In November 2020, the New Way Association, Bulgaria in partnership with the Voice of the Crow Association, Serbia launched the implementation of the Youth Leadership Network project CB007.2.22.053. The project is worth 136,664.55 euros and is funded by the Cross-Border Cooperation Program Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria-Serbia, CCI No 2014TC16I5CB007, 2014-2020.
The Youth Leadership Network project covers the cross-border regions of Bulgaria and Serbia. The planned activities are implemented simultaneously on both sides of the border, which ensures the achievement of cross-border effect of the project and sustainability of project results.
The implementation of the project started on November 27, 2020 and ended on February 27, 2022. The project started with the preparation and conduct of a study in the target regions on the opportunities for inclusion of young people in civil society. An analysis of existing analyzes of existing policies, strategies, plans and documents was developed and 4 focus groups were conducted in Bulgaria and 3 in Serbia.
Based on the collected information, the reasons for the low level of involvement of young people in defining local and national youth policies were identified and exemplary topics for training of youth leaders were identified. 40 young people (20 from Bulgaria and 20 from Serbia) took part in the training.
3 two-day training modules were conducted in the following thematic areas – “Local and national youth policies”, “Building civic skills” and “Leadership and opportunities for development”.
With the help of experienced experts (mentors) from both countries, the participants in the trainings developed 40 non-financial projects to solve current local problems, identified by the participants in the trainings. These projects were discussed at the youth camp “I am young and active” in Bulgaria with the online participation of young people from Serbia and were promoted to local communities by the participants themselves.
A cross-border youth network and a web portal “Youth Guarantee” have been set up to support its activities.
With the implementation of the planned activities the goal of the project was achieved, which is to build local capacity and a network of youth leaders with active position, knowledge and skills for civic participation in the formation of local public policies.