United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Youth Solidarity Fund 2020/2021 for Innovative Youth Projects (USD 25,000 Grant)

Application Deadline: Sunday, 31 January 2021, 5:00 p.m.

The UNAOC Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) supports youth-led organizations that foster peaceful and inclusive societies by providing seed funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. It awards grants of up to USD 25,000 for the implementation of selected projects that demonstrate innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of UNAOC. YSF only supports projects that are entirely developed and managed by youth and for the benefit of youth. The age definition used by UNAOC to characterize youth is an individual between the ages of 18 and 35.

Who can apply for Youth Solidarity Fund?

  • Youth-led organizations registered and/or operational in one of the eligible countries;
  • Registered youth-led organizations with projects entirely developed and managed by youth and for the benefit of youth.

    Type of projects:

Youth Solidarity Fund provides seed funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. It awards grants of up to USD 25,000 for the implementation of selected projects that demonstrate innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of UNAOC. Proposals linked to the implementation of the following frameworks/policies are particularly encouraged:

  • Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on Youth, Peace and Security in connection to intercultural and interfaith dialogue;
  • Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism by promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue as a prevention tool;
  • Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 by addressing the increased stigma and discrimination of young people and their communities exacerbated by the pandemic;
  • Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites by promoting respect for other religions and cultures, the right of human beings to practice their faith in safety and peace, and dialogue and respect to combat extremist ideologies and narratives;
  • Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech by addressing the issues and their impact on young people.

Eligibility criteria for youth organizations:

Youth organizations are subject to the same criteria as other partners of the United Nations System in that they must be accountable, transparent, and refrain from all discriminatory practices.

To be eligible, applying youth organizations need to fulfill every one of the following criteria:

  • Be youth-led: a majority of the positions and decision-making roles within the organization are held by women and men between the ages of 18 and 35;
  • Be a non-profit, non-governmental organization (except for national youth councils) registered in the country of operation as a charity, trust, foundation, or association;
  • Be officially registered and operational for a minimum of two years prior to the deadline for applications with funding base and project implementation (operating in December 2018 or earlier);
  • Be registered and operate in one of the aforementioned countries;
  • Have a democratic governance structure and decision-making mechanism, including consultative processes in formulating priorities and policies;
  • Have an ability to demonstrate proper and consistent monitoring, evaluation, and record-keeping of their activities, including project evaluation reports and financial accounts;
  • Have a gender perspective/balance reflected in their staff, beneficiaries, and activities;
  • Have no adherence to or affiliations with violent ideologies or antagonism against any particular country, culture, religion or belief system, ethnic group, gender, etc.; and
  • Did not receive funding under past editions of YSF or did not receive the Intercultural Innovation Award.

Note: If you applied for YSF in the past but were not selected, you can apply for YSF again.

Upon request, organizations will need to provide documented evidence demonstrating how they fulfill all of these criteria.

Please note that project proposals will not be considered eligible for funding if they are submitted by governments, international governmental organizations, non-youth led organizations, unregistered groups of youth, business entities, as well as individuals.

Eligibility criteria for projects:

All submitted projects must fulfill every one of the following criteria to be eligible and reviewed by the Selection Committee:

  • Origin: The project was developed and written by youth;
  • Target Audience: The project targets youth primarily. Gender balance among project participants is ensured;
  • Objective: The project contributes to advancing UNAOC’s mandate of promoting a more socially inclusive world by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities;
  • Management: The project is managed by a youth-led organization, responding to all eligibility criteria mentioned above;
  • Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator is demonstrably affiliated to the applying organization and is between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of the application;
  • Duration and Timing: The project must be implemented between May 2021 and May 2022. Final reports will need to be submitted by 1 May 2022 at the latest;
  • Location: Project activities are implemented in the country(ies) mentioned in the above list (see geographical coverage section);
  • Budget: The organization needs to guarantee its capacity to implement all proposed project elements with the funds requested. The amount requested must be no more than 50 percent of the organization’s annual budget in 2019. Grants provided by UNAOC will not exceed USD 25,000. The scope of the project and the amount requested is not a determining factor in the selection process. Projects with smaller budgets are encouraged to apply. Please note that the average grant in the 8th YSF edition was USD 15,241.40. The proposed budget will have 90 percent of costs associated with direct project activities, and only up to 10 percent of it will cover the Project Coordinator’s salary/fees. Office rent cost, utilities, and purchase of technical equipment (e.g., computers, copiers, printers, cameras, telephones, etc.) cannot be part of the budget;
  • English: Application and CV/resume of the Project Coordinator must be submitted in English only;
  • Registration certificate and statute: Copies of a registration certificate and a statute need to be attached to the application form. They can be submitted in the original language of the country where the organization is registered. Translations may be requested at a later stage of the selection process.

To apply:

Interested organizations can apply through the form below.

To be considered complete and valid, the application package must include the following and be submitted through the online application form below.

  • The application form, completed and certified by the applicant’s organization;
  • A copy of the registration certificate of the applicant’s organization;
  • A copy of the statutes/by-laws of the applicant’s organization;
  • An organizational chart depicting the ages of key decision-makers within the organization;
  • A biography of the current Executive/Managing Director, showing the date of birth (one page maximum);
  • The resume/CV of the project coordinator (two pages maximum);
  • A picture or scan of the project coordinator’s passport identification page. If the project coordinator does not have a passport, upload his or her national identification card.

The word/character limit for each question in the application form needs to be respected. The application system automatically counts words and characters.

Deadline: The application deadline is Sunday, 31 January 2021, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in New York.

Disclaimer: UNAOC reserves the right to not select any applicants, or to cancel the call for applications. UNAOC accepts no liability for cancelling the call for applications or for anyone’s failure to receive notification of cancellation.

For any additional questions on YSF and this call for applications, please consult:

After reviewing all available sources of information, if you still have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNAOC Youth Solidarity Fund 2021

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