This component seeks to strengthen participation of youth, aged 16-22, in local decision-making process and local development through the Youth Bank model in 6 regions.
Together with its local partners EEF will undertake efforts to determine local authorities, businesses and private donors in targeted regions to support implementation of youth driven initiatives. EEF will strive to establish one Youth Bank in the Transnistrian region.
The project builds upon the previous experience acquired during 2009-2011, whereby 3 Youth Banks where set up in Cahul, Ialoveni and Ungheni districts of Moldova. A total of 120 small projects were supported by Youth Banks, within which young people were working together with local population, administration, CSOs and businesses in more than 20 communities in Moldova. The experience showed that youth banks represent a tremendous tool for strengthening youth engagement in local decision-making and local development. Proper capacity building efforts should be carried out prior to setting up the youth groups which are running these entities.
Young people represent approximately one quarter of Moldova’s population, while their role in public and economic life is disproportionately low. Poor and marginalized youth, including children with disabilities are too often excluded from the development processes of the community they live in. The absence of opportunities to support initiatives of youth has a disempowering effect turning young people from active agents of their own development into passive recipients of sporadic aid and often as migrants to other countries.
Initially developed by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to address problems of inter-religious conflict, the youth bank concept has been transferred and successfully implemented in numerous countries in Europe and Central Asia.
Based on the aforementioned experience, EEF will set 3 additional Youth Banks in Moldova. Efforts will be undertaken to establish one Youth Bank in the Transnistrian region. The existing projects will serve as case studies and will be used for sharing good practices.
EEF’s local partners will identify the young people who will administer the grants cycles of each Youth Bank, paying particular attention to fair representation of women and men, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
The activities of already established Youth Banks will be staged up to another level, strengthening their capacity in the area of inclusion and diversity, empowerment of the vulnerable youth, including young people with disabilities.
EEF will cooperate with Community Foundation Cluj and Youth Bank Romania on training the new intake of young people and organizations in project cycle management, promotion, fundraising and networking. In addition, Youth Bank Germany will host interns from Youth Bank Moldova during short study visits.
Under this component EEF will also build young people’s self-esteem and confidence in taking on the role of important actors in community life. The project will help youngsters to build their capacities in leadership, team-work, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, negotiation, project management, presentation skills, event management and assessment of locally-relevant issues.
This program will be implemented during 2012 - 2016.