Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/270
    18 July 2008

    Re-issued as received

    United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Calls on
    Youth to Advise on Funding Intercultural Projects

    VIENNA, 18 July (UN Information Service) -- Seven youth organizations - two international and one each from Argentina, France, Ghana, the Philippines and Serbia - have been awarded funding during the pilot phase of the Alliance of Civilizations' small grants mechanism for youth-led projects.

    The Youth Solidarity Fund was announced at the Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid in January 2008 and aims to provide seed funding (in amounts up to $20,000) to outstanding youth-led projects aiming to enhance intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

    The call for applications was launched in February 2008 and the announcement of the first round of funded projects was made to the successful applicants on June 24, 2008. Youth played a critical role in the selection process; an international team of seven young people was called upon to review submitted project proposals and make recommendations for funding.

    The winning projects are as follows:

    • Speaking and Listening with Respect: Students, Faith, and Dialogue, lead by the International Movement of Catholic Students - Pax Romana
    • Embracing Diversity and Nurturing Understanding through the Empowerment of Women for Political Leadership, lead by the International Union of Socialist Youth
    • The Role of Youth as Citizens in the Construction of an Intercultural Society, lead by the Argentinean Youth Organization for the United Nations
    • God and Me, lead by No Ghetto, France
    • Capacity Building for Youth Leaders of Religious and Traditional Groups on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity for Sustained Peace and Development in Ghana, lead by the Federation of Youth Clubs, Ghana
    • Capacity Building for Youth Leaders and Strengthening Youth Networking for Peace Building, lead by Generation Peace Youth Network, Philippines
    • Interethnic Youth Alliance, lead by the Cultural Center DamaD, Serbia.

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    The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism. It was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. In April 2007, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the Alliance. The AoC is supported by a Group of Friends - a community of over 89 countries and international organizations and bodies.

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    For further information, please contact:

    Alliance of Civilizations Secretariat
    Telephone: (+1-917) 367 9917

    More detailed project descriptions can be found in an annex.

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    ANNEX - Detailed Project Description

    Speaking and Listening with Respect: Students, Faith, and Dialogue
    International Movement of Catholic Students - Pax Romana

    IMCS-Pax Romana brings together over 80 national federations of Catholic university students from all over the world in order to contribute to empowering the student milieu by helping students get involved as social actors in the university and in the world. Their project will gather Catholic and Muslim students from selected countries for a training session that focuses on promoting mutual respect and acceptance among the younger generation.

    Embracing Diversity and Nurturing Understanding through the Empowerment of Women for Political Leadership
    International Union of Socialist Youth

    IUSY is made up of 149 socialist, social democratic and labour youth organisations from 100 countries all over the world. The aim of their project is to identify good practices regarding the involvement of young women from various facets of society in the political life, allowing them to become peace-builders and agents of change. More precisely, the project will support a 2-day workshop aiming to gather a group of young women leaders for a dialogue of peace and understanding; formulate a good practices toolkit and policy; as well as provide young women activists with an opportunity to engage in international solidarity work.

    The Role of Youth as Citizens in the Construction of an Intercultural Society
    Argentinean Youth Organization for the United Nations

    The Argentinean Youth Organization for the United Nations is a pluralist NGO created and directed by young people commited to human development. Their project aims to build and strengthen relationships between young people from Latin-America and Africa. By promoting a South-to-South Youth Network and offering a 7-day training seminar to build partnerships, encourage peer-to-peer sharing and enhance dialogue skills on intercultural issues, this project will encourage the development and application of values, knowledge and skills that promote and reinforce beneficial and long-lasting intercultural projects.

    God and Me
    No Ghetto, France 

    No Ghetto is an international interactive web magazine launched in January 2008 with the support of Unesco. The "God and Me" project will allow No Ghetto to collect and publish testimonies about religion, spirituality, dogmas and traditions from youth from diverse backgrounds, particularly from disadvantaged areas and communities that suffer misrepresentation and discrimination.

    Capacity Building for Youth Leaders of Religious and Traditional Groups on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity for Sustained Peace and Development in Ghana
    Federation of Youth Clubs, Ghana

    The Federation of Youth Clubs is a non-governmental umbrella group of 150 Youth Clubs and organizations with headquarters in Accra, Ghana. Their project aim is to build the capacity of 30 young leaders from youth organizations and clubs in Christian, Muslim and Traditional religious areas of the greater Accra region, by bringing them together for a workshop promoting diversity, conflict prevention, human rights, tolerance as well as strengthening the relationships between youths from regions prone to cultural violence.

    Capacity Building for Youth Leaders and Strengthening Youth Networking for Peace Building
    Generation Peace Youth Network, Philippines

    GenPeace is a network of organizations and individuals committed to youth-led advocacy for a just and sustainable peace in the Philippines. Their project will allow the delivery of a series of youth leadership training sessions on peace and human rights in Mindanao, in the Southern region of the Philippines.  The project aims to increase the capacity of youth leaders and to connect different Muslim, Christian and Indigenous youth organizations for a more consolidated youth peace advocacy in the Philippines.

    Interethnic Youth Alliance
    Cultural Center DamaD, Serbia

    Cultural Centre DamaD is a non-governmental organization whose mission is affirmation of a culture of dialogue and of human rights through creative work in the local community and beyond. Their project focuses on youth from 7 towns of multiethnic and multireligious Sandzak region of southwest Serbia and aims to contribute to empowering them with leadership skills to be used in addressing local community issues that are directly affecting them.

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