Youth in Action Programme

  Tackling Youth Unemployment through Community-based Cultural Projects 


NCONGO has partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Human Development and the International Management Institute to implement the Youth in Action Programme:

About the Centre for Sustainable Human Development (CCICT)

CCICT is a non-profit organization in support of young people in general and in particular young people from vulnerable social groups and minorities. It works toward developing youth education and culture and encourages young people’s social and professional integration. More generally, CCICT promotes education, culture, civil society development, socio-economic change leading to sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, environmental management and conservation. In pursuit of these goals it provides consultations, services and opportunities for informal education and further qualification of youth and in other ways encourages young people’s civic initiative and active citizenship. CCICT provides non-formal education for children and young people, organizes cultural, education and sports events for young people, organizes international cultural events and projects, festivals and children’s festivals.

CCICT benefits from close collaboration with International University College – Dobrich (Bulgaria) (, which is a leading higher education institution training highly qualified professionals in fields such as management, marketing and international tourism. International University College will be supporting this project and in particular activities that take place in Dobrich, Bulgaria.

About the International Management Institute (IMI)

The project will be developed in partnership with International Management Institute – Bulgaria. IMI was established in 1993 as a public-private partnership among different types of organizations, united by the common goal of achieving sustainable regional development, increasing the qualifications of human resources, and providing equal access to education for elderly people, people with disabilities and people in unequal social position, such as immigrants.

IMI has experience in organizing international forums, seminars and trainings, awareness-raising activities and information campaigns. In the course of these activities IMI has successfully reached out to and mobilized various target groups and stakeholders (e.g. young people, elderly people, education providers, policy makers). The organization has carried out research in several different fields, including youth and social cohesion, sustainable development, sustainable tourism, vocational education.

IMI relies on qualified staff, sound organizational capacity and extensive experience in implementing EU-funded projects. To learn about IMI’s most recent projects, please visit or

 Project Duration

  • 12 months (starting 1 November 2013)

Project rationale

The project will address the following two annual priorities of the Youth in Action Programme:

–       Inclusive growth: projects promoting young people’s commitment towards a more inclusive growth, notably projects tackling the issue of youth unemployment or aimed at stimulating  unemployed young people’s mobility and active participation in society,

–       Creativity, entrepreneurship and employability: projects stimulating young people’s spirit of initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship , employability, in particular through youth initiatives;

The project is based on the rationale that culture – and in particular local culture based on local talent, skills, customs and identity – can play a key role in efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development in terms of poverty reduction, social equity and inclusion, gender equality, environmental sustainability and prospects for the younger generation. Local cultural resources and their effective management can create important income generation opportunities for the young people. They can also alleviate the negative effects of rampant youth unemployment by strengthening youngster’s participation in social life, improving their knowledge, skills and self-confidence through non-formal learning. This project can result in meaningful engagement of unemployed and unmotivated youth and can be an effective strategy contributing to larger goals such as prevention of drug and alcohol use among adolescents, juvenile crime, HIV/AIDS and early school dropout.

The project will build the capacity of youth workers, NGOs working with youth, youth leaders and young talents to use small-scale community-based cultural projects to fight youth unemployment and to mitigate its negative effects. Apart from capacity building and training, activities will also focus on the actual implementation of two pilot cultural projects, which will allow the participants to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills in practice, thus further empowering them and strengthening their capacity and motivation.

Project Activities:

Building youth leaders’ and youth workers’ capacity for tackling youth unemployment and promoting sustainable human development through community-based cultural projects

1. Organization of 3-day capacity-building seminar “Culture for Sustainable Human Development: Tackling Youth Unemployment through Creative Cultural Projects”

2. Organization of multiplication capacity-building seminars in EU partner countries aimed at disseminating the results and impact of the transnational training among young people and youth leaders in the local communities. One seminar will be organized by each EU partner in its own locality. 1-day events, participants: 10 young people (aged 18-28) with proven leadership skills or interest in development or culture and 5 youth workers (no age restriction).

Youth leaders and youth workers training in planning and implementation of youth cultural projects

1. Organization of 5-day Youth Work Academy in development and implementation of community-based cultural projects (festivals, exhibitions, artistic events, recording and publishing). The focus of the training will be to provide the participants with skills for cultural project management at community level. 

2. Publication of training materials (online and 200 hard copies)

Pilot cultural project “Stories of Youth: Culture, Development and Social Change in the Lives of Young People”

–       Implementing a cultural project consisting of recording the real-life stories of ordinary young people in order to trace their understanding of and experience with culture, social change, economic and human development and employment opportunities in their communities (issues include education; youth unemployment; social problems and their impact on youth; culture and its importance and role in the local community; cultural diversity; youth involvement in cultural and other creative activities; youth work and civic engagement; social media in the life of young people; international experience and the prospects for young people). The stories will be video-recorded in the form of short interviews (20-30 min). Special attention will be given to the stories of young women. At least 16 representative interviews (8 from the African partner countries, 8 from the EU countries) will be recorded for dissemination, of those 10 will be stories by young women.

–       Dissemination of 200 DVDs “Stories of Youth: Culture, Development and Social Change in the Lives of Young People” among NGOs, libraries, community houses, educational institutions and other relevant bodies in the partner countries. Excerpts from some of the interviews will be made available on the website of the project only with explicit permission from the side of the interviewed persons.

Pilot cultural project “Local Culture is the Global Future

Organization of 2-day youth festival “Local Culture is the Global Future: Europe Meets Africa” featuring music, dance, crafts and culinary arts with a special focus on presenting the cultures of the partner countries. Organized in Dobrich, BG (immediately after the Academy). The participants in the academy (together with the trainers)will be the organizers of the event.

The 2-day festival will consist of:

a) Day 1: concert “Europe – Africa Encounters: Sounds and Colors through the Eyes of Youth” featuring performances presenting the cultures of the partner countries. Music, dance, traditional costumes and traditional crafts– 9 organizers from African partner countries and 26 organizers from EU partner countries. Approximately 150 people audience from the local community in Dobrich.

b) Day 2: culinary exhibition “Europe – Africa Encounters: Culinary Culture” will present dishes and food typical of the Partner countries. Food will be prepared by the trained young people and youth workers themselves. Approximately 50 visitors from the local community. The applicant organization will provide for the ingredients, as well as for a professional kitchen.


3 partner meetings:

  • 1. Kick-off – in the African partner country that hosts the capacity-building seminar (will be held together with the seminar) – Please note that the kick-off meeting could be held online if there are budget restrictions)
  • 2. Interim – online
  • 3. Final – Dobrich (Bulgaria), together with Academy


  • project website
  •  social network spaces of the Project (e.g. YouTube channel and Facebook group)
  • 2 press conferences in BG (months 1 and 12)
  • media releases in local and regional printed or online media (3 in BG, 1 per partner organization outside Bulgaria)
  • bilingual Project leaflet (BG and EN) – 300 copies BG, 300 copies EN

Quality control and evaluation

  • Implementation and Evaluation Guidelines
  • Evaluation forms for participants in the capacity-building seminar and the academy (initial self-assessment forms and evaluation forms after the trainings, in order to evaluate the effect of the training
  • Final evaluation report

Expected role of each partner organization from the EU or Croatia:

  • provides for the participation of 2 young people and 1 youth worker in capacity-building seminar held in one of the African partner countries;
  • provides for the participation of 1 expert/trainer in Youth Academy in Bulgaria
  • provides for the participation of 3 young people and 1 youth worker in Youth Academy and international festival in Bulgaria;
  • records at least 2 representative interviews for the cultural project in WP3 (camera will be included in budget, approx. 480 euro)

Expected role of each partner organization from African partner countries that do not host the capacity-building seminar:

  • provides for the participation of 2 young people and 1 youth worker in capacity-building seminar held in one of the African partner countries;
  • provides for the participation of 1 expert/trainer in capacity-building seminar held in one of the African partner countries.
  • provides for the participation of 3 young people and 1 youth worker in Youth Academy and international festival in Bulgaria;
  • records at least 2 representative interviews for the cultural project in WP3 (camera will be included in budget, approx. 480 euro)

Expected role of the partner organization from African partner countries that hosts the capacity-building seminar:

  • provides for the participation of 8 young people and 4 youth workers in the capacity-building seminar that it hosts;
  • provides for the participation of 1 expert/trainer in the capacity-building seminar that it hosts;
  • provides for the participation of 3 young people and 1 youth worker in Youth Academy and international festival in Bulgaria;
  • records at least 4 representative interviews for the cultural project in WP3 (camera will be included in budget, approx. 480 euro)

Profile of NCONGO and its Role in the Youth in Action Programme

NCONGO’s vision is “to see an engaged and effective civil society sector in Ngamiland”. The mission of the organization is to strengthen and build the capacity of Ngamiland CSOs in Botswana. The activities include training of CSO members and their constituencies, resource mobilization, supervising projects, advocacy and lobbying. NCONGO has 50 members working in Youth sector, Environment and Livelihoods, Gender and Disability, Health and HIV/AIDS.

Despite the diversity, most member organisations are lead by young people (aged 24-32) and as young people they advocate for involvement of youth in social life and youth mainstreaming in development. One of the main success stories in youth advocacy was the formation of NCONGO as an umbrella body to coordinate CSO activities in the region and ensure that minorities, especially youth minorities, are recognized and their ways of life promoted and preserved. Youth are the majority in NCONGO, just as the majority of our population in Ngamiland is young people.

Botswana is ranked 16th amongst countries with highest share youth (15-24) population in the world   ( Accordingly NCONGO is a youth focused organisation that continually contributes to the development of young people through training and youth development skills. Over the last year the organisation trained more than 100 young people in Financial Management, Leadership Skills, Governance, Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, HR management and Industrial Relations, among others. The organisation will conduct training in the areas of Entrepreneurship and Customer care through our partnership with EU-Botswana Delegation and USAID.

NCONGO’s motivation to join this project proposal is based on the desire to upgrade several youth initiatives developed by several NGOs under its coordination. These include Thamalakane River Front project, through which young people are proposing to develop a board walk along the riverside that will serve as a market place for youth businesses infusing environment and cultural dynamics. Tlhare Segolo Foundation (Tlhare Segolo translates to Big Tree) has already started the first phase and has developed a conservation zone which there will be a crafts market. With USAID funding, in March 2013, NCONGO purchased 15 computers which are to be used by young people to conduct their business. The umbrella organisation is working with its member – Ngami Clicks Youth Club – to promote sports, traditional dance and singing. The project has found a way in which sports in the form of basketball and volleyball players embrace traditional dance and song in support of youth empowerment. Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry – another of our members – uses spoken word and poetry. This is due to the fact that in the history of Botswana and our ancestors, poetry was the most liberal means of expression. Poets in our history were kings and chiefs were revered, where allowed and used to tell the Kings and Chiefs true sentiments of the tribes and would not be taken to task where an ordinary citizen would have been punished. Poets were there to celebrate good rains and good harvest. This particular project will certainly enrich our communities as it brings exposure to other culture and promotion of our culture through cultural exchange.

NCONGO is lead by an Executive Director, Monametsi Sokwe (BA in Economics and Public Administration from University of Botswana and a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management from University of Derbyshire( UK). The project management team includes a project manager –  Charity Thite (BSc Environmental Science, UB), a project administrator – Seeletso Rakonche (BA (Management), Monash University, South Africa), a finance manager – Wame Masedi (AAT, Botswana Accountancy College). This core team is supported by seconded staff from FHI360, Peace Corps and World University Services of Canada (WUSC).