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 all over the country and be active in the field of human rights education. It operates in the areas of youth policy, development of the civil society and activism, and it is aimed at:
- promotion of systematic and organized informal 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 for 2018-2020, defining the main thematic focuses for the next period. Following 3 topics were listed as organizational priorities for the above mentioned period:
- role of sport in social development and fight against negative phenomena in and through sports;
- participation of young people in public and political life of the community, with a focus on young women and vulnerable groups of youth;
- Human Rights on the Internet (Internet Governance).
The organization consists of a core five-member project team, 10 external experts from different fields and a network of 100 volunteers throughout the country. It has established partnership with 24 organizations region-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 human rights education 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). Furthermore, DC Youth is member of the European movement against hate speech online, which is gathering more than 1000 youth organizations from all over Europe at the moments – NHSM (No Hate Speech Movement), initiated by the Council of Europe.
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.).
In the period 2014-2020, DC Youth initiated and successfully implemented mora than 20 different projects, supported by national and international donors representing different sectors, such as the European Commission through ERASMUS+ program, European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social and Veterans Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ERSTE bank, municipalities of Raška, Bečej and Veliko Gradište, and many others.
Despite challenges caused by coronavirus pandemic, 2020 will also be ended in working atmosphere, with 3 active projects – „Trade Unions and their Youth Sections – New Impetus for Youth Participation“ supported through international activities program of the EYF, „Extraordinary Work in Extraordinary Situations“ supported through pilot activities program of the EYF and „Sustainable Organizations for a Strong Community“ in partnership with the Children’s Association of the Municipality of Raška, within the project Accountable Public Finance Management Platform implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia and funded by the Government of Sweden (SIDA) in cooperation with the Municipality of Raška.