Apply for the 2019 UNHCR Youth Initiative Fund: Supporting Youth-Led Protection


With the Global Compact on Refugees, States and partners will develop and adopt a new “whole-of-society approach” to working with refugees through the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.

The whole-of-society approach, which closely aligns with that of the Youth Initiative Fund (YIF), further embeds UNHCR’s unique community based and participatory models of working with refugee, asylum-seeker, returnee, IDP and the stateless populations.

The young people from these populations are diverse, creative and dynamic. Over the last six years, the Youth Initiative Fund has highlighted time and again – through its unique approach of youth-led protection projects – that when provided with support, training and resources, young people can be creative problem solvers, and are able to design, lead and implement successful projects that benefit, not only themselves, but their entire communities.

What is the Youth Initiative Fund?

In 2019, the YIF enters its seventh year. The YIF was initiated by the Division of International Protection in Geneva to support community based protection projects imagined, designed and led by young people. Since 2014, the YIF has supported more than 100 youth led projects globally that have addressed protection challenges including sexual and gender-based violence, peaceful coexistence, child protection and psychosocial wellbeing.

The YIF is unique in that it targets and builds upon the existing capacities and capabilities of young people, rather than focussing on vulnerabilities. The YIF creates an enabling environment that provides young people with the space and support necessary to become active protection actors within their communities and helps them build life skills that strengthen resilience.

This is achieved through the realisation of three main objectives:

1. Participation: Young people have genuine opportunities for community participation and opportunities to effect decision making processes, especially in the area of protection;

2. Empowerment: Young people learn about project management, use their initiative, evaluate options, learn to make informed decisions and choices, developing and enhancing leadership skills;

3. Innovation: Young people develop innovative, youth-appropriate protection solutions to addressing personal, group and community challenges.

Projects should take into consideration the following approaches:

Community-Based Protection and Capacity Development:

 Young people should be encouraged and supported to imagine, research, design and implement projects based on protection concerns they identify within their communities.

 Projects should be community-based, and should incorporate a learning component that helps to further develop young people’s capacities in areas such as life skills, business or community work.

 Capacity development should be sustainable so that acquired skills and knowledge remain in communities after the project.

 Projects may also wish to support young people to develop relationships with host community groups and groups from their own or other communities to promote peaceful coexistence and address discrimination and xenophobia.

For more information about this opportunity, follow the official website here


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