Debeli rtič – A place of respite, learning and fun

In June 1956, the Slovenian Red Cross established a resort to support and promote youth health and wellness. Officially named “Youth health and Summer resort of Red Cross Slovenia Debeli rtič” and known by its nickname, “Debeli rtič”, the resort facilitates activities which aim at contributing to the cure and prevention of health conditions amongst children and youth. An added bonus is that the resort is located on the Adriatic coast!

Last summer, Debeli rtič celebrated a major milestone – 60 years of service. To commemorate the anniversary, new playgrounds, sporting facilities, and key renovations were completed to further the success of the resort. In addition to the spaces designed for various sports and games, the resort now also includes modern medical, therapeutic, and educational facilities to treat and inform visitors and their families about living with pre-existing medical conditions. Whilst the programme’s focus is on children and youth, it also works to support seniors and families who come from underprivileged and marginalised communities. On the resort, the “School for Asthma” aims to support children living with asthma and their families. It offers workshops about the importance of physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle, as well as helping to inform both children and their families about the condition, while providing practical information about how to treat and manage their asthma.

Debeli rtič collaborates with external partners that help to foster growth and enhance the quality and depth of its programming. “We are a group of experts focused on the arts and sciences that has been collaborating with youth groups at the Debeli rtič Youth Health and Summer Resort since 2000. The positive attitude of Debeli rtič employees, creative mentors, and childcare workers creates an enjoyable atmosphere for the children and teens who come to the centre,” says Marija Mahne, organiser and coordinator of “Art of Youth, the Ocean of Interests” (AYOI).

The Youth health and Summer resort of Slovenia Red Cross Debeli rtič, on the Adriatic coast. © Slovenian Red Cross

During their time at the resort, participants can engage in a variety of physical and wellbeing activities including educational workshops and information sessions, indoor and outdoor sports, spa treatments, culinary classes, and nature and wildlife excursions. Debeli rtič provides a unique opportunity for children and young people to experience a camp-like atmosphere in a safe and inclusive environment where they can relax, learn and have fun.

Children are given friendship and acceptance at our resort. We aim to give them a carefree holiday, and help them forget, at least during their stay with us, that they come from socially disadvantaged surroundings”, states Dr Dušan Keber, MD, President of the Slovenian Red Cross. In recent years, the resort has hosted up to 15,000 children. In addition to the more active components at Debeli rtič, the resort facilitates several educational activities that not only enhance knowledge, but also allow children to harness their creativity in an exciting way.

Debeli rtič activities. © Aleš Černivec

The team follows key Red Cross values to foster and promote healthy living through practical health and protection programmes. The staff working on the resort do this by contributing to and facilitating individual and group rehabilitation sessions. Rehabilitation session are carried out by qualified therapists who can answer the questions asked by their young and inquisitive participants. The center also hosts seminars and training sessions in the spring and autumn to ensure a valuable experience for each of the participants.


Debeli rtič received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), one of the main EU funding instruments to promote regional and social cohesion in EU Member States. Here, financial support is considered as an investment in local community infrastructure. Within the 2014-2020 budget of the EU, approximately EUR 352 billion are reserved for cohesion policy. Click here for more information, project examples, and contact details.

Basic information

Activity name

Debeli rtič youth health and summer resort




Slovenian Red Cross

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