About us

Who are we?

STEP – Society for Territorial Progress, is a dynamic and forward-thinking non-profit NGO. Established were established in 2010 and active ever since in Eastern Slovakia. Originally founded in the village of Zemplínske Hámre, our roots are deeply connected to our local community, but over time, our influence and operations have expanded internationally.

In addition to working with youth in our region (workshops, lectures, discussions, and events for high school students), we also organize and coordinate youth exchanges and training courses funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union. In our 14 years of existence, our NGO has contributed to over 200 international projects in 20+ European countries, enabling around a thousand young students to travel and explore the world.

The projects that we organize and lecture on mainly cover topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, social inclusion, extremism, youth employment, mental and physical health of youth, digital competencies, and gender equality.

STEP – Spoločenstvo pre oblastný rozvoj, je občianske združenie, ktoré bolo založené v roku 2010. Odvtedy pôsobíme nielen na lokálnej úrovni v okolí obce Zemplínske Hámre a na východnom Slovensku, ale aj celoeurópsky.

Okrem práce s mládežou v našom regióne (workshopy, prednášky, besedy a akcie pre stredoškolákov) sa venujeme najmä organizácii a koordinácii mládežníckych výmen a tréningov financovaných z programu Erasmus+. Za 14 rokov činnosti OZ sme sa podieľali na vyše 200 medzinárodných projektoch v 20+ krajinách Európy, a umožnili sme vycestovať “do sveta” takmer ticícke mladým študentom a študentkám.

Projekty, ktoré organizujeme a na ktorých prednášame my, majú najčastejšie témy líderstva, podnikavosti, sociálnej inklúzie, extrémizmu, zamestnanosti mládeže, duševného či fyzického zdravia mládeže, digitálnych kompetencií a rodovej rovnosti.

Participants from 8 countries proudly showing their YOUTHPASS certificates after our training course in Zemplínska Šírava in August 2022


Here is what some of the people we’ve worked with and participants of our projects said about us.

“I first heard about STEP back in high school, as they collaborated with our gymnasium. People from STEP conducted a ‘Životológia’ classes where they taught us practical life skills, such as how to open a bank account, understand mortgages, and how to prepare for job interviews. I also attended the Language Café, where we met in a café and spoke foreign languages to practice them – STEP organized these events. In our region, STEP is the most active in working with young people, and I was very happy when they offered me the chance to meet not only great friends from the city but also people from abroad. I participated in two youth exchanges, which brought students from various countries like Poland, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Romania to Slovakia, and I made many new friends from all these countries. I learned more about the culture in these countries and their perspectives on social issues, which was very enriching and cool.”

👦🏽 Dominik, Slovak, 23 years old
attended projects in Slovakia in Summer 2022

“I participated in the ‘Go Green’ project in Romania, focusing on eco-friendly living. Initially skeptical and worried about my knowledge on the topic, thanks to the well-explained initial activities I lost my fear. The unique experience in Romania countryside was enhanced by the friendly locals. I made a lot of connections with many inspiring people. The project, rich with workshops and complemented by day trips, was not only memorable but also useful for my studies. Surprising elements like stray dogs and cows in the streets were a charming addition to the rural setting of the project. Overall, the project was a fulfilling experience, and I’m grateful to the STEP organization for introducing me to this part of the world.”

👧 Jana, Slovak, 19 years old
attended projects in Romania and Greece in Spring 2023

“The STEP Association holds a special place in my heart, because their project in Snina in 2017 started a journey, on which I, alongside other teens, built friendships and delved into the Erasmus+ world. This experience sparked my desire to become a facilitator and grow personally. Since then, my organization has frequently collaborated with STEP, bringing joy and making many, many friendships. The STEP team is organized, passionate, and consistently introduces innovative ideas into their projects. I’ve participated in three memorable STEP-organized youth exchanges and one training course, each unique and enriching. Their attention to participant comfort and effective non-formal education methods have greatly contributed to my development as a person, youth worker, and facilitator.”

👩🏻 Milena, Polish, 24 years old
works with STEP via her organization in Poland