The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is pleased to invite youth-led organizations to apply for the Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF). The call is open to organizations from selected countries whose work seeks to promote peace and social inclusion through improved understanding, respect, and collaboration across borders, cultures, faiths, and beliefs.
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. UNAOC additionally offers capacity-building support to help youth-led organizations strengthen the implementation of their projects.
Established in 2008, YSF responded to calls for action made by young civil society leaders worldwide on the importance of establishing funding mechanisms for youth-led organizations. Today, YSF 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 listen and respond with funding and partnership opportunities.
The funded projects are youth-led and youth-focused. The age definition used by UNAOC to characterize youth is an individual between the ages of 18 and 35. While the projects target mainly young people, they have an impact on entire communities, often involving religious or political leaders, policy-makers, educational institutions and media organizations.
Grants of up to USD 25,000 for the implementation of selected projects that demonstrate innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of UNAOC.
- Youth organizations are subject to the same criteria as other partners of the United Nations System in that they must be accountable, transparent, and refrain from all discriminatory practices.
- To be eligible, applying youth organizations need to fulfill every one of the following criteria:
- 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 (except for 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 two years prior to the deadline for applications with funding base and project implementation (operating in December 2018 or earlier);
- Be registered and operate in one of the aforementioned 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.
Eligibility criteria for projects:
All submitted projects must fulfil every one of the following criteria to be eligible and reviewed by the Selection Committee:
- Origin: The project was developed and written by youth;
- Target Audience: The project targets youth primarily. 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 demonstrably affiliated to the applying organization and is between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of the application;
- Duration and Timing: The project must be implemented between May 2021 and May 2022. Final reports will need to be submitted by 1 May 2022 at the 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 proposed project elements with the funds requested. The amount requested must be no more than 50 percent of the organization’s annual budget in 2019. Grants provided by UNAOC will not exceed USD 25,000. The scope of the project and the amount requested is not a determining factor in the selection process. Projects with smaller budgets are encouraged to apply. Please note that the average grant in the 8th YSF edition was USD 15,241.40. The proposed budget will have 90 percent of costs associated with direct project activities, and only up to 10 percent 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 submitted in English only;
- Registration certificate and statute: Copies 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 at a later stage of the selection process.
- To be considered complete and valid, the application package must include the following and be submitted through the online application system available at the Apply now link.
- The application form, completed and certified by the applicant’s organization;
- A copy of the registration certificate of the applicant’s organization;
- A copy of the statutes/by-laws of the applicant’s organization;
- An organizational chart depicting the ages of key decision-makers within the organization;
- A biography of the current Executive/Managing Director, showing the date of birth (one page maximum);
- The resume/CV of the project coordinator (two pages maximum);
- A picture or scan of the project coordinator’s passport identification page. If the project coordinator does not have a passport, upload his or her national identification card.
The word/character limit for each question in the application form needs to be respected. The application system automatically counts words and characters.