Together with the City of Bratislava, we are developing the potential of children in the municipal dormitory
We sealed the cooperation on the Open Future programme by signing a memorandum.
Social innovations must work in an ecosystem that ensures sustainability. In the Open Future programme, we are therefore creating a unique cooperation of the local government, which wants to develop the skills and talent of young residents, experts from companies who are willing to donate their know-how and resources for a good cause, young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds who have the motivation to develop, and our foundation, which is the bearer of the idea and creator of the curriculum.
Dissemination of the programme in cooperation with the municipality
The City of Bratislava expressed interest in the Open Future programme over a year ago. The pilot programme has been operating in the Fortuna City Hostel since February 2022. The full, three-year version has been running since October.
“We want to be a modern dormitory that provides comprehensive client care, including high-quality low-threshold services. The Open Future programme gives children a new perspective and new contacts, thanks to which they can grow and discover their potential,” explains Matúš Ferenčík from the Social Affairs Section of the City of Bratislava.
Unlike our main centres in Trnava and Zvolen, the City implements the programme under its own direction. On behalf of the Pontis Foundation, we provide the Bratislava hostel with a unique educational curriculum, training and support for the coordinator and involved university students and experts. The City provides premises, staff and other necessary financial and non-financial assistance.
The signing of the memorandum provided tangible proof that we want to cooperate with the City of Bratislava in the long term.
“We would like to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme with the City, thus creating space for young people in Fortuna to develop the skills necessary for life in the 21st century. We want to encourage them to believe that they can change the things they want and can change,” says Miriam Šelepová, Open Future programme coordinator.
The successful pilot cooperation with the local government also showed the potential of disseminating the Open Future programme to as many children as possible all across Slovakia.
Involvement of students from Comenius University and new premises
University students are involved in the activities in the centres. They are irreplaceable for the programme. They support the children in acquiring skills and help the coordinators with activities. It is the same in Fortuna, too.
“I am glad I can be a part of this meaningful project. It motivates me to see how children gradually advance in various areas from cooperation, communication, and self-evaluation to digital skills,” she says. “The programme is not only beneficial for the children, but also for me. I’m learning to be more patient, more creative, getting to know myself better, my limits, and I’m happy even with seemingly small successes,” adds Veronika Antalová, who studies at Comenius University.
The Pontis Foundation led the recruitment of pupils, and we also ensured the connection of the City of Bratislava with the YIT company. Until then, the programme at Fortuna had been taking place in temporary premises, and it was the corporate partner who worked intensively on transforming the premises in accordance with Open Future’s design manual. As a result, the city will get an innovative coworking centre, which it will be able to use for work with youth outside of the Open Future programme.