SDC Component

Project Young Men Initiative (YMI): Promoting Healthier Lifestyles among Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Challenging Gender Stereotypes II or Young Men Initiative II (YMI II) started on December 2017, and is supported by the Government of Switzerland, OAK Foundation, Austrian Development Cooperation and CARE Deutschland-Luxembourg.

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 Bosnia and Herzegovina and address preventative issues related to youth extremism and violence. The YMI II project will be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Republic of Srpska and the three cantons of the BiH Federation (Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Sarajevo Canton and third canton that will be selected in the first quarter of the first project year after a conducted assessment reflecting interest of local partners and responsible ministries to be engaged and to cooperate). It will target youth, in particular young men vulnerable to violence and their anti-social behaviors by strengthening the relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes leading to improved behaviors around gender equitable norms and non-violence.

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. Relevant stakeholders include the Ministries of Education at entities and cantonal levels, gender agencies, academic institutions, secondary schools, educators, media and other relevant stakeholders.

The project’s overall goal is to increase the uptake of healthy, nonviolent and gender equitable lifestyles among young men and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As described in detail in previous chapters, the intervention intends to address harmful lifestyles that impact both young men and women. Also, our intention in this phase is impacting social movements and citizen coalitions in the order to encourage the government to actively promote/address gender equality, prevent gender-based violence, life skills and health education in schools. Through the work with local NGOs active in gender equality promotion and youth development a higher percentage of young people will be reached to learn important life skills and consequently practice more gender equitable attitudes and behaviors. In cooperation and synergy with other similar initiatives implemented by the government and other local and international NGOs, this project would contribute to an overall decrease in school and community based violent incidents involving youth as well as to an increase of healthy, non-violent and gender equitable attitudes and behaviors reported by the targeted youth.

The project would continue to build on the success of the first phase and contribute to bringing about positive changes in attitudes and behaviors with young people of secondary school age group that relate directly to health, violence, extremism and gender equality. This would be done by addressing the issues on multiple levels through five main directions of the intervention:

  1. increasing capacities of youth organizations’ staff to deliver our specialized curriculum, Program Y, and Program Y+ to socially marginalized populations, out of school youth and youth offenders and Program Y++, adapted Program Y for higher grade pupils in elementary schools;
  2. increasing the number of cantons and or entity ministries that accredit the program and support its scaling up in more schools
  3. developing new online tools and promoting the use of technology for developing low-cost models for implementation and evaluation in targeted schools;
  4. raising awareness and changing attitudes of youth toward various aspects of health, violence and gender equality, and
  5. supporting and or engaging with existing coalitions of NGO’s and citizens to advocate for comprehensive life skills education in the schools.

CARE builds on the lessons learned from CARE´s previous work involving youth, gender and education, utilizing both research and evaluation in the design of the proposed interventions. It is anticipated that during a three-year implementation period over 30 schools will take part in the project, up to 10,000 young people will be reached directly and about 50,000 indirectly. A committed and more competent network of youth organizations and activists, together with the active engagement of relevant government institutions on all levels, will build a solid basis for sustainability and impact of the main project objectives. Thereby, this initiative will contribute to a long-term goal of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina being personally and professionally empowered to act as agents of change in their communities, regions and nationally, leading towards a more positive future.


December 1,  2017 – November 30, 2020


Asocijacija XY
Perpetuum Mobile
Youth Power

Supported by:

The Government of Switzerland
ADC - Austrian Development Cooperation
OAK - OAK Foundation
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