Dates of the project:  April 2019 – March 2020

Partners:  CID and National Endowment for Democracy

Objectives: 

  • To provide capacity building for a group of young people who have different experiences and come from different ethnic, geographical, social and economic backgrounds, and to enable them to become the actors of social change in their community by practically testing their knowledge and skills and engaging other young people in the community;
  • To advocate for sustainable access to funding opportunities for young people;

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) will use renewed Endowment support to promote youth civic engagement and dialogue in four multiethnic communities in northern Macedonia. This project is directly addressing the core needs for the local reality in Kumanovo, Staro Nagoricane and Lipkovo through promoting social cohesion between diverse ethnicities of Kumanovo and the region which is of high importance for a post-conflict but multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious region.

Following an open call for applications, CID will select a group of 20 youth leaders, from 15 to 20 years old, from four multiethnic communities in northern Macedonia to participate in a five-day workshop, followed by a series 5 two-day interactive trainings on the topics of democratic values and principles, human rights, leadership, community resilience, intercultural dialogue and community trust building. The 5-day training will be the first training and will focus on the creation of the group spirit and cohesion, as well the principles and values of human rights, and the 2-day trainings will focus on specific topics, such as: Democracy, Active Youth Participation, Leadership, Community Resilience, Intercultural Dialogue, Community Trust Building, Volunteering, Advocacy and Project Management. The trainings will create a ground base of knowledge and skills on these topics and will also provide a space for young people to reflect on their common needs that need to be advocated in front of the local authorities, as well map the main challenges in the community when it comes to advocacy of youth issues.

After the trainings, based on their engagement and potential 5-10 of the trained young people will be selected to become the Youth Bank Leaders and mentor other youngsters from their communities to create and implement their own initiatives, using the resources from the Youth Bank. The Youth Bank will also serve as a platform for youngsters to become the mentors and multipliers of democratic values to their peers, as well will empower youth to self-sustainably manage small scale grants and programmes. The tasks of the Youth Bank will involve: preparing call for initiative, creation of promotional materials, dissemination of call and promotions in schools (and other public spaces, evaluation of applications and selection, communication with the youth applicants, mentoring and support of the youngsters, monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives, etc. The Youth Bank will grant 5 youth initiatives will take place in one of the 3 targeted municipalities – Kumanovo, Staro Nagoricane and Lipkovo. The initiatives will ensure a bigger impact on the local community since the participants will feel the ownership of the initiative and their family/friends/community representatives will see them as active contributors to the society. The initiatives will have to be developed, implemented and evaluated in the period of 3-4 months after the establishment of the youth bank.

The two-day Seminar will offer space for highlighting the importance of financially supporting young people as active contributors to the community in their efforts of creating a sustainable and democratic society. The target group of the Seminar are the policy makers – city councils and municipalities, schools and the business sector, as key stakeholders. The Seminar will be a good starting point for setting up the ground for the creation of a sustainable Youth Bank in Kumanovo, Staro Nagorichane and Lipkovo.

Round-table with Youth Bank Leaders and stakeholders event is envisioned as a round table that will gather the Youth Bank Leaders and the stakeholders on mutual discussion on the needs and ideas of the young people and what the stakeholders can do to support them. The idea is to provide support and financial sustainability for the Youth Bank so that it doesn’t finish with the end of this project, but to continue to be functional for other young people with ideas and initiatives to be able to use it.

While implementing the activities, CID will create a publication. This publication will focus on the Youth Bank as a method of youth participation in decision making and achieving change within the community by giving access to funding and management of funds to young people.  Finally, CID will organize a closing event for participants, stakeholders, peers, media, and community representatives to share the project’s results with one another and to initiate discussions on developing future mechanisms for youth participation.