The Youth Employment Network (YEN) would launch a competitive grant scheme for Youth-led Organizations in Countries of the Mano River Union (i.e. Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire).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, especially in preparing their young work force for employment as well as creating decent work for youths. The rebuilding of societies after conflict is in great need of the talents and aspirations of young people. Young people are a major asset which should not be lost. Youths are the future, but they need to grow to realize their full potential.
This scheme would therefore 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, who have demonstrated the potential of youths as active participants in development.
The Scheme is part of a 4-year UN inter-agency (UNIDO, ILO, UNDP, and YEN) program aimed at improving youth employment in the MRU. YEN agreed with the lead agency UNIDO to come up with a competitive grant scheme for Youth-led Organizations in these Countries. The World Bank has committed additional funding.
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 and economic empowerment of young women.
Projects would be selected through a transparent selection process based on pre-established criteria by a neutral selection committee. Selected projects as well as any major lessons learnt from implementation would 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, foundations, or government agencies.
An information event on applying for the grant would be held in Freetown on December 16 2008, from 9h00 to 17h00 at the Hotel Cabenda. The event would provide practical information on the application procedures and guidance on proposal design to meet the selection criteria of this Grant Scheme for representatives of eligible Youth Organizations. Representatives interested in attending must complete a registration form and send it to [email protected] before 8 December for reservations. Each event would accommodate a maximum of 40 participants. Members of the press are also invited to attend.
Grant application forms, guidelines background information and the information event registration form could be found at www.ilo.org/yen. The deadline for applications for a grant is 14 February 2009.