YouthBank and Conflict Transformation

Because EPF's operating landscape is one of political unrest, military confrontation, economic crisis and limited regional cooperation, EPF harnesses the potential of community activism to make a contribution to peace, aiming to address shared regional challenges and build confidence across borders. Young people have a unique power and untapped potential in the peace building process; they are the primary actors in grassroots community development and thus, are at the frontlines of peace building. By enabling young people to take action and assume responsibility for their future, they will begin to seek solutions rather than perpetuate the problem. Thus, involvement of youth in decision-making processes focused on conflict transformation and resolution can greatly reduce the likelihood of increased aggression with their participation.

YouthBank approach is used by many organizations in 27 countries in the World: The YouthBank program operates in several countries where Eurasia Foundation has offices, including in the South Caucasus by EPF, in Central Asia by EFCA and in Moldova by EEF. The program is used as a conflict transformation tool for bringing youth from different regions into dialogue and cooperation, especially from countries in conflict. The YB committee members hold joint meetings and experience exchange with their colleagues from other cultures. They develop inter-cultural skills and understand the importance of diplomacy when working with other youth from Turkey or Azerbaijan.