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Armenian Progressive Youth NGO


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Armenian Progressive Youth NGO

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A society, where young people achieve their full potential and become engaged and responsible citizens. They participate in decision-making processes and shape a democratic society. Armenia, where young people have enthusiasm, progressive values and willingness to make social and political changes in their communities.

The problem we are trying to solve:

Young people living in deprived areas in Armenia, particularly young women from low income families face strong labor market challenges. Youth Unemployment is alarmingly high in Armenia. It stands at the rate of 37%, making it the highest youth unemployment rate in the Eastern Partnership region. Even though the rate of youth unemployment is high among young people compared to the adult unemployment rate, the unemployment rate is much higher among young people with fewer opportunities (including IDPs, young LGBTQ+ people, young people with disabilities, rural youth, etc.) who have less chances and opportunities to access labor market and find quality jobs.

 

Within our current programming we support young people to build their capacity through providing capacity development trainings on entrepreneurship and fostering soft skills. In the long-run, we aim to foster the employability and self-employability of our young population in Armenia thereby decreasing the levels of poverty, urbanization and migration to urban centers and increasing youth participation and integration in social, civic, political and economic domains.

 

Vulnerable and marginalized young people in Armenia face high levels of isolation as well as social and economic exclusion. High rates of youth unemployment leads to economic inequality and disengagement of vulnerable youth. Armenia has been rapidly depopulating in the course of the last decades. Due to high rates of youth unemployment and lack of sustainable and quality jobs in the rural areas, young people migrate to larger urban communities in order to find decent jobs.

 

This leads to urbanization, extreme poverty, “brain drain” and migration. There have been hardly any successful, comprehensive and inclusive attempts to encourage youth employment, social innovations and social entrepreneurship through engaging young people and women. Thus, the potential of youth and, especially, young women and girls remains unlocked.  

 


The solution we are proposing:

Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (APY) submits this application to request an institutional support in order to continue its operations in a full capacity, responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by COVID19 and the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

This humanitarian crisis comes in a very difficult time for the organization. For the past 2 years, APY has been functioning in its full capacity to support underprivileged populations affected by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, APY supported around 10.000 people across Armenia with monthly food, hygiene and healthcare supplies.

Today, the public health crisis in Armenia is coupled with a much larger humanitarian disaster. APY recognizes that with limited human and financial resources it may not be able to fulfill its responsibility in continuing to meet the emerging needs in our community in the long-term.

By requesting this funding, APY aims to cover its operational and organizational expenses for the next 12 months, continuing its activities aimed at meeting the most acute needs of young people - specifically the displaced population. Additionally, we plan to use the support in order to close the gaps between our organizational capacity and the emerging needs by recruiting social workers and psychologists to work with conflict-affected women and children who have found a new home in Armenia.

As a result of this support APY will be able to:
A) Reallocate its human and financial recourses to provide humanitarian support to conflict-affected people and IDP’s in Yerevan.
B) Recruit social workers and psychologists to work with conflict-affected women and children, providing social and psychological counselling.
C) Provide new services to its beneficiaries, including supporting displaced children and teenagers with an in-house schooling and leisure activities, matching unemployed IDP women with employers and facilitating their return to normal livelihoods.
D) Conducting needs assessment interviews and designing new tailor made humanitarian support schemes.
E) Work on contingency planning and prepare the organization to respond to new potential humanitarian risks.
F) Provide flexible response to possible needs of the community/beneficiaries through contingency fund.
G) Keep its office and avoid suspension of contracts with staff members during the crisis.
H) Continue its COVID-19 rapid response initiative and fundraising campaign to support seniors, single mothers and unemployed people at the age of high risk with monthly food supplies.
I) Obtain necessary equipment, medical masks, hand sanitizers and other protective gear to ensure the health security of APY staff members and volunteers.


Due to humanitarian crisis, some of the projects of APY have been stopped for the time being and the organization looks for alternative funds to cover its overheads, office and staff costs in order to continue responding to immediate needs. Despite of the lack of financing, the organization continuous its full operations, works 7 days a week with 3 shifts to continue provision of various services to conflict-affected population. Currently, the organization tries to reallocate its funds available to be able to respond to emerging needs of displaced citizens.

In case the institutional funding is granted, APY will continue meeting the most acute needs of the displaced population, closing the gaps between its organizational capacity and the emerging needs in the community.

In addition to the current work and daily operations, APY aims to recruit social workers and psychologists to work with conflict-affected women and children who have found a new home or a temporary shelter in Yerevan.

Furthermore, based on our experience of socio-economic engagement projects targeting Syrian refugees, APY recognizes that we need to offer several new services to our beneficiaries, such as psychological support and counselling, supporting displaced children and teenagers with an in-house schooling and leisure activities, matching unemployed IDP women with employers and facilitating their return to normal livelihoods.

APY will be conducting needs assessment interviews in order to design new tailor made support schemes, which will be set up once the basic needs of the beneficiaries are met. The needs of conflict-affected people in Armenia are changing every day, thus it is important to operatively respond and monitor these changes.

What success looks like for us:

The success will look as following:

 

1)        APY maintained its office premises and continued to meet the needs of its beneficiaries, particularly IDP women and young people.

2)        The organization continuous providing psycho-social services to its beneficiaries both online and in-person.

3)        The organization successfully and smoothly switches to designing and implementing development projects from May 2022.

4)        New partnerships have been developed with local and national civil society organizations, local businesses and authorities to be able to maximize the efforts to support war affected populations and to coordinate and combine available recourses.

5)        Online and offline educational programs have been developed and implemented to improve the capacity of various minority groups: national, ethnic, religious, especially vulnerable groups, persons with disabilities, refugees, displaced youth, and young members of the LGBTQ community.

6)        The organization secured several funds and is more financially sustainable and stable.


Where we are are based:

Yerevan, Armenia

Funding we are applying for:

$14,000 - $15,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

By the end of 2021, APY aims to cover the immediate needs of conflict-affected persons. However, starting from mid 2022, the organization hopes to switch from humanitarian aid to supporting the beneficiaries within APY’s primary mandate – supporting and empowering vulnerable women and young people through counseling, peer support, capacity building, economic and financial empowerment, integration to the new community as well as helping them in transition to education or/and the labor market. In order to ensure that humanitarian activities of the organization keep running without interruption and organization is smoothly back to normal once the crisis is over, we do request an institutional support, which will contribute to the salaries of the project managers, the Executive Director, Accountant, Social Worker, Psychologist and the Communications Manager of the organization. It will also cover the office rental, utility and contingency costs.

How this funding will strengthen our group:

Within the institutional support, APY will cover its administrative expenses, office rental, utility costs as well as will pay the salaries of its staff members, who are engaged in the humanitarian activities of the organization. As APY stopped some of its projects to concentrate on its humanitarian efforts, the organization may not be able to pay for the costs which are linked to its projects. Most of the staff members, services, office rental costs and administrative costs of the organization are linked to different projects, which are currently suspended. With the support of the Fund, the Armenian Progressive Youth NGO will continue its full fledged operations and serving the community, will keep running its operations and project activities that were stopped due to funding suspension. We will kept our office and avoid suspension of contracts with staff members.

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

- Capacity building for our colleagues in the areas of fundraising, communications and project management.

- Networking with similar organizations in different European countries.

- Learning about best practices of youth-led NGO's across the region.

- Sharing our experience and best practices.


How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

As we've mentioned earlier, APY aims to cover its operational and organizational expenses for the next 12 months, continuing its activities aimed at meeting the most acute needs of the displaced population. Additionally, we plan to use the support in order to close the gaps between our organizational capacity and the emerging needs by recruiting social workers and psychologists to work with conflict-affected women and children who have found a new home in Armenia.

Our Annual Income:

88,312 EUR

Our Organization Structure:

The decision are made by the governing board of the organization which is elected by the General Assembly of the organization. General Assembly consists of 200 young members of the organization. The board is comprised of 6 people.

The powers are shared equally among the board members of the organization.

The organization is run by young people for young people. The board of the organization consists of 6 board members aged 23 to 33. The major strategic decision are made by the General Assembly that consists of 200 young people aged 16 - 30.

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