Phase I and II (2007-2013)

Project Description

CARE has been addressing issues of youth development, gender equality, gender-based violence, women’s empowerment and community mobilization over the past 18 years of its presence in the Balkans. The endeavor to engage young men (aged 13-19) in addressing violence and the harmful practices of masculinity emerged out of this institutional learning journey that included close collaboration with local partner organizations. Donor funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through CARE Norge, supported this 7-year initiative (ending in November 2013) to address the challenge of deconstructing notions of masculinity and promoting gender equality at a regional level. Project is supported by MOTT and OAK Foundation as well.

The Young Men Initiative is roughly divided into two phases. Phase I is the pilot phase (2007-2010) that adapted a program methodology/curriculum originally developed by the Institute Promundo in Latin America and the Caribbean and tested it in 5 pilot schools. Phase II (2011-2013) applied the effective strategies of the first phase to expand the methodology to more schools, reach target groups outside of schools, extend its geographic coverage, and promote adoption of the program at national level.

The project works with several local partners and two international partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Banja Luka, Mostar and Sarajevo), Croatia (Zagreb), Serbia (Belgrade) and, since phase II only, Kosovo (Pristina, North Mitrovica). The Instituto Promundo, a Brazilian-based NGO with long experience in addressing behavior change with youth around violence and health issues, supports the campaign development and program methodology. The International Center for the Research of Women (ICRW) provides technical support in the development of baseline, monitoring, evaluation and research methodology. Local partners include youth-focused NGOs: Status M (Zagreb), Center for Healthy Lifestyles E8 (Belgrade), Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health XY (Sarajevo) and Perpetuum Mobile: Center for Youth and Community Development (Banja Luka), Altruist (Mostar), Peer Educators Network (Pristina), Youth Educational Club and Center for Communities Development and Synergy (North Mitrovica). SMART Kolektiv based in Belgrade provide support for both campaign development and media campaign, including documentary movies on young men and violence.

Development goal/intended impact on society

A culture based on human rights, non violence and healthy development amongst young men and women and the community in general throughout the Western Balkans.

Project Goal (purpose/intended outcome)

Male youth aged 14-18 hold attitudes and demonstrate behaviors which support more gender equitable social norms, healthy lifestyles and discourage violent behavior against community, women and peers.

A baseline and endline quantitative survey will be administered to demonstrate changes in attitudes and behavior.

Prerequisites/risk factors

Targeted young men and women demonstrate interest for and participate in project workshops and campaign activities.


Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and UNMIK/Kosovo

Partner Organizations

Local partner organisations
International partner organizations
Western Balkans regional partner organizations
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
38 months 01st of December 2010 – 30th of November 2013
For additional information contact us.

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