Development Center for Youth (DC Youth) is a citizens’ association established in 2014 with the intention to gather youth and other stakeholder groups of importance (from both all over the country and beyond) and be active in the field of human rights education. It operates in the areas of youth policy and sports, development of the civil society and activism, and it is aimed at:
- promotion of systematic and organized informal and non-formal education for young people and general population about human rights and responsibilities and the importance of active participation in the society;
- work on programs of support to achieve and improve the mobility of young people (both internal and external);
- work on improvement of awareness, knowledge and information of young people about different social processes of importance (with a special focus on children and youth from rural areas and vulnerable groups);
- establishing communication and networking of young people from Serbia with their peers in the region and wider.
At the end of 2017, the organization has adopted 5-year Plan of development (underlining main directions and targets in terms of improvement of organizational capacities), along with the Action plan, defining the main thematic focuses for the next period. Following topic was listed as one out three organizational priorities for the abovementioned period:
- role of sport in social development and fight against negative phenomena in and through sports.
Organization consists of a core five-member project team, 20 external experts from different fields and a network of 100 volunteers throughout the country. It has established partnership with 30 organizations region and Europe-wide, through signed Memorandums of Understanding, including the cooperation with different municipalities, trade union units, educational and sports institutions and media. From 2015, it has a regional Memorandum of Cooperation signed with 17 organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia, on joint acting in the field of non-formal education in and through sport, as well as national Protocol of Cooperation with 6 organizations from different parts of Serbia in relation to the same topic (from 2017). In addition, it has signed agreements with 10 football clubs from Serbia and the region.
Furthermore, DC Youth has been member of the European movement against hate speech online, which has been gathering more than 1000 youth organizations from all over Europe – NHSM (No Hate Speech Movement), initiated by the Council of Europe. As part of this campaign, in 2016-2017, it has implemented number of sport activities on the national level, using sport to combat or draw attention to existence of number of different negative phenomena in the society.
Most of the activities of DC Youth are based on non-formal education methods, mainly on development and strengthening the network of peer educators and their further acting in local communities they are coming from (through workshops, local actions, researches, advocacy initiatives, etc.).
From 2015 DC Youth initiated and successfully implemented more than 40 different projects (5 of them being directly linked with the topic of sport in the function of social development), supported by national and international donors representing different sectors, such as the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social and Veterans Affairs, European Commission, European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, Erste bank, municipalities of Raška, Bečej and Veliko Gradište, and many others. Two of mentioned sport projects had wider regional/European impact – “Through Sport to Tolerance” and “Dialogue and Camp of Tolerance and Friendship”.
In addition, our expert team has led the educational processes in different sports projects and first in football was – “Life champions: creating better opportunities through sport”, which was focused on introduction of human rights education dimension into work of football trainers from the region of Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Within our regular program for capacity building of civil society actors for project preparation and project cycle management, as well as for usage of available regional and international funds, we have been conducted trainings for number of sport structures as well. All our current partners coming from football field passed our training on project cycle management – our strategic idea was to increase their potential for obtaining support for their activities from different available sources, and to prepare them for our potential joint acting in the period to come.