About the webinar:
Young men and young women as teenagers in the Balkans demonstrate many risks and challenges in their everyday life. This is a critical stage in development for adolescent boys and girls in the Balkans, especially in regards to social and peer influences. Young men are testing and formulating their attitudes and behaviors around manhood based on these influences. For many, their daily experiences include violence as both victims and perpetrators. In addition, many hold non equitable attitudes and behavior around gender which impacts their relationships and puts them at greater risks for non-healthy lifestyles.
CARE and partner NGOs has been addressing issues of youth development, gender equality, gender-based violence, women’s empowerment and community mobilization over the past 20 years. With limited data available about the current experience of young men in the Balkans, much of foundation for the Young Men Initiative (YMI) was drawn from a Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) exercise conducted with young men in April 2007, as well as from the experience and insights of project team members in four Western Balkan countries. In a parallel with establishment of YMI network, based on collected study data, new form of young men engagement in gender transformative work has been identified and shortly after developed and established. Be a Men Clubs represent a platform for engaging young men in exercising gender equitable attitudes and behavior. Today, facilitation of Be a Men Clubs in almost every city across the Balkan countries is most known strategy for working with men in this region.
The Young Men Initiative is roughly divided into 4 phases and each phase starts with complex baseline study and each phase ends with end line study and research on effectiveness of applied methodology. CARE and YMI partners build on the lessons learned from previous work involving boys and men but also girls and women, utilising both research and evaluation in the design of the proposed interventions. Such approach enables CARE and partners to collect, use and apply findings and data on effectiveness of applied strategies. Each phase was built on experiences from previous work. Therefore, YMI is evidence-based methodology developing and improving for last 20 years. Phase I was the pilot phase (2007-2010) that adapted a program methodology/curriculum originally developed by the Institute Promundo in Latin America. Phase II (2011-2013) applied the effective strategies of the first phase to expand the methodology to more schools, reach target groups outside of schools, extend its geographic coverage, and promote adoption of the program at national level. Further program improvements were applied during the third (2014-2017) and forth phase (2017-2020).
Young Men Initiative, a project implemented by CARE International and 9 partner organizations in the Balkans won a prestigious education innovation award from GENE – Global Education Network Europe. GENE wishes to recognize the importance of innovation in Global Education through its Global Education Innovation Award. The award is intended to benefit Global Education projects that bring about positive change and opens peoples’ eyes and minds to the realities of the world, locally and globally. It promotes Global Education initiatives that can bring about this change through creativity, participation, direct action, synergies and innovation, and to ultimately inspire public policy.
CARE´s work with boys and young men is based in a comprehensive methodology that is implemented via a Gender Transformative Life Skills program, the so called “Program Y” Manual. The Program Y – Youth Manual is a training manual that aims to promote gender equality and healthy lifestyles with young men and women by addressing some of the social constructions of masculinity (ies) and feminity(ies) as a strategy for building important life skills in young men and young women as they emerge into young adulthood.
“Program Y– Youth Innovative Approaches in GBV Prevention and Healthy Lifestyle Promotion for Young Men and Women“ is a new educational program for the prevention of violence and promotion of healthy lifestyles. The program is accredited in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton and authorized to work in secondary schools in the Republic of Srpska. It is also applied in the Sarajevo Canton and Central Bosnia Canton. The Manual for educators in high schools and youth workers “Program Y – Youth“ is a tool that was developed out of the Young Men Initiative by CARE International NW Balkans and its collaborative partners from Western Balkans countries focused on addressing gender inequalities, harmful health practices and violence in everyday life with young men and young women age from 14 till 19 in schools and the community.
We believe by addressing gender inequalities and promoting healthy versions of masculinities and manhood, boys / young men have the opportunity to reach there full potential in society. In societies where gender equality is most prevalent, the benefits to both men and women are seen through more equal relationships, better health outcomes for men and greater human rights for all citizens.
Webinar Young Men Initiative – Challenging norms and setting gender equitable trends in Balkan countries by using innovative, comprehensive and gender transformative program will introduce participants into key steps and strategies that CARE and partners conducted during the last 20 years of YMI work in Balkan Countries. Participants will be introduce into different forms of partnership (strategic, collaborative, advocacy) in order to mobilize local communities to support and be engage in gender transformative work. How and why are the questions that will be in the focus of the webinar.
About the presenter:
Feđa Mehmedović was born in Sarajevo on 24 February 1982. After finishing medical high school in Sarajevo, he enrolled the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Sarajevo. Since 2002 he started his engagement as peer educators in the non-governmental organization Association XY.
His contribution to the development of numerous educational programs to work with different groups (MSM, LGBTQ, Roma people, injection drug users, young people, parents, health workers, professionals, teachers, etc.), secured him the title of master trainer of education programs in 2004. He is the author of numerous educational modules, educational tools and manuals aimed at health care professionals, social workers, parents, psychologists and other professionals, organizations and individuals working in the field of promotion and protection of health, promotion of gender equality, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevention of human trafficking, prevention of use and abuse of psychoactive substances and prevention of violence.
Direct work with various population groups in BiH and the region gave him special sensitivity towards specific health, educational, socio-cultural needs of different groups, which enabled him to adapt his work and approaches to end users, i.e. to those to whom his approaches, modules and manuals are intended. More than 10,000 young people and adults have been included in educational and other activities led by Feđa Mehmedović. As the winner of the United Nations Campaign "Men united to end violence against women and girls", he made a significant contribution to raising public awareness of gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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