Midnight Sport Championship

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Midnight Sport Championship

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We have designed a sports program that provides young latchkey children an attractive alternative prevention of drug and other destructive activities.

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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Lack of “safe spaces”

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Include through sport

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

We have designed a sports program that provides young latchkey children an attractive alternative prevention of drug and other destructive activities.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

Children will grow up even if no one looks after them. Still, it is not all the same for our children what kind of world they will live in.
Jövöbarát Foundation’s program is a unique approach to drug abuse prevention in Central Europe. It attracts young people with an accessible sports club that is open after school, in the evening and during the nights at the weekend, when they are likely to use alcohol and drugs. We launched a Midnight Sports Championships campaign in Hungary and expand it into a nation-wide network. Our fundamental aim is achieve that there are no neglected children who use drugs deleterious to health in an attempt to appease their hunger for love and as a substitute for their missing human relations. The well-equipped athletic center and structured sports program initially draw them in. Our program is based on the table tennis. Young people organize sports competitions, for example, we already attended a Guinness World Record in 2003 in table tennis.

What are the existing barriers, the biggest problem, your innovation is hoping to address/change?

The main problems are unemployment, depression, and the perception that no alternatives exist contribute to a sense of hopelessness and despair. Many young people turn to drugs and alcohol. Every 3rd teenager tried some kind of drugs. The urgency of engaging young people in meaningful relationships and providing a framework for them to gain skill and confidence in their abilities. To provide an alternative sport possibility to our target group is more than very important.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Our community provides an opportunity for young people, who used to spend their weekends in discos, pubs, or for those who want to spend their free time under civilized conditions, with sports activities, personality-developing programmes, in safety, without drugs and alcohol. We offer alternative programs for the young people which help them to become healthy and happy adults. We organize a program series called Sunday Tea House, for which we invite famous persons who can serve as role models for the youth. One of our most popular innovations is the chance of playing table tennis. Teenagers can come and try their skills in ping-pong; we can offer several tables and professional equipment. We have serious trainings and most of our participants already won table tennis competitions. Our Midnight Sports Club is open for everybody on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 pm to 5 am and on weekdays it depends on the trainings.

How do you plan to grow your innovation?

Our goal is to present our program to experts because we want them to report about our innovation to their professional companies. It is also very important to us to attract as much teenagers who need help as we can. In order to this we participate in every annually nationwide conferences in the topic of youth, sport and addicted teenagers. For example: “Mindengyerek Konferencia” (Conference of every children), “Szenvedélyek napja” (Days of Addictions).
We are also present on the Sziget Fesztivál (Island Festival), which is the biggest and most popular intercultural and music festival in Central Europe. More then 60.000 young people take part in this international event. This is a very good opportunity for us, to reach the youth and inform them about our program. We have very good relationships with the local social organizations and workers, schools and other institutions. These establishments are informed about our innovation as well.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

We would like to provide useful free time activities instead of drugs and alcohol. We focus on the protection of the neglected teenagers and youth.

What impact has your innovation had to date/or what is your intended impact? Exactly who are the beneficiaries?

In our district, more than 1000 youngsters are endangered which concerns approximately 600 families. This situation is mostly because of the bad circumstances, smaller part is because of financial and lodging problems. The current social network is not able to solve this problem.
Our program focuses mainly on the underprivileged children and teenagers. Most of them regard our club as the only place where they can receive a sympathetic face or a kind word. Mainly the neglected children and those who don’t find their place in the world come to us and ask for advise, or just would like to play table tennis, or keen on getting to know other people. We provide them food and a very pleasant society where they can find friends and courses. In 2005 we organized a conference called “Szabadon élj” (Living freely) and we invited several experts, NGOs, teachers and doctors to inform them about our innovation. So we are keen on turning to professional workers as well.

How many people have you served directly?

At the weekends more than 60 participants come and visit our activities, but the real society contains more than 150 youngsters who participate occasionally. Most of the teenagers are underprivileged, they live around our location in housing estates, the average age is between 16 and 20. Nowadays more and more 12-14 year old children appear at the weekends. Several teenagers come from broken families. After having the primary school finished, they attend technical colleges or start to work. Many of them don’t posses a successful final exam.

How many people have you served indirectly?

In our district, more than 1000 youngsters are endangered which concerns approximately 600 families. This situation is mostly because of the bad circumstances, smaller part is because of financial and lodging problems. The current social network is not able to solve this problem.

Please list any other measures reflective of the impact of your innovation?

Thanks to our activities childrens got to know the feeling of success and pride. Our program is an example for other clubs with similar aims. We have good contacts with the German KICK, and we made youth exchange programs. We were invited to Amstelween, to a “Sport and Education” conference. We attended a Guinness World Record as well. Our innovation has been working since 1993 with the same basement. The kindest fact that we are proud of very much is the marriages, couples and babies.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

Our main problem is the lack of permanent financial resources. We don’t have enough volunteer workers but we need human resources because we want to avoid the fact of burning out. It’s very difficult to find sponsors because most of them are already engaged in other organizations. The cooperation of the everyday work and education in connection with drug prevention is tiring and difficult. Our equipment is very used but we can't afford to buy better and qualitative equipment.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

Jövöbarát Foundation receives support from the local and the capital government. We apply to applications from Ministries, healthcare commissions, and once a year from banks and from insurance companies. We receive donations from the citizens of our district and 1 percent of personal taxations from those who volunteer it. A few sponsors help us but this is not a safety financial resource. We designed a new project according to which Jövöbarát Foundation would like to attract the attention of more and more sponsors for donation in 2008. We would provide advertising surfaces, boards for companies. Companies could support us as social responsibility takers. This is a very good opportunity for them to popularize themselves and their services.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization.

Annual budget: $28,600
Annual revenue generated: $29,000

Full time
1 chief program-coordinator

Part time
1 social worker

2 nurses, mental hygienic experts
1 social worker
1 drama teacher
5 trainers
1 teacher IT expert, chairman of the exam ECDL
1 secretary
1 Julko

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

We need more financial supports in order to have more full time workers. We need contacts, relationships with national and international companies and advertising possibilities. Renovating concerning our place, technical background and structure would be very necessary. The lack of professional workers and volunteers are also very urgent problems that we would like to solve as fast as we can. Continuing professional education is demanded by our current employees.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

The organization has a very small permanent income that slows our work in every fields. We apply to several applications but lots of them don’t have feedback or they ask us to finance the project before and they reimburse it much later. This is a very big problem concerning our work. Our rental is extremely high and overhead expenses are also very expensive. More workers would be needed but we can’t provide a competitive salary for a full-time worker though we have many programmes.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

In 1994, “Deviteam” (doctors, nurses, social workers) decided to innovate something against the youth drug consumption. This was the original example – the Midnight Basketball League - for our program. “Deviteam” secured three rooms in a surgery, into which they moved a ping-pong table and officially launched their sports championship program. Young people were drawn to the program and to the sense of community it generated. The question for the team was no longer how to attract participants, but how to keep them involved after ping-pong.
Every weekend there were organized championships, and participants could win awards. Thanks to this more and more children attended our events.
The "Chat Nook" was inaugurated to provide a secure and private room for intimate discussion of personal problems, such as domestic abuse and drug addiction.
Being continuously present in the media, more and more centers were opened in the country.
In 1998, the team organized the first and second National Midnight Sports Championship with a German organization that ran another kind of drug prevention program, and they started an exchange program. The team wants to continue to expand the network nationally and internationally.
From 1999 we work in a bigger athletic center. So we have chance to take more youngsters in and organize training on weekdays.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material.

Name: Piroska Horváth
1981 Medical Univ. - Diploma of nurse
1981-1998 Home visitor
1998-2001 Semmelweis Medical University - lecturer
2000-2003 Ashoka fellow with scholarship
2000- Program coordinator at Midnight Sport Championship

1991 Antwerpen: international drug prev. conf.
1995 Slovenia: international conf.: Sharing idea on international level
1997-2007 KICK project: youth exchange program
2004 Amstelween: International conf. : The sport and education

How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)

Dana Frasz from Ashoka informed us about the possibility.
We would like to win the competition because it is a good opportunity for us to popularize our program and more people can get to know our project.

Affiliation (please list all that apply)

Ashoka Fellow