During the International Coordination Meeting for Youth Organisations (ICMYO) in Cairo (15-17 June 2008 ) Mr. Daanish Masood from the Alliance of Civilisations presented the future plans of the alliance to work with youth. And the response was massive.
Youth one of four priorities
Working with young people is one of the four priorities of the alliance; further covering migration, education and media.
Youth Solidarity Fund
The Alliance of Civilisations recently launched its own youth fund. For the first round and pilot phase of the fund the alliance received more than 70 applications from around the world.
Margou Mounu from Pax Romana pointed out that the call for applications for the Alliance of Civilisations Youth Fund had come too close to the deadline for applications since it takes time to get the information down to the grass root level where the actions can actually take place. Mr. Masood promised to take this back to the work with evaluating the pilot phase and further developing the Youth Fund.
Youth-led and youth-selected
The fund does not grant projects run by adults for youth, only truly youth-led projects. George Dixon Fernandez, president of the International Movement for Catholic Agricutural and Rural Youth (MIJARC), expressed his appreciation of these principles, general interest in the fund and that the organisation will follow the development of the fund closely.
Youth Advisory Committee
The Alliance of Civilisations got recognition for its good work in reaching out to all regions. When selecting projects to get grants from the Solidarity Fund a gender balanced Youth Advisory Committee was established with representatives nominated by the Regional Youth Platforms, all gathering in ICMYO.
The ICMYO organisations expressed appreciation and satisfaction with the youth initiatives of the alliance but also pointed out that at the first annual forum of the alliance the expectations from the youth representatives present were far from met.
The youth representatives were kept in a separate setting from the actual delegates to the meeting and there was hardly any interaction – said Bettina Schwarzmayr, president of the European Youth Forum.
The next annual forum will be held in Turkey in 2009 and the preparations are on track to ensure a youth forum also linked to this annual forum. As the Alliance of Civilisations focuses on the three Abraham religions one of the ideas is to give the youth forum the shape of a trek in the paths of Abraham.