The UNAOC Youth Program works with a vast array of youth-led NGOs, youth-serving NGOs, governments, regional and multilateral organizations and UN agencies. In addition, the UNAOC Youth Program works with its Youth Advisory Committee whose role is to support the development and implementation of the UNAOC Youth Program, conduct outreach in their respective locations to promote and enhance the work of the UNAOC, attract new partners, and contribute to the content of the Youth Website.
The UNAOC Youth Website provides a central point of reference for youth interested in advancing cross-cultural understanding. This website is a place where youth are able to discuss issues and seek resources that can help them find their own unique ways to contribute to the development of inclusive societies.
The long-term vision of the UNAOC Youth Programming is that at all levels of action and decision-making, youth are seen as key actors and stakeholders in efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding. UNAOC aims to achieve this vision by:
- Raising Awareness: Raise the decision-makers’ awareness regarding the importance of young people’s contribution to fostering understanding between people of various cultural and religious backgrounds.
- Strengthening Capacity: Contribute to further enhance the capacity of youth to effectively implement initiatives advancing cross-cultural understanding.
- Sharing Information: Develop mechanisms and networks to facilitate partnership building and the exchange of information regarding the impact and challenges of youth’s work and contribution to cross-cultural understanding.
To support this vision, UNAOC implements the following initiatives
- Youth Solidarity Fund
- Young Euro-Med Entrepreneurs in Interculturality
- Summer School
- Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations
- On-line discussion forum
- Plural+ , a youth-produced video contest and festival about migration
- Youth Events as part of the UNAOC Forums
- During the First UNAOC Forum held in Madrid in January 2008
- During the Second UNAOC Forum held in Istanbul in April 2009
- During the Third UNAOC Forum held in Rio in May 2010
- During the Fourth UNAOC Forum held in Doha in December 2011
- During the Fifth UNAOC Forum to be held in Vienna in February 2013
Youth Solidarity Fund
The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) provides seed funding to outstanding youth-led initiatives that promote long-term constructive relationships between people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. The Fund links small scale and local work to larger movements for social and global change. The YSF supports the development of young peoples’ organizations and other means for their work to have an even broader and deeper impact and to be expanded. It was established to answer the calls for action made around the world by youth organizations since the creation of the UNAOC.
The pilot phase of the YSF was launched during the first UNAOC Forum in January 2008 and a total of six youth-led organizations were provided grants. In 2009-2010, a total of 18 projects were selected. Youth play a critical role in the selection of the winning YSF projects.
On a regular basis, the UNAOC offers technical support and trainings to the YSF projects and, in addition, provides assistance with media relations, lobbying, financial management, networking, evaluation, monitoring and sustainability. In addition, the UNAOC organizes various events to which the selected organizations are invited and where they have an opportunity to promote both the YSF and their projects. These included the UNAOC Forums in Istanbul, Rio and Doha, the UNAOC 2010, 2011 and 2012 Youth Summer Schools.