interests, work together and take personal responsibility for solving problems in their neighborhood.

Goals and methodology  

Our RespAct formats are designed to serve children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18. Our participants experience a significant boost in their self-efficacy and understand their capabilities to become agents of change through participation in local democratic processes. During the RespAct summit, participants discuss their ideas for improvements to their local area with decision-makers from business, politics and the municipality. Participants experience their ability to shape their surroundings by engaging in the democratic process in a very tangible way, when they see their own ideas being implemented.

Opportunities for educators

We put strong emphasis on sustainable project implementation. Next to direct project work with children and young people, we provide training in the RespAct method to teachers, social workers, educators and volunteers in our partner institutions. In the workshops, we discuss easy ways of integrating RespAct modules into daily school work in order to improve group trust, neighborhood solidarity, and violence prevention in the longer term.