Fostering Civic Engagement, Democratic Participation, and Youth Leadership

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PROJECT OBJECTIVES: PDS Poland invites proposals to equip the next generation of Polish leaders (aged 15 – 30) to implement impactful civic engagement programs focused on the promotion of human rights, democratic values, and the rule of law. Activities should equip participants with skills to successsfully navigate the complexities of their society, engage constructively, and contribute meaningfully to their community’s development and Poland’s future. Projects should also be designed with the intent of fostering enduring connections and collaboration among participants after the project’s conclusion. PRIORITY PROGRAMMING AREAS: A successful proposal will include a comprehensive calendar of activities up to 36 months that include the following three elements: 1. A series of skills-building workshops and/or interactive trainings; 2. Support for implementation of participant-led community projects; 3. A minimum of 12 months of ongoing mentoring and networking opportunities for participants following the completion of elements 1 and 2 above. All projects must address the development of youth leadership, critical thinking, project management skills, and resilience as well as at least one of below programming areas: · Human Rights Engagement and Problem-Solving: Initiatives promoting human rights and tolerance, focused on active community engagement, including local analysis of challenges and identification of solutions. · Promoting Democratic Participation: Programs that encourage democratic involvement, and increase youth participation in the public policy process, including collaboration with local governments, communities, NGOs, civil society organizations, and/or the private sector. Programs should focus on teaching advocacy skills and the formulation of policy reforms to develop strategies addressing local issues to affect meaningful change. · Inclusive Engagement: Strategies for engaging typically civically inactive youth and ensuring that the needs and rights of minority communities are considered in building safe and tolerant environments. Examples of types of activities that can be included in proposals: 1. Projects organized and carried out by youth (aged 15 - 30) that focus on the themes mentioned above. Initiatives aimed at empowering young people by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively plan and execute community projects. 2. Programs that train educators to equip young people (aged 15 - 30) with the necessary skills (including resilience) to carry out civic engagement projects (this type of activity must include a youth-implemented project) in their communities. 3. Mentoring and networking events. PDS Poland welcomes proposals that incorporate the involvement of U.S. experts, trainers, models, and/or best practices, as appropriate. Participants and Audiences: Proposals should describe both the primary and secondary audiences for the program, including anticipated numbers to be reached. Primary audiences are those who will participate directly in the program, while secondary audiences are those who will be reached by the project’s primary audiences as a result of their participation (For example, a workshop for educators would have teachers as the primary audience and the students in their classrooms organizing a civic engagement project in their local communities as the secondary audience). Programs ensuring gender parity and socio-economic inclusion across all its activities are encouraged. Applicants should be as specific as possible in their proposals about their project’s primary audience and how they will engage them through programming. The principal method of engagement will be through in-person programming. Virtual engagement may be a part of the overall strategy, augmenting in-person programming. Additional proposal elements to note: The grantee is expected to lead recruitment efforts of program participants, ensuring DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and access) principles are promoted in the recruitment process. U.S. Mission Poland will amplify program opportunities on its social media platforms. The language of instruction can be English and/or Polish. The proposal must include detailed information about the project members/coordinators, including CV and other relevant professional experience. The trainers or facilitators of the program should be experienced professionals working in the field. The proposal must include a proposed activity schedule and monitoring and evaluation plan to measure program impact. Marketing and outreach strategies to recruit target program participants are required. Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to: Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns; Projects that support specific religious activities; Exchange programs; including travel to the U.S. Social welfare projects; Trade activities; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; construction projects; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself; Conferences, lectures, scientific research, studies, etc.; Book publishing or translation for the purposes of publishing a book; Ongoing salary costs of organization staff; Equipment, including but not limited to, cameras and for the office; and Food and drink beyond the cost of coffee breaks and working lunches (alcohol will not be funded).

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U.S. Mission to Poland