Young Man Initiative Movement Future4Youth aims to bring diverse voices of civil society, informal citizens groups, parents, teachers and other stakeholders around the same goal – to address and advocate for violence prevention, gender equality, life skills and health education in schools across the Balkans.

This requires an innovative and systematic approach and strong commitment from all people to stand together and work for positive and peaceful societies for young people in the Western Balkans. Beside the regional and national actions and stakeholders, we need community-based actors and a collective action to make sustainable changes in the future.

Young Men Initiative (YMI) is a regional platform of organizations, convened by CARE International Balkans. It started as a project in 2006 and it is being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo and Albania. It builds on CARE´s comprehensive and programmatic efforts to prevent interpersonal and gender-based violence as well as to promote gender equality in the region. For over a decade, YMI has been targeting youth to build their knowledge and attitudes concerning gender equality, violence and healthy lifestyles and to decrease levels of all types of violence. Since the beginning, over 100 000 high-school students from 130 communities participated in Life Skills Education programmes that CARE implemented in cooperation with local partners. During the years, we have cooperated with variety of stakeholders and realized that there is an emerging need for embracing a joint approach toward this sensitive topic in the Balkans.

CARE and partners have introduced Program Y methodology at schools all around region and obtained accreditation in BiH, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo by relevant educational ministries, meaning that the Program Y methodology relies on violence and social problems prevention, gender equality, human rights, health education and promotion of personal and social growth as a key component of Life Skills Education in schools.

Students participating Program Y show positive changes (10-20% in average) in attitudes on gender-based violence and interpersonal violence among youth who had taken part in the program. Our regional research from June 2019 showed that 93% of people thinks that life skills education is necessary for young people and 90% of them is ready to support it. Respondents see prevention of violence and promotion of non-violent communication as the most important issues that need addressing or immediate focus or attention.

Our approach is based on addressing gender inequalities and promoting healthy lifestyles in such a way that enables boys and girls and young men and women to reach their full potential on their path towards adulthood. In societies where gender equality is most prevalent, the benefits to both men and women are seen through more equal relationships, better health outcomes for men and greater human rights for all citizens.

Organizations: SIT - Qendra për Këshillim, Shërbime Sociale dhe Hulumtime
Locations: Kosovo-wide
Start Date : 01, March 2021
End Date : 31, March 2024