Throughout its existence, the International Institute for Youth Development PETRI – Sofia has successfully collaborated with institutions and organizations at local, national and international level. Since 2015, partnership relations have been developed between the Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria (MFA), and PETRI – Sofia has successfully implemented two projects through the Bulgarian Development Aid in 2015 and 2016.
In 2017, PETRI – Sofia started a third project with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – “Youth Leadership for the Development and Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, which aims to develop the capacity of active young people to contribute for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as their leadership and social skills, their knowledge and skills in the field of project development and management and fundraising, youth policy, youth participation and development.
The young people involved in the PETRI – Sofia activities under this project are young leaders, potential staff and experts in the national and regional institutions of their countries, the Western Balkans, the Black Sea region, and countries characterized by internal instability and sources of migratory flows: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
PETRI-Sofia’s project consists of several key activities, one of which is the continuation of the international internship program of the center, in which more than 40 young activists from different countries have participated so far. In 2017, under this project, three youngsters started in PETRI – Anmar Khalid from Iraq, Ana Mosiashvili from Georgia and Sargis Ghazaryan from Armenia. They are involved in supporting and updating the online advocacy platform on sexual and reproductive health and rights – Speak Act Change (http://speakactchange.org/), in developing guidelines for working with young people on conflict resolution, peace-building and prevention of radicalization, in the organization of international meetings and trainings and other ongoing activities of PETRI.
Anmar from Iraq says about the fellowship program: “Nothing that is meant for young people should be done without their participation. We must influence decision-making and strive to contribute to positive changes in society. I think that through my fellowship at PETRI – Sofia I can do this, acquiring valuable knowledge and skills, and I am convinced that this experience is extremely important for my personal and professional development.”
The second major project activity is the organization of an international training for 40 youth leaders from the Y-PEER network. The training will take place in April 2018 and will have two modules, which will run in parallel: “Project Development and Management” and “Fundraising and Resource Mobilization”. Skills in these areas are key to young people who are actively working in the non-governmental sector and are active citizens in their countries, involved in organizing campaigns, events, projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The organization of the annual meeting of national coordinators of the Y-PEER network is also part of the PETRI – Sofia project. The so-called Global Advisory Board Meeting of Y-PEER will also take place in April 2018 and will bring together the national and international coordinators of Y-PEER, in order to discuss issues relevant to the development of the international network. During the meeting, experience will be shared between the national Y-PEER networks, the ByLaws of the international network will be updated and an Annual Work Plan will be developed.