Dates of the project: February 2017 – January 2018
Partners: CID and National Endowment for Democracy
  • to develop competencies of  young people trough participating on a long term training course using non-formal education
  • to offer space for develop democratic values of young people and offer them space practically engage them self in leadership in an civil society organization
  • to increase competences of young people on critical thinking and media literacy
  • to improve understanding and change view towards young people of different stakeholders in the society

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. The activities will have a special focus on fostering interethnic and interreligious dialogue, and will enable the young participants to serve as agents of social change in communities affected by the armed clashes in Kumanovo in May 2015. Building on its prior NED-supported activities and partnership with a Romanian organization, CID will continue to expand on best practices in building a grassroots network for youth activists, and developing their leadership abilities and collective influence.

Following an open call for applications, CID will select a group of 20 youth leaders, from 16 to 20 years old, from four multiethnic communities in northern Macedonia to participate in a four-day workshop, followed by a series of 15 one-day interactive trainings, on youth civic engagement and advocacy. The workshop and trainings will focus on developing the young participants’ skills to promote positive changes in their communities through peer outreach, community mapping, establishing local partnerships, conducting structured dialogue, and using offline and online tools for advocacy. The three trainers leading the workshop will aim to foster team solidarity among the youth, and will follow an informal methodology, with sessions based on small group work, simulations, role playing, and discussions. The one-day trainings will be held across four months, and will be shaped around topics suggested by the team and by the participants. Two experts from Macedonia or neighboring countries will design and conduct the trainings, which will include topics such as multicultural communication, critical thinking, media literacy, and access to information. Following the trainings, the participants will identify key challenges in their communities and develop at least four public advocacy campaigns to promote human rights, peace building, and conflict resolution.

CID will mentor the youth leaders as they transfer their knowledge to at least 60 peers involved in directly implementing the campaigns. The advocacy campaigns will initiate a constructive, youth-led dialogue at the community level. CID also will strive to sustain the space created for youth engagement, by introducing a two-day seminar for at least 16 representatives of educational institutions, municipal governments, media, and civil society organizations, whose work directly or indirectly targets youth. The seminar will motivate participants to serve as mentors for youth in their communities, and will invite support for the youth-led campaigns. Following the implementation of the campaigns, CID will organize a one-day evaluation meeting, at which participants and decision-makers will come together to discuss the process, challenges, and potential follow-up activities.

While implementing the activities, CID will create a short video and compile a brief publication on the initiatives and results. Finally, CID will organize a closing event for participants, 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.