The Men and Boys as Partners in Promoting Gender Equality and prevention of Youth Extremism and Violence in the Balkans or Young Men Initiative II (YMI II) project builds upon CARE´s comprehensive and programmatic effort to fight interpersonal and gender-based violence (GBV) as well as to improve gender equality in the region and address preventative issues related to youth extremism and violence. The project objective is to enable positive and peaceful societies for young people in Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, that support gender equality and decrease interpersonal violence and its extremism. The project’s specific objective is to improve Youth NGOs and government capacities to integrate Program Youth – Life Skills Educational Curriculum in current educational and youth policy strategies and strengthen governmental and civil society efforts related to the inclusion of youth vulnerable to extremism. This project aims at scaling up and mainstreaming earlier achievements related to the implementation of the Gender Transformative Life Skills program, or short Program Y, via targeted advocacy and a close cooperation with relevant stakeholder through the support of movement / coalition building through the development of new alliances that engage parents and citizens in supporting gender equality focused life skills education program. One of the main results of the project is to develop educational tools for scaling up such activities as online education and working with universities in the training of new educators. To enhance this process, CARE will pilot Program Y in selected secondary vocational schools whereby the schools take the lead in the implementation with support from CARE’s local partners and will identify allies among teachers, who will act as trainers of trainers (ToT) and youth engaged as peer educators.
In addition, a new comprehensive model, Program Y plus will be piloted working with a more select group of youth vulnerable to violence and extremism. This model seeks to increase community connections and address the multiple layers of exclusion often leading to extremism. CARE´s local partner organizations are increasingly recognized as key players by public stakeholders in the field of men engagement, youth work and gender equality. Supported by the project, the partners will launch campaigns targeting youth and selected communities, around hate speech and promoting the positive role of all community members in addressing extremism and violence. The project will mainly build on the use of social media, but also involve popular media and the arts to further messaging and reaching vulnerable groups. Relevant stakeholders include the Ministries of Education, public gender agencies, academic institutions, secondary schools, educators, media and other relevant stakeholders. The YMI II project will be implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia and will target youth, especially young men vulnerable to violence and anti-social behaviours and strengthen key skills, knowledge, attitudes that support improved behaviours around gender-equitable norms and non-violence.
In total 56.800 people will be directly reached through the project: 150 teachers, 5000 students, 150 university students, 50.200 youth, 1100 parents/citizens, 100 community members and 100 movement leaders.