November 17, 2020

Young Men Initiative – Call for a Change in the Western Balkans

Young Men Initiative
Call for a Change in the Western Balkans

Introduction

Young Man Initiative Movement Future4Youth aims to bring diverse voices of civil society, informal citizens groups, parents, teachers and other stakeholders around the same goal – to address and advocate for violence prevention, gender equality, life skills and health education in schools across the Balkans.

This requires an innovative and systematic approach and strong commitment from all people to stand together and work for positive and peaceful societies for young people in the Western Balkans. Beside the regional and national actions and stakeholders, we need community-based actors and a collective action to make sustainable changes in the future.

Young Men Initiative (YMI) is a regional platform of organizations, convened by CARE International Balkans. It started as a project in 2006 and it is being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo and Albania. It builds on CARE´s comprehensive and programmatic efforts to prevent interpersonal and gender-based violence as well as to promote gender equality in the region. For over a decade, YMI has been targeting youth to build their knowledge and attitudes concerning gender equality, violence and healthy lifestyles and to decrease levels of all types of violence. Since the beginning, over 100 000 high-school students from 130 communities participated in Life Skills Education programmes that CARE implemented in cooperation with local partners. During the years, we have cooperated with variety of stakeholders and realized that there is an emerging need for embracing a joint approach toward this sensitive topic in the Balkans.

CARE and partners have introduced Program Y methodology at schools all around region and obtained accreditation in BiH, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo by relevant educational ministries, meaning that the Program Y methodology relies on violence and social problems prevention, gender equality, human rights, health education and promotion of personal and social growth as a key component of Life Skills Education in schools.

Students participating Program Y show positive changes (10-20% in average) in attitudes on gender-based violence and interpersonal violence among youth who had taken part in the program. Our regional research from June 2019 showed that 93% of people thinks that life skills education is necessary for young people and 90% of them is ready to support it. Respondents see prevention of violence and promotion of non-violent communication as the most important issues that need addressing or immediate focus or attention.

Our approach is based on addressing gender inequalities and promoting healthy lifestyles in such a way that enables  boys and girls and young men and women to  reach their full potential on their path towards adulthood. In societies where gender equality is most prevalent, the benefits to both men and women are seen through more equal relationships, better health outcomes for men and greater human rights for all citizens.

Who are our partners?

Since its beginning, YMI is being implemented by CARE and partners– youth organisations from the region. Over the years these partners have become resource centers and most relevant actors on promoting the engagement of men and boys in violence prevention and promotion of gender equality. CARE’s main partners are: Status M Zagreb, Center E8 Belgrade, Smart Kolektiv Belgrade, Association XY Sarajevo, Institute Perpetuum Mobile Banja Luka, Youth Power Mostar, Synergy North Mitrovica, SIT – Center for Counseling, Social Services and Research and YMCA, Pristina and Centre Act for Society from Tirana.

We want to partner  with all well-intentioned, dedicated and like-minded  individuals, organisations and institutions, in particular youth and their parents, teachers, peer educators, sports- and social workers as well as pedagogues, psychologists, activists and members of the academia who share the same values and a vision,  on how to achieve a better, just and equal society.

Future4Youth
Movement Declaration

The momentum for a change in the Balkans has come and we need to join our efforts and experience into one Social Movement aimed at addressing violence prevention, gender equality, life skills education and promotion of healthy lifestyles among young people across the Balkans.

Future4Youth Movement gathered around Young Men Initiative aims to bring diverse voices of civil society, informal citizens groups, parents, teachers and other supporters around the same goal – to address and advocate for violence prevention, gender equality, life skills and health education in schools across Balkans.

THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE:

  • Life Skills Education programmes such as Program Y is mandatory in formal school curriculum across the Western Balkans region;
  • Future4Youth platform acts as a resource centre for Life Skills Education and advocacy hub for empowering members to share experiences and take collective actions on local, national and regional level;
  • Empowered communities  act as long-term agents of change for violence prevention, gender equality, life skills and health education in schools;
  • Attitudes on violence prevention, gender equality, life skills and health education among youth in the Balkans are changed;

OUR VALUES

Equality – because we believe that differences should be respected and listened to and each person should be valued by their unique contributions in any society.

Diversity –we apply different approaches in working with different environments, but we strive toward the same goals.

Innovation & Creativity – We challenge ourselves and people around us by using “out of box” thinking in order to achieve the best results and our ultimate goal.

Solidarity – Our coalition is based on strong partnership among variety of stakeholders, where we nurture respect and tolerance

Transparency & Accountability – We strongly believe in the change we want to make, led by our own examples and based on high transparency and commitment to our approaches.

Youth Leadership – Our activities are made by the youth and for the youth and we strongly believe that young people should be given a chance to innovate, create solutions and challenge the world around us.

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives