FACT SHEET: Peacing the Future Together (YouthBanks) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $1.8 million
Start Date:  February 2010
End Date:  February 2015
Implementing Partner:  Mozaik Foundation
 
The Challenge
Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are the country’s most important untapped resource.  Knowledge and skills acquired through the education system are often outdated or elementary, leaving young people unemployable.  According to Labor Force Survey data, the unemployment rate for BiH youth is 58.4% and steady.  Inadequate training and the lack of jobs is forcing young people -- who represent 23% of the BiH population -- to look outside the country for employment and other opportunities for a better life. 
 
Our Program
USAID'S program, Peacing the Future Together — YouthBanks, will support BiH youth in community development activities.  The program provides young people (ages 15-30) in 32 BiH municipalities with hands-on opportunities to build project management skills working on youth-led initiatives -- as YouthBanks board members -- and gain confidence as leaders and agents of social change.  The YouthBanks program works with local officials to secure matching funds for youth initiatives.  This project will realize a total of 900 youth-led projects through 32 YouthBanks, reaching about 50,000 young people of multi-ethnic backgrounds from throughout BiH.
 
Implementation and Results
More than 200 informal youth groups implemented 237 YouthBanks-approved projects in their respective municipalities.  The total estimated value of these projects is $600,000, out of which USAID contributed $100,000.  The municipalities contributed a total of $100,000, and $400,000 came from individuals and local businesses.  Examples of the joint community initiatives are refurbishing a kindergarten playground and building a basketball court to give children a safe, inviting place to play.  More than 4,000 young people participated in development and implementation of these projects.  In 2011 alone, 135 youth-driven projects received support of over $370,000.  For each dollar granted to youth groups, three additional dollars were mobilized from the local communities.  To build capacity, the program provided trainings to all YouthBanks board members, including:  Building an Effective Team, Youth Leadership, Project Cycle Management, Youth Voices in Media, and Public Speaking.  
 
For more information, please visit the Peacing the Future Together Project's Facebook page or contact:
Drazena Peranic, USAID Development Outreach and Communications Specialist -- dperanic@usaid.gov.
 

Last updated: January 22, 2014

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