The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) supports youth-led organizations that foster peaceful and inclusive societies. Seed funding is given to projects, for and by young people, that demonstrate innovative and effective approaches to intercultural or interfaith dialogue. Established in 2008, the Fund responded to calls for action made by youth-led organizations around the world on the importance of establishing funding mechanisms for youth. Today, the Fund is more relevant than ever: As the global agenda increasingly speaks of youth’s participation and contribution to peace, development and security, it is critical to support this participation and contribution through funding and partnership opportunities.
The funded projects are youth-led and youth-focused (18-35 years) but have an impact on entire communities, often involving religious or political leaders, policy-makers, educational institutions and media organizations. The Fund also links small scale and local work to larger movements for social and global change, for a broader and deeper impact.
Since 2008, UNAOC has launched seven YSF editions and provided funding to youth-led organizations based in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. A total of 63 projects were funded by the end of 2018 reaching 94,055 direct beneficiaries in 39 countries. In total, more than 1.7 million direct and indirect beneficiaries have been impacted over the past ten years.
The projects funded by the YSF target young people from various backgrounds: students, marginalized youth, minorities, youth in rural or urban areas, youth in conflict or post-conflict situations, artists and activists.
- UNAOC offers technical support and capacity building to the organizations during and/or after the implementation of funded projects in the areas of gender mainstreaming, media relations, advocacy, financial management, networking, sustainability, monitoring and evaluation.
- The selected organization will be contacted by UNAOC via email and provided with information on further steps, draft agreements to be signed and a schedule of payments.
Eligibility criteria for youth organizations:
- Be youth-led: a majority of the positions and decision-making roles within the organization are held by women and men between the ages of 18 and 35;
- Be a non-profit, non-governmental organization (with the exception of national youth councils) registered in the country of operation as a charity, trust, foundation or association;
- Be officially registered and operational for a minimum of 2 years by the deadline for applications with funding base and project implementation (e.g. operational in August 2017 or earlier);
- Be registered and operate in one of the eligible countries;
- Have a democratic governance structure and decision-making mechanism, including consultative processes in formulating priorities and policies;
- Have an ability to demonstrate proper and consistent monitoring, evaluation and record-keeping of their activities, including project evaluation reports and financial accounts;
- Have a gender perspective/balance reflected in their staff, beneficiaries and activities;
- Have no adherence to or affiliations with violent ideologies or
antagonism against any particular country, culture, religion or belief
system, ethnic group, gender, etc.; and
Did not receive funding under past editions of YSF or did not receive the Intercultural Innovation Award.
Note: If you applied to YSF in the past, but were not selected, you can apply to YSF again.
Upon request, organizations will need to provide documented evidence of how they fulfil all of these criteria.
Please note that project proposals will not be considered eligible for funding if they are submitted by governments, international governmental organizations, non-youth led organizations, unregistered groups of youth, business entities, as well as individuals.
Eligibility criteria for projects:
All submitted projects must fulfil each and every one of the following criteria to be deemed eligible and be reviewed by the Selection Committee:
- Origin: The project was developed and written by youth;
- Target Audience: The project targets primarily youth. Gender balance among project participants is ensured;
- Objective: The project contributes to advancing UNAOC’s mandate of promoting a more socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities;
- Management: The project is managed by a youth-led organization, responding to all eligibility criteria mentioned above;
- Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator is an employee of the
applying organization and is between the ages of 18 and 35 at the moment
of the application;
Duration and Timing: The project must be implemented from November 2019 to November 2020, while final reports will need to be submitted by 15 November 2020 at the very latest;
- Location: Project activities are implemented in the country (ies) mentioned in the above list (see geographical coverage section;
- Budget: The organization needs to guarantee its capacity to implement all elements of the proposed project with the funds requested. The amount requested must be no more than 50% of the organization’s annual budget in 2018. Grants provided by UNAOC will not exceed USD 25,000. The proposed budget will have 90% of costs associated with direct project activities and only up to 10% of it will cover the Project Coordinator’s salary/fees. Office rent cost, utilities and purchase of technical equipment (e.g. computers, copiers, printers, cameras, telephones, etc.) cannot be part of the budget;
- English: Application and CV/resume of the Project Coordinator must be in English only;
- Registration certificate and statute: A copy of a registration certificate and a statute need to be attached to the application form. They can be submitted in the original language of the country where the organization is registered. Translations may be requested during later stages of the selection process.
Eligible Regions: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, People’s Republic, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Sao Tome and Principe,, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia,, Zimbabwe.