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NGO Double N


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NGO Double N

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NGO Double N is a peer-to-peer organisation in Ivano-Frankivsk the aim of which is to make the youth strong and to involve the youngsters into changing the city's youth infrastructure. This is not about buildings, but about the network, about the ecosystem of people, events, and opportunities. We strongly believe that all young people are cool, but they need support, reinforcement and help. Our task is to provide this help and these opportunities, to promote the fact that young people should become more active and also join in strengthening others or doing other socially responsible activities. It is also important for us to contain two components: high-quality and professionally organised projects, facilitated events, etc., as well as the atmosphere which is closely familiar to young people: savagery, madness, etc. We call ourselves the "student apartment where you live with friends" and we want our participants to feel these emotions of powerful friendship themselves. The Double is a space of security and growth. Our task is also to hand over the knowledge and experience needed by young people to grow up safely, to be successful and develop the city.

Our organisation has been existed for four years and has grown up from a small initiative group that organises one-day events once a month to a non-governmental organisation that has created a community of active teenagers in Ivano-Frankivsk and more than 30 projects in total. In fact, the community of active teenagers is the project we are most proud of. During the year, we conducted a training program for adolescents in Ivano-Frankivsk to give them the necessary skills and create the network of people, to encourage and form a community. At present, members of the community are members of the NGO Double N, active participants in projects, volunteers in local projects and organisations, founders of their own initiatives, their own affairs, etc.

So, the priorities of the NGO Double N are the creation of the youth ecosystem in Ivano-Frankivsk, making the youth stronger, and improving the state of young people’s mental health in Ivano-Frankivsk.

We have recently asked regular participants in our projects why do they join them. The popular answer was that this place is like an island of security for them in Ivano-Frankivsk. Yes, we are working on improving this "island", in particular, we are currently doing our best to open a youth center. However, our biggest dream is to expand this island. It is about involving young people into creating positive changes to such an extent that Ivano-Frankivsk became more youth-friendly, young people were heard, accepted and seen here, an important part of the city and a participant in the city's processes. Our dream is also connected with the individual transformations of adolescents. We admire when we see the changes of our participants during the year. Modest and truly "invisible", a year later they become active, bold and pumped. We believe that our ability to create the context for these transformations is our main power.

The problem we are trying to solve:

"We are solving the problem that young people are invisible, unheard and inactive (as a consequence or as a reason). There is no youth infrastructure in Ivano-Frankivsk, the city does not meet the needs of young people. Due to the fact that the city does not have a quality higher education or the opportunity to obtain non-formal education, and therefore the knowledge necessary for self-realisation, there are no entertainment opportunities (yes, even parties are also an important part of young people’s lives), no youth center, etc. - young people leave Ivano-Frankivsk and move to larger cities. As a result of the study ""Mapping of youth in Ivano-Frankivsk"", we found out that young people also face difficulties in finding employment, and what is more, most successful employment is outsourced Young people also face ageism. There are stereotypes that young people do nothing, but due to the lack of sufficient opportunities and access to them, it is difficult for young people to fight this stereotype. The youth is also not involved in local government decision-making. We are also concerned about the mental state of adolescents. Yes, certain experiences are typical for this age, but the difficulties in socialisation and self-realisation reinforce and make these problems even more serious."

"The needs of young people remain unheard at various levels: from teachers at school or parents at home, to the lack of a youth center or quality higher education. This has a negative effect on young people: they go to other cities or despair of themselves and their capabilities. Thus, a social group that has great potential to improve the city simply falls out of its life."

The solution we are proposing:

We see the solution to this problem in creating a youth infrastructure, an ecosystem. Here are a few aspects. The first is the creation of a set of projects that solve problems and meet the needs of young people. Secondly, the creation of a network of young people, in which interaction strengthens and provides opportunities. It is also important to encourage and engage in change so that young people also create opportunities for themselves.

"A detailed description of the results of each project will be given in the descriptions below. In summary, the following changes will occur:

- creating more opportunities for young people both directly by our team and other young people, which will be strengthened by our events

-Increasing the level of attractiveness of the city, applications why teenagers will not go to live in other major cities

-Teenagers will have (and already have) an environment where they feel safe, which promotes self-realisation and improves their mental state."

"Our goal in creating a youth infrastructure is manifested in the following specific projects and actions:

We are working on opening a youth center. Yes, we are currently negotiating the lease of the premises, as well as planning a crowdfunding campaign - because this is how we will attract some of the funds.

We want the youth center (we called it a “box”) to be a space of security and a space where young people can simply: create, develop, learn and communicate. It will also be an event venue for our organisation as well as for other organisations or initiatives in Frankivsk.

We also work in the field of non-formal education. This means that our projects always include an educational part in an interesting way for a teenager. We are proud of the methodology of educational programs that we have developed during our activities and we believe that it provides an opportunity to effectively acquire knowledge.

Therefore, educational projects are camps, events for the community of active teenagers in Ivano-Frankivsk, as well as one-day events on various topics. We are currently working on a program for the Schools of Life project, and plan to launch it in January. This is a project that will provide the necessary knowledge for growing up and self-realisation, which is not provided in schools: and household skills, and social studies or communication skills. These will be conditional ""subjects"" that will take place every week. Strengthening youth through individual consultations. Now we have an ongoing mentoring program ""Educational Trajectory"". It consists of 10 individual meetings and is designed to help the adolescent with self-determination. Of course, these individual consultations also take place organically - in conversations after the events. Now we want to create a project ""mental cheerleaders"" - it will be peer-to- peer support in difficult mental states. We know that most teenagers do not have the opportunity to go to a psychologist, so we want to act as ""cheerleaders"" for them. To do this, we need to improve our knowledge and consult with psychologists on how to implement this project safely.

We also believe in the power of community. Over the years of NGO Double N, we have researched the importance of belonging to the community for young people. That is why we contribute to the formation of a community around the events of the organisation by creating small events, cozy gatherings or discussions and debates. And we are always happy to see how this community functions outside the event area. We have also created a telegram chat-bot mixer that helps people get to know each other and find those people who will help them either with knowledge or by talking about their own experience: they leave their request, and we find a dream person for them! One of the projects we are implementing and planning to scale is a support group for girls. We raise the issue of gender-based violence, abusive relationships, etc., because we consider it an insufficiently covered and discussed topic. We also regularly hold and will hold educational and entertainment camps. It is the full immersion in the process that occurs through living and living together that contributes to the formation of a close community, and young people develop and mutually reinforce each other.

Here are the steps that have already been implemented during the 4 years of the organisation's activity. First of all, a community of active teenagers has been created in Ivano-Frankivsk. In the first year of its existence, we developed and implemented a formation program for them, now we work with graduates of this program, planning their self-sufficiency and community activities as an independent project. There were also 6 educational and entertainment camps on various topics: growing up, diversity and tolerance, soft skills, a project camp to create the owner of small social projects, mental health and more. This format, the camp, has several advantages: the teenager is completely immersed in the process and thanks to the safe atmosphere has the opportunity to open up, relax, talk about previously taboo topics for him, and so on. 87 teenagers took part in our camps. The project of ecological direction ""ecology"" is organized and now the project ""compost"" is implemented. They are implemented under the project ""Join, Interact, Create: Youth for the Development of Cohesive and Sustainable Communities"", funded by the British Embassy and implemented by the International Organization for Migration in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. One of the formats that we ""invented"" during the implementation of ""ecology"" - zinoton. This is an event that resembles a hackathon in format, but within 24 hours the participants develop their own zin - a small-circulation magazine. For us, this is a combination of the theme of ecology and the opportunity to express themselves and create. NGO Double N, together with NGO STAN, is also implementing a project Mapping Youth by Rights in Ivano-Frankivsk. It is about researching young people and involving them in change. So far, the project has organized 6 open dialogues (ie street conversations with teenagers) and 4 discussions on topics such as sex education and street safety, higher education and self-realization, diversity and acceptance of diversity and mental health. Next year, NGO Double H plans to continue to hold open dialogues, as this is an opportunity to interact directly with young people and promote participatory decision-making.

NGO Double N has implemented other projects for 4 years of activity, but we will not be able to list everything here. We are currently working on creating material on the results of work, both qualitative and quantitative, but so far, in summary, we have achieved the following results:

- NGO Double contributes to the reduction of ageism through communication with business representatives, the public sector and the parents of our participants: the age attitude in the family also takes place

-Involvement of young people in change. Participants of our projects are grateful for their ability to volunteer, create their own initiatives or become part of the working group of the NGO Double N

-Creation of a youth ectosystem. At the moment, every week we organize at least one event, which can be joined by anyone. Thus, we create educational and entertainment opportunities for the youth of Ivano-Frankivsk.

-Creation of safe space. This is especially important for members of the LGBTQI + community, representatives of subcultures, those who suffer from bullying at school or have problems in the family, and so on. Adolescents experience the projects of NGO Double N as a safe space where they have the opportunity to be themselves, where they will be heard and understood"

What success looks like for us:

"For us, success is a developed ecosystem for young people, where they have opportunities for development and self-realisation. The existence and well-being of this ecosystem is facilitated by synergies within, security of space and proactivity of participants.

It is also a success for us closely related to brave young people who feel safe and successful in Ivano-Frankivsk and create new opportunities in the city. The civic responsible youth, the mental health of which is in a good state the soft skills of which are on the highest level. Young people who do not move to live in big cities. In reducing the amount of ageism - because, for example, we encountered ageism in various instances during the registration of NGOs and it is really discriminatory.

In 2021, we have reached about 200 participants in offline projects. Consequently, we want to increase the number of young people who become participants in our project to 300 - 400 annually. We are especially drawing our attention to the members of our events, because this is the youth we are looking forward to supporting and making them more confident in themselves."

Where we are are based:

Ivano-Frankivsk, Armenia

Funding we are applying for:

$12,000 - $14,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

"First of all, I want to say: our funding will increase. We really need it. We have many ambitions and plans now, but we are not able to realize them without funding.

First of all, it is necessary for the implementation of a number of projects: for the youth space ""box"" we need to rent a room and furnish it properly (we have already chosen a room that we plan to rent). Some projects also require technical support: a paid version of the zoom, a paid extended version for the bot in the ""mixer"" project (in which we attach the application community to establish links in it), etc. Coffee breaks, payment to invited experts and speakers are also included in the costs required for the implementation of projects. Yes, we are implementing some of them now without funding, but it will make them better and scalable."

How this funding will strengthen our group:

"We also want to allocate part of the funds for fees to members of the working team. We are currently facing staffing difficulties: due to the fact that members have to work in the NGO Double H and in other, paid work, they face fatigue and burnout or simply work less and less efficiently. The availability of a fee will allow us to devote even more time to work in Double, which will increase efficiency and improve performance.

The last thing, as funding will strengthen us: this is the strategic development of the team. We want to invite an expert to help us with strategic planning and conduct several strategic sessions, we also want to invite experts for internal team training: because the members of the working team are schoolchildren or students, we especially need such ""professional"" education."

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

"In addition to funding, which will be a great opportunity for us, we see a few more things that will be valuable to us as a Spark Fund partner: First, the opportunity to communicate and share experiences with other youth initiatives is important to us. After all, each initiative has a certain methodology, certain life hacks in the implementation of projects and so on. Also, the quality educational or mentoring program would be useful for us (the program means even one or two meetings). We often feel a lack of expert advice or knowledge. "

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

The project aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of improving the employability of youth. We'll conduct youth-focused labor market research in Armenia, implement training sessions for 80 young people from Armenia, organize internships for 40 of them and closing event and 2 job fairs (one each year)on youth in the labor market for 400 youth, members of the Government and Parliament of Armenia, CSO's.

Our Annual Income:

8950 USD we received two grants of 4162 USD and 2403 USD under the Involve, Interact, Create: Youth for Cohesive and Sustainable Communities project, funded by the British Embassy and implemented by the International Organization for Migration in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Of Ukraine. such projects as the educational and entertainment camp "(not) the last summer of childhood", the residence of class people and the community formation program of the community of active teenagers were also financed with the help of membership fees of participants. This is a total of 2344.54 USD , but we did not receive any fees from them. All proceeds were used to organize projects and pay for office rent

Our Organization Structure:

"The working team of the NGO Double N currently includes 13 people. We are all representatives of young people aged 15-20. In the team, decisions are made horizontally. We are also independent of any other organizations or individuals in the decisions and strategies of our work.

Decisions concerning the activities of the organization are made together with the youth. We use several ways to attract young people. First of all, it is an open discussion. We meet regularly to discuss certain issues, such as street safety and sex education, higher education and self-realisation in Ivano-Frankivsk, and so on. Thus, we simultaneously conduct research and involve young people in the formation of programs and projects. We also conduct in-depth personal interviews to understand the needs and requests of young people better and make decisions based on them."

"We are a horizontal public organization, so power is shared between all members of the working group. However, the work is managed by three project coordinators, one of which is the head of the organization. They have the right to make the final decision, and are also responsible for the implementation of projects and their consequences. On the other hand, each member of the working group is independent in their actions, and the projects we implement depend on two factors: how well they meet our goals and values ​​and what exactly the members want to create. What matters to us is our flexibility and approach in doing exactly what we want. That's why our strategic meetings always start with what people want to think about, what to talk about and what changes to join."

"Yes, we are completely youth-led. We appreciate this feature of our NGO, because we believe that this approach gives us the opportunity to understand our target, because it is our peers, to create projects that are both relevant and socially important, and close to young people.

For us been youth-led means that we are peers of are target audience, so we feel them, we understand them and we are in touch with them. We are our TA, and we think it`s a secret of our success"

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