Youth Banks Network Macedonia

How to engage youth to work on issues that matter to them? How to inspire them to spot problems and develop solutions in their local communities? On the other side, how to motivate the local government representatives to have understanding for youth needs, involve them in the decision-making processes and last but not least, provide procedures and mechanisms for youth inclusion?

Youth Banks Network Macedonia (YBNM) is an open network supporting youth employment using the youth banks model. This model brings a range of benefits to young people involved, particularly as regards their skills, confidence, personal growth, and development. As decision-makers, young people also develop an employability edge by learning to budget, work in a team, assess projects according to guidelines and requirements they have set out, fundraise effectively and communicate their message through various media platforms. Though youth banks model, youth get more involved in their local communities, they build connections with relevant stakeholders and get empowered on action. We will walk on this journey together with our partners: CEFE Bitola, Youth Alliance Krusevo, Youth Council Prilep as well as Poraka Nova from Struga. Mozaik Foundation from Bosnia and Herzegovina that have been implementing this model for 10 years now. They have founded 1700+ projects through the youth banks in BiH and they will be our know-how provider; with their knowledge and experienceMozaik will support YBNM in the process. Youth Banks have been implemented in 20 countries from Europe and the world, please learn more about the model and see the map provided by Youth Banks International here:

Aims and objectives

With the Youth Banks Network Macedonia project, we aim to establish the necessary mechanisms and procedures for implementing the youth banks model on a local level, as well as to equip youngsters and local authorities with the necessary skills and tools for youth employment using the youth banks model. The project’s goal is to promote an enabling legal, policy and business environment for youth employment through a model of Youth Banks in Macedonia (YB). The specific project objectives are:

  • To set up an active and recognizable network- for public debate and dialogue with authorities at the national/local level for support of youth employment;
  • Capacity Building of YB network in order to develop advocacy policies on any level that support youth job creation through a model of Youth banks;
  • Legal and policy support services for municipalities and CSOs for the establishment of business enabled environment (local Youth Banks);
  • To gradually raise awareness of the local and national public and decision-makers of the importance of the youth employment support through Youth Banks Network.

At this stage, with this project, we focus on lobbying and advocacy activities for the policies at any level that support youth job creation through the model of youth banks. Within the Youth Banks Network, we would like to train youngsters as well as provide channels and tools they can use to lobby and advocate for their interests and needs with the local authorities. They will be meetings with members of the municipality councils where it will be discussed the procedure for drafting the proposal for the municipal council where they will propose the creation of the Youth Banks Fund that will support local youth initiatives from 2019. Basically, we want to make sure that conditions for such funds to be established will be created and that they will become part of the Local Economic Development Strategy or Local Youth Strategy from 2019, which will guarantee their implementation.

Youth Banks Network Macedonia project is supported by the USAID’s Civic Engagement Project and will last two years (until September 2019).

*The statute is available here.