On December 1, 2008, the Youth Employment Network (YEN) will launch a competitive grant scheme for youth led organizations in the Mano River Union (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). Applicants can apply for grants between USD 2’000 and 50’000.
The MRU countries have experienced violent conflicts resulting in major challenges for the societies in preparing their young work force for employment as well as creating decent work for youth. The rebuilding of societies after conflict is in great need of the talents and aspirations of young people. Young people are a major asset that cannot be lost. Youth are the future but need nurture to grow to its full potential.
The scheme will serve as a laboratory to identify and implement innovative projects with potential to provide employment opportunities for young people. It also provides an opportunity to actively engage youth organizations demonstrating the potential of youth as active participants in development.
It is part of a 4-year UN inter-agency (UNIDO, ILO, UNDP, and YEN) programme aiming at improving youth employment in the MRU, funded the government of Japan. The World Bank has committed additional funding.
Eligible applicants are officially registered, non-governmental, non-profit youth led organizations in the four MRU countries. Project proposals should contribute to youth employment in any of the following areas:
- Community projects and services
- Youth entrepreneurship
- Transition from school to work
- Vocational training for young people
- Economic empowerment of young women
Projects will be selected through a transparent selection process based on pre-established criteria by a neutral selection committee. Selected projects as well as lessons learned will be published on the YEN web site.
In order to mobilize complementary resources and to improve sustainability, youth organizations are strongly encouraged to enter into partnerships with other actors such as private enterprises, business associations, NGOs, or government agencies.
The call for proposals will be complemented by la local media campaign and a series of information seminars will be organized in the MRU countries to provide practical information on the grant scheme, assistance on proposal design and application procedures. Members of the press are also invited to attend. Seminars in Liberia and Sierra Leone are planned for mid December and for Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea in early January. Background information, grant application forms and guidelines as well as time, venue and registration form for the information seminars can be found at www.ilo.org/yen. The deadline for applications for a grant is 14 February, 2009.
For more information please contact:
Task Manager, YEN Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland,
Programme Officer, YEN Office for West Africa (YEN-WA) in Dakar, Senegal,
About the Youth Employment Network
The Youth Employment Network (YEN), a partnership among the United Nations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank, brings together policymakers, employers’ and workers’ organizations, young people and other stakeholders to pool skills, experience and knowledge so as to propose policies and programmes addressing the youth employment challenge.