Bulletin of World Report on the Culture of Peace for February/April 2008
As mentioned in the previous bulletin, the first stage of the Youth Solidarity Fund is now in progress. The announcement is available (in English only) on the website of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations initiative at the page http://www.unaoc.org/content/view/93/128/lang,english/ .
The aim of the Fund is to identify the best proposals for intercultural youth dialogue that will build bridges between diverse youth groups where such bridges are really needed to overcome divides and defuse tensions. This announcement pertains to the pilot phase of the Fund and only a small number of entirely youth-led projects will be awarded seed funding in amounts up to $20,000. The following thematic areas are included in the pilot phase:
* Intercultural and Interreligious Exchanges
* Youth Leadership Training
* Youth Voices in the Media
The deadline for applications is April 30.
In speaking with Jo Lofgren, who is developing the Fund for the Alliance, I learned that there are only enough funds for a few grants in this first round, and that as soon as the deadline was announced, their office was flooded with far more requests than can be funded. Therefore, Jo asks that any organisation considering applying to the Fund carefully considers the application criteria and guidelines.
A good side of this is that it shows the enormous interest of youth organizations to work for a culture of peace. It also signals the need for more fund-raising so there can be more projects supported in the future rounds.
Another good side is that an important role in the funding process is being played by a Youth Advisory Council that has just been established by the Alliance. This was one of the chief recommendations in Youth Report on the Culture of Peace in which many of you participated (see the Youth Report at http://decade-culture-of-peace.org ).
Even though there are only a few awards available for this first round, it is important that are successful so that we can prove that youth organizations, when given the opportunity, are ready to make important contributions to the culture of peace.