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“Youth Empowerment Center” Educational Non-Governmental Organization


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“Youth Empowerment Center” Educational Non-Governmental Organization

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"Youth Empowerment Center” Educational NGO aims to create an environment in Armenia for young people to exercise genuine participation and pursue their visions, dreams, hopes and concerns about development and general well-being. We want to develop skills and educate youth crucial for actively taking part in the decision-making processes of their communities and having a productive life. In this way, young people will be able and eager to make their voices heard. Youth participation will be a key element in overall development both at the local and national levels.

Our organization mainly targets youth aged 14 years old and above living in different regions of Armenia. The main objectives/priorities of the organization are:

-Raising the legal awareness of young people through the implementation of trainings on their rights, responsibilities and other initiatives;

-Doing researches and assessments in order to identify problems in the field of education and contribute to policy changes;

-Ensuring proper communication between young people and decision-makers in the youth field;

-Promoting intercultural communication in the field of youth and education;

-Developing the capacity of young people in leadership, public policy, media literacy and other areas;

-Enhancing the protection of the rights and social inclusion of young people in vulnerable groups by implementing project protecting their interests;

-Developing non-formal education in Armenia.

The problem we are trying to solve:

"The elections of LSG bodies in Sevan community, Gegharkunik region will be held on December 5. In the framework of our pre-electoral support work, we conducted 3 meetings with citizens living in Sevan. It was recorded that only 20% of participants were aged under 30. To examine the case more deeply, we did a needs assessment in Sevan. Approximately 194 young people living in the community were interviewed. It was found out that most of them study and work in the capital city - Yerevan. The governing body of Sevan - the Community Council has only one member aged 27 years old. On the other hand, the severe gender stereotypes existing in Gegharkunik region do not let women have influence over policy decisions and development of solutions. "

"Young people are considered as pioneers in development and democratization in the community, promoters of citizen participation in community decision-making, and a support group for female leaders in the community. The problem in Sevan demonstrated above leads to low motivation in young people to take part in the community development processes. No youth centers are established in Sevan at the moment even though it has a population of 26,000 people. "

The solution we are proposing:

"“Youth Empowerment Center” NGO wants to use its successful practice of leading an active group in Sevan and propose an innovative, locally-driven intervention that directly responds to the reality facing young people today. The action will last for 2 years. It will consist of 2 phases: inception phase (approximately 3 months) and implementation phase (21 months). During the first phase, we will mobilize young people living in Sevan, finalize the design of the capacity development framework, make necessary administrative arrangements connected with meeting spaces, etc. Implementation phase will include 2 frameworks: “Capacity Development Roadmap” and “Learning by Doing”. During the consecutive 21 months, 25-30 young people living in Sevan will get an opportunity to take part in capacity building seminars, workshops, round tables on the topics of leadership, local self-governance, public policy, etc. We will regularly have different guest speakers whose success stories promote participative democracy. “Learning by Doing” framework will include a mentorship scheme of on-demand technical assistance emphasizing peer learning, practical experience and opportunity mapping. We will support the members of our active group in the whole process of community initiative implementation - from writing a grant proposal and filling out applications to project monitoring and evaluation. "

"The project will support youth to gain the knowledge, skills and management practices to be more actively involved in community life and its development processes. Young people will have concrete opportunities to put their knowledge and skills into practice by engaging in policy-making activities and lead multi-stakeholder initiatives to promote networking, volunteerism and professional development. The project will be a good start for young people to start their social activities and contribute to the development of their community."

"As already mentioned, we have already identified the problem existing in Sevan by doing a needs assessment. The very first steps of the inception phase will be posting an announcement on social media, mobilizing young people interested to be members of our active group, making all administrative arrangements, etc."

What success looks like for us:

"We have mobilized an active group of 20-25 people in Sevan community. They have had an opportunity to take part in project activities such as workshops, leadership schools, participatory policy making initiatives which increased their capacity in those spheres. The members of our active group are now able to apply for grants and lead their own initiatives in Sevan community by using the skills and knowledge gained during the project. The most successful ones are now involved in the further activities and projects being implemented by “Youth Empowerment Center” NGO. The expected short-term results of our project are the creation of an active group consisting of young people skilled in different spheres and initiatives led by the group’s members. The long-term results of the project are the formation of Sevan’s Women and Youth Advisory Committees consisting of our active group and young people registered as candidates of the Community Council. "

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:

"This funding will help the organization achieve its goals in youth empowerment by implementing designed frameworks in raising the legal awareness of young people through the implementation of trainings on their rights, responsibilities and other initiatives and leading the mentorship component of our project. "

How this funding will strengthen our group:

"The grant awarded by SparkFund will be a great headstart for the organization’s operations. The funding will help us to be more sustainable, accountable and effective at empowering citizens, advancing their rights and deepening participative governance in Armenia. Our organizational capacity and assessment tools will be updated by involving new members and expanding our activities in the future."

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

"Being a Spark Fund grantee partner will enhance the capacity and resilience of “Youth Empowerment Center” NGO to be effective, trusted among different members of our society, sustainable and accountable independent actor. The partnership will benefit our organization in boosting its organizational development, strategic communications and dynamic volunteer engagement as fundamentals of a resilient civil society today. Being a part of a huge network will give us an opportunity to use practices in participative democracy successfully implemented in other countries and make partnerships with the CSOs operating in different parts of the world. "

Our Annual Income:

0

Our Organization Structure:

"The governing bodies of the organization are the Assembly and the executive body - the President. The right to make final decisions on any issue related to the activities of the organization belongs to the Assembly. At the moment, our non-governmental organization consists of 8 people. All of them are between 18 and 25 years old. The President is of age 19 and working in the non-profit sector for several years. "

"“Youth Empowerment Center” NGO has established an organizational structure similar to the LSG bodies ensuring effective functionality. As already mentioned, the highest body of the organization is the Assembly. It approves the structure of the organization, reviews internal and external documents, monitors the activities of the President and does evaluation. The President ensures the implementation of the decisions made by the Assembly, maintains the organization’s budget, represents the NGO in the Republic of Armenia and foreign states."

"“Youth Empowerment Center” NGO is led by youth and focuses on youth. Our organization recognizes the great potential and untapped abilities of young people for the benefit of the community and general public. We work towards creating sustainable communities which can be only achieved by motivating youth to be active members of our society. We aim to eliminate factors that adversely affect the well-being of young people and enable them to act as actors of change."