The Balkan Youth Forum is a non-formal learning program for youth from diverse types of Balkan states, designed by a very young team of alumni of the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship program, aged 18 to 21 and funded by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. It brings together 2 participants, aged 16 to 18, from each Balkan country for an intensive week of lectures, debates, workshops, simulations, and meetings with representatives of the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant institutions and organizations. BYF combines peer-to-peer learning, edutainment, and volunteering. The purpose of these activities is helping participants form a more profound understanding of the past and present of the Balkans, to shape a personal opinion on the importance of cooperation and to inspire them to take action. At the end of the program, the participants will present their own projects for sustainable cooperation between their communities, which they will later implement in their own countries with the help of their BYF mentors.
- With the main focus on the history and current relations between the Balkan states, participants will learn more about their neighboring countries and gain a more in-depth understanding of the current geopolitical situation in the region.
- In addition, they will take part in carefully designed simulations that teach them about the governments and political leadership in the Balkan countries. Through debates and simulations where they will take on the roles of leaders and decision-makers, the students will develop their critical thinking, negotiation and problem-solving skills while emulating different political situations and designing optimal solutions.
- Participants will go through a series of workshops that equip them with the right skills and knowledge to design and implement their own projects and to build a network of civic engagement.
- They will also get the chance to engage and interact with the country they are staying in, as well as meet professionals working on governmental international relations and in international organizations and commissions, learn about different positions, perspectives, opportunities, and challenges that the Balkan region is facing today.
- Between 16 and 18 years old at the start of the program,
- Permanent residents of a Balkan country,
- Available to travel on the indicated dates.
- All applicants need to fill out the application form.
- A number of applicants from each country will be invited for an online interview.
Application Deadline: April 15, 2018Application ClosedOfficial link