CARE International in Kosovo
contributing to a sustainable peace

Project name: Young Men Initiative

Donors to the Action: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Period of Implementation: 01/12/2010 - 01/12/2013

Overall objective:
In March 2009, CARE Northwest Balkans launched the Young Men Initiative (YMI), a program designed to build more equitable attitudes and behaviors with young men and decrease both gendered and peer violence. With financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, YMI pilot ran through December 2006 through November 2010. The pilot was implemented by local youth-serving agencies (YSAs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Banja Luka and Sarajevo), Croatia (Zagreb) and Serbia (Belgrade and Prokuplje). Technical support for the project was provided by, SMART Kolektiv, Instituto Promundo and ICRW (for evaluation technical support).

YMI worked with young men aged 15-19 in five technical schools to discuss and critically reflect about issues such as masculinity, gender norms, sexuality and violence, both through educational workshops and a social marketing lifestyles campaign. The program believed that by participating in such activities, young men can improve their sexual and violent behaviors. YMI hoped to identify best practices for interventions that seek to reduce violence and improve sexual health outcomes for young men in the Balkans and to develop a set of group education activities and school-based campaigns that would be culturally relevant to the Northwest Balkans region.


CARE was able to leverage the impact of the initial pilot on several different levels. They include the following:
  1. CARE was able to seek an additional 3 years support from the donor to scale up the initiatives in the 3 existing countries(Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia) and to expand into Kosovo.
  2. CARE has been able to use the evidence of impact in advocacy efforts with the Ministry of Education in 2 of the 3 countries to date to begin looking at how a life skills education program with a gender transformative approach can be more systematically introduced in all schools within the countries(Serbia and Croatia).
  3. Local partners have been successful in building new sources of funding in support of this work from both governmental sources and other international donors. This has supported additional replication and scale up.
CARE In Kosovo is implementing the project with local partners organizations, Peer Educators Network, PEN in Prishtina and Center for Community Development CCD in North Mitrovica. more...

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs