Pekarna Magdalenske mreže is a non-governmental, non-profit institution, founded in 1997. Our organization is one of the leading cultural producers in the complex of Cultural centre Pekarna, as well as in the city of Maribor, with focus on independent, 'alternative', under-represented forms of art, culture and youth programmes.
Programme-wise our organisation works in three main areas: independent culture, youth/volunteer work and civil engagement.
Our cultural programme includes organisation, co-organisation, promotion and realization of non-profit cultural events, mainly from the fields of visual arts, films, photography, theatre, which find it harder to gain recognition within the established environment and are actually shaping the distinct programme image of the Cultural Centre Pekarna, paying special attention to the idea and message behind them. We are also the home of Aunt Rosa Library - named after Rosa Luxemburg, library with radical and critically engaged literature.
Youth programmes of Pekarna Magdalenske mreže focus on providing free information, counselling and non-formal education programmes for the young, aged between 15 and 29 (children, students, employed and unemployed young people) and for all, who live and work with them and to the interested public (teachers, parents, counsellors, youth-workers, etc.), with the focus on volunteer and community work. An important part of our programme are also Critical Literacy workshops for high school students and youth workers. Critical literacy being a concept that provides literacy with ethical and political dimensions.
In the field of volunteer work, INFOPEKA is a local coordinator of a network “Volunteer Work in Maribor”, a network of 74 organisations from Maribor, which provide organized volunteer programmes. We have been organizing volunteer programmes for young volunteers for seventeen years now. The programmes, which our volunteers are working on, are providing free instructions for pupils, weekly educational and creative workshops with children with fewer opportunities, climate change activities etc.
We have been an ESC hosting and sending organisation from 2004 onward and have since hosted 41 and sent abroad 34 volunteers.
The main aim of our ESC projects is to develop high quality activities for young people in the fields of art, youth and civic engagement with the help of informal and nonformal learning. Encouraging critical thinking towards the existing power relations in the world, understanding contemporary political and social struggles, developing own ideas, and being able to plan and execute your ideas , are key components of our projects. The long term ESC project offers volunteers the possibility to participate in the formation of cultural, youth and social activities of Pekarna Magdalenske mreže.
We try to include ESC volunteers in all organisation’s activities that interest them and we actively encourage them to create their own projects. Volunteers actively participate in creating cultural, art, youth, informative, social and civic activities, and through their work also promote ESC among young people in our environment. Through their activities and living they gain the feeling of belonging to organisation as well as belonging to community and local environment, they grow personally, spread and develop their fields of interest, and also continually learn during the process.
Among other things, volunteers learn the strategies and techniques of self-organising and planning cultural, youth and other events, and gain the required abilities to work in a group of people with different cultural and social backgrounds. During that process they learn about the projects and workings of non-government, non-profit organisation and perform publicly renowned projects in the fields of culture, art, music and activism. Each ESC volunteer is precious to a hosting organisation, because they bring difference, novelty, fresh perspective, experience and knowledge to work, relationships and projects.
Our organization regards youth work as a set of activities with the aim to encourage active participation of youth, acquisition of new skills and competencies, and to promote social change and solidarity.