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.
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.
- The project aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism;
- The project promotes the values of peace and development;
- The project objectives are clear, and there is a logical connection between identified issues, proposed activities, and requested funding.
Youth Solidarity Fund provides seed funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Proposals linked to implementation of the following frameworks/policies are particularly encouraged:
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on Youth, Peace and Security in connection to intercultural and interfaith dialogue;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism by promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue as a prevention tool;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 by addressing the increased stigma and discrimination of young people and their communities exacerbated by the pandemic;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites by promoting respect for other religions and cultures, the right of human beings to practice their faith in safety and peace, and dialogue and respect to combat extremist ideologies and narratives;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech by addressing the issues and their impact on young people.
It awards grant 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.
For more information, visit https://apply.unaoc.org/ysf2020