Youth marginalization is a multifaceted phenomenon and a serious problem, the effects of which ripple through many areas of society.
In addition to the life and psychological wellbeing of children and youth, social marginalization affects their communities, for example, their school and their classroom.
The threat of social marginalization can often be seen at a very early stage. In schools these problems can appear as behavioral problems, absences, and underperformance. Challenges with studies will also often affect the students’ chances of pursuing further education.
Icehearts was developed to prevent social marginalization and school dropouts among children and youth.
Children and youth who have difficulties at school often experience difficulties elsewhere, as well. The Icehearts program brings together a group of children that have either raised concerns or children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in hobbies due to, for example, the financial situation of their family.
The group will form a sports team. Every child in the team will have their own Icehearts mentor committed to support the child for 12 years.
These children and youth gain a sense of belonging and get a reliable adult to support their growth. Team sports as well as professional support and education aid the child comprehensively at home, school and during their free time.
At school, the Icehearts mentor helps children with their school work and therefore help teachers with their work too. The mentors help the school and homes collaborate, working closely with the families. They will also work as ‘interpreters’ in challenging situations between home and school.
These five steps describe how you can start your Icehearts program.