The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) supports youth-led organizations that foster peaceful and inclusive societies by providing direct funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Established in 2008, the Fund responded to calls for action made by youth-led organizations around the world on the importance of establishing funding mechanisms for youth. Today, the Fund is more relevant than ever: As the global agenda increasingly speaks of youth’s participation and contribution to peace, development and security, it is critical to support this participation and contribution through funding and partnership opportunities.
The funded projects are youth-led and youth-focused (18-35 years) but have an impact on entire communities, often involving religious or political leaders, policy-makers, educational institutions and media organizations. The Fund also links small scale and local work to larger movements for social and global change, for a broader and deeper impact.
UNAOC offers technical support and capacity building to the organizations during and/or after the implementation of funded projects in the areas of gender mainstreaming, media relations, advocacy, financial management, networking, sustainability, monitoring and evaluation.
The projects funded by the YSF target young people from various backgrounds: students, marginalized youth, minorities, youth in rural or urban areas, youth in conflict or post-conflict situations, artists and activists. The youth-led organizations employ creative methodologies to break stereotypes, improve intercultural relations and promote a culture of peace:
- Educational activities, ranging from one-day awareness raising sessions to week-long trainings, peer-education activities, summer camps, as well as development of educational materials and tools and creation of networks of student leaders and youth clubs;
- Arts and sports as tools to address conflict in a non-violent way, to promote inter-community understanding and to raise-awareness about the dangers of sectarianism, extremism and radicalization;
- Media and social-media campaigns, video production for advocacy purposes and radio series to promote messages of tolerance and peace;
- Creative settings that facilitate intercultural dialogue, interfaith understanding, sharing of experiences and learning from each other in order to bring meaningful change to their society.
The application deadline is 16 February 2018, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (New York).
Eligibility criteria for youth organizations:
Youth organizations are subject to the same criteria as other partners of the United Nations System in that they must be accountable, transparent and refrain from all discriminatory practices.
To be eligible, applying youth organizations need to fulfill each and every one of the following criteria:
- Be youth-led: a majority of the positions and decision-making roles within the organization are held by women and men between the ages of 18 and 35;
- Be a non-profit, non-governmental organization (with the exception of national youth councils) registered in the country of operation as a charity, trust, foundation or association;
- Be officially registered and operational for a minimum of 2 years at the time of the application with funding base and project implementation (e.g. registered in January 2016 or earlier);
- Be registered and operate in one of the aforementioned countries;
- Have a democratic governance structure and decision making mechanism, including consultative processes in formulating priorities and policies;
- Have an ability to demonstrate proper and consistent monitoring, evaluation and record-keeping of their activities, including project evaluation reports and financial accounts;
- Have a gender perspective/balance reflected in their staff, beneficiaries and activities;
- Have no adherence to or affiliations with violent ideologies or antagonism against any particular country, culture, religion or belief system, ethnic group, gender, etc.; and
- Did not receive funding under past editions of YSF or did not receive the Intercultural Innovation Award.
Note: If you applied to YSF in the past, but were not selected, you can apply to YSF again.
Eligible countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, People’s Republic
Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial, Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan
Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya
Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda
Saint Helena, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Visit the UNAOC Youth Solidarity Fund website for more information and guidelines