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Regional Youth Funding in Europe



The BCYF is dedicated to improving the conditions, prospects, and quality of life of children and youth up to age 30 throughout the Balkan region. It aims to increase the effectiveness, scale, and sustainability of youth programs; to strengthen the capacity of children and youth NGOs, local and national, dealing with youth and youth business initiatives; to generate social investments from the business sector, governments, international funding agencies, and NGOs; and to enhance cooperation among the business, government, and civil society sectors to improve the conditions and prospects of young people. It promotes positive youth development throughout the region by building alliances at the local, national, regional, and international levels. Its core activities are to enhance young people’s opportunities in the areas of employment, technology, non-formal education, health promotion and prevention, and democracy building. While BCYF seeks to address the urgent realities of a region recovering from decades of ethnic strife, economic isolation, and social instability, its focus has been to develop long-term, sustainable solutions. BCYF has sought to strengthen youth-serving NGOs in the Balkans identify and support best practices, convene individuals and organizations to develop a common vision among the region’s youth, and forge multisector partnerships to further these goals.


SOURCES OF FUNDS: International Youth Foundation, Freudenberg Stiftung, Olof Palme Foundation, European Youth Foundation, Balkan Trust for Democracy, Kosova Foundation for Open Society, Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stiftelson Konung Gustaf V 90th Anniversary Fund, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UPM-Kymmene, Studio Moderna, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretariat for European Affairs in the Government of Republic of Macedonia, Foundation Open Society Institute–Macedonia, Interkulturelles Zentrum (Austria), European Commission–Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, Stiftelsen Konung Gustaf V:s 90-årsfond, Stiftung Schüler Helfen Leben, and Nestle.

FINANCIALS: Since it was established in 2000, the foundation has worked with more than 400 NGOs to award more than 100 grants in ten countries and territories and invested more than US$2.5 million in youth development and capacity-building activities. BCYF programs have impacted more than 94,000 young people. No further information is available in the public domain about its current operating and grant-making expenditure.

Youth Employability Program

This program seeks to support business plans of young unemployed persons ages 18 to 26 in Serbia who have an idea for setting up their own business with up to a total amount of €4,000. BCYF is ready to support individuals for a period of one year. The aim of the action is to improve access opportunities for young people into the local business community.

Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program

The Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program has increased the knowledge, skills, and resources of 5,400 young leaders or participants in youth-led programs. Since 2002, the program has worked to build the capacities, skills, and attitudes of Balkan’s youth leaders through leadership training, IT, and English-language training and youth exchange.