Serbia: Young people practice a culture of debate

Young people born between 1995 and 2010 belong to the “digital natives”, i.e. the generation that grew up with the internet, smartphones and social media. On the one hand, they have the necessary technical know-how and multitasking skills, on the other hand, they often lack social competences such as communication, empathy, discussion skills and team spirit.

To empower teenagers and young adults, Kolping developed a programme last year that addresses the complex relationship between the self-help principle and the development of social skills: Young adults meet in a pleasant environment to chat with each other, play games and develop a feeling of togetherness. Card or board games or quizzes are played but there are also controversial debates.

In these sessions, the young people playfully develop and expand their social skills. Last year, six sessions took place with 22 young people participating. As a result of the workshops, two self-help groups were set up and Kolping managed to recruit some young people as new members.

As KOLPING Serbia also cooperates with the University of Novi Sad (photo of the signing of the cooperation agreement), these activities are made widely known among the general public.