<div class="page old_photo"> <article> <header style="background-image:url(/uploads/530f578007232.jpg);"> <div class="box"> <div class="intro"> <h1>Please stand away from the platform edge!</h1> <p class="byline">By Ida Adolfová, Slovakia </p> </div> </div> </header> <div class="main"> <div class="container"> <p class="summary">Ida Adolfová reflects on her experience at the 2013 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program in New York. </p> <table><tbody><tr><td>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<img src="http://beacon.by/uploads/530f5388495bd.jpg"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></td><td><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><br>Ida&nbsp;Adolfová has been working with the Healthy City Community&nbsp;Foundation (first Community Foundation in the CEE Region) since 2003 as a financial and program manager. She has been coordinating the YouthBank MaGNeT program from its creation.&nbsp;Ida mastered at the Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. She &nbsp;specialized in Development of the Territories.<br><br><em><strong>Cover photo (above) t</strong></em></span><em><strong><span style="font-family: Georgia;">aken in Banska Bystrica at the Slovak meeting of the YouthBank volunteers.</strong></em></span></td></tr></tbody></table><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><br></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">When I started to coordinate our YouthBank 10 years ago, it was very much about following my heart. I mean, I was lucky to get first-hand training from Vernon Ringland in Belfast, but the YouthBank concept was something new for us in Slovakia, as was youth work for me. I knew what I wanted to achieve but had no experience in youth work. I was young and ready to try something new and exciting in our community. I would be asked regularly: "Do you really want to give money to youngsters?" or "Are they able to make decisions and take responsibility for that?" My answer would be: "Well, it already works abroad so I think it's worth a try." And it definitely has been worth it!</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">At the beginning of 2014 our main donor unfortunately decided to stop funding us and at this stage it seems that only four YouthBanks will be able to survive.&nbsp;The YouthBank concept was so fresh that it attracted the interest of other community foundations in Slovakia. Members of the Association of Slovak Community Foundations decided that a national program would be called Mladí filantropi (Young Philanthropists) and every YouthBank could choose its own name. A corporate foundation called Nadacia SPP supported the programs' administration, publicity, training of volunteers and grant-making. By 2013, eight YouthBanks in Slovakia were in operation, backed up by community foundations and following the YouthBank model to the letter.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"> Taking part in the 2013 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program* in New York allowed me to spend three months reflecting on my work to date and to think about the future. I had time to read, study and exchange ideas on the topic of youth participation with my friends and colleagues in New York as well as with other people who work with youth within their community foundations. At the time I was already aware of the possibility of losing our main donor. So my challenge was to find a way to improve our YouthBank and make it sustainable. I discovered a world full of great ideas and people. A world I couldn't see from home. I finally had the opportunity to explore new ideas and I am still amazed by how my thinking has evolved.</span></span></p><p><img src="/uploads/530f574e4dac7.JPG" style="width: 313px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><em>Ida standing away from the platform edge in the New York</em>&nbsp;Subway</span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">For example I had always refused to ask young people to fundraise for the program. There had not been any need up to then and anyway, young newcomers had never heard about community projects and grant-making, so motivating them to fundraise for YouthBank was unconceivable. But the more I studied and interacted with others the more I understood how the experience of fundraising benefited young people. I learned about assets and needs mapping, social games and many good practice examples from other countries. Though I wish I had had the opportunity to go through this learning earlier and cannot change the past, luckily I can still influence the future.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"> I had locked myself in my community and in my daily work; following international discussions and studying new ideas were the last items on my to-do list. I can see now that I was standing on the edge of crisis because I believed that we could run YouthBank without ever improving the original recipe. This was a serious risk!</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"> I am now 10 years older from when I started developing YouthBank in our community. I have knowledge, experience and I am still very motivated to try new things. But I will try to stand well away from the edge from now on and learn from others, follow the trends and try to make our YouthBank sustainable.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">And I would like to encourage all YouthBank coordinators: “Please stand away from the platform edge!” – This is the announcement I heard every day while riding the subway in New York and I took the picture of myself standing at the edge of the platform to remind me of my experience.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">* 2013 Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program – is a program run by the &nbsp;Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society based in New York City. For more information please visit: <span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><a href="http://www.philanthropy.org/">www.philanthropy.org</a><a href="http://www.philanthropy.org/"></a><a href="http://www.philanthropy.org/"></a></span></span></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica;">For further information, please contact:<br><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><em>Email</em>:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:adolfova@knzm.sk">adolfova@knzm.sk<br></a></span><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><em>Tel</em>: 421 918 326 416<br></span></span></span><span style="font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><em>Skype</em>: ida.adolfova</span></span></strong></p> </div> </div> </article> </div><!-- /page-->


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