VRNJAČKA BANJA – The RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia together with the OSCE Mission to Serbia for four years in a row has been organizing a training course on project proposal design for civil society organizations from Serbia to support their capacity building in conducting regional projects.
This year’s training took place from 7 to 10 September in Vrnjačka Banja. It raised capacities and improved the knowledge of fourteen civil society organizations’ representatives on project proposal design in the areas of youth mobility, cooperation, activism, and intercultural learning in the Western Balkans.
Head of the Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Ivana Antonijević and representative of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Ms Milena Stošić welcomed the participants and emphasized their joint commitment to support the long term building of capacities of civil society organizations in Serbia. They underlined the importance of this support towards enhancing regional youth cooperation, reconciliation and peacebuilding processes as well strengthening the active civic participation of young people in the Western Balkans.
During the training, the sessions were interactive and made use of digital tools which strengthened theoretical knowledge as well practical skills on various project elements: from the justification of the main problem which has to be tackled with the project, through the development of specific objectives and activities, to the budgeting and communication and visibility of the project as such. These developed mini projects went through feedback sessions with facilitators and group analysis on what is considered as successful in presented draft project proposals.
Through all of these stages of the project development participants had the opportunity to learn more on intercultural learning and dialogue, youth participation, social inclusion and also gender equality, the importance of these cross-cutting topics for RYCO projects and regional youth cooperation overall. Gender equality was also discussed in a special hybrid session which was followed up by vivid and fruitful discussions of participants and facilitators on how projects can be more sensitive and inclusive in this sense.
The training was accompanied in all its sessions with the Beginner’s Manual for Project Proposal Writing 101 which RYCO Serbia and OSCE Mission to Serbia jointly developed early this year. This Manual is conceptualized to support the advancement of project writing skills for the successful design of projects and initiatives that can connect the Western Balkan youth. It supports beginner practitioners to understand the structure of grant proposals, develop project elements and create inclusive youth projects.