Youth Bank is one of the very successful programs of European Foundation. The main goal of this program is to enhance female and male youth volunteerism and civic engagement to address targeted communities’ needs. Over the years, EPF’s Youth Integration Program has greatly contributed to increased civic engagement of young people residing in 33 communities of Georgia.
To achieve the desired outcomes, EPF has been following the Youth Bank (YB) methodology, an innovative way of increasing youth participation through creating groups of young people (aged 15-21) in a given community (the Youth Banks) and empowering them with training and resources to find, fund, and oversee small youth-led initiatives that address salient local communities issues. The YB concept is founded on the premise that involving young people in projects they design and manage is the most potent way to develop civic participation among youth.
The Youth Bank is actively and successfully working in Akhmeta district as well.
Akhmeta YB members include young people from Pankisi and in particular, RSF students.
Youth Bank Program also includes exchange programs. Every year, YB members have a chance to fill the application form in English language for the exchange visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many have the desire, but after the selection, only ten members can go and attend the conference with Abkhazian and Bosnian YB members.
This year, four out of ten selected members are from the Akhmeta Committee. Out of these four, two are RSF students; Fatima Margoshvili and me. We are going to attend the upcoming 5-day Virtual Leadership Conference that is planned between July 20-30 via online platform and the 7-day meeting scheduled between September 10-29 outside of Georgia.
The selected members from different communities of Georgia, Abkhazia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will represent and learn about other Youth Bank committees’ work, funded youth-led initiatives and community projects as well as establish contacts with other YB members. Additionally, the participants will design, plan and implement joint projects that will contribute to tolerance and confidence-building among youth residing of Georgia.