As part of the SATR project, in 2010-2012, EPF collaborated with Toplum Gönüllüleri (TOG), a large-scale youth volunteer organization which works all over Turkey, including its eastern regions, to pilot the YouthBank model in Turkey. This was a case of a transfer of the developmental know-how – EPF’s signature YouthBank model of youth activism in the communities – across the border from Armenia into Turkey. EPF and TOG managed to establish three YouthBanks in Turkey and set up a dialogue between YouthBank members in the two countries.
The YouthBank network in Turkey grew substantially during 2012-2014; this creates an opportunity to follow-up on the successful initial contact between the Armenia-based and the newly engaged Turkey-based Youth Bankers. EPF’s and TOG’s experience proved that in the peace-building context, the YouthBank model provides an opportunity for the youth to experience the openness and the willingness of their peers on the other side of the border to establish relationships, share commonalities, explore each other’s cultures, and, in doing so, to promote peace and open relations. Therefore, EPF will partner with TOG in an effort to sustain collaboration between the Armenia- and Turkey-based YouthBanks via exchange visits and joint project implementation.
The activity will empower socially active young people from Armenia and Turkey to become community leaders in matters of community concern, as well as to grow into multipliers and agents of change in matters relevant to the normalization between the two countries. The activity will promote an increased trust and enhanced confidence between YouthBank members from the two countries, as well as an improved knowledge and practice of participating YouthBank members in a jointly explored areas of cross-border or regional concern.
On September 13, 2018, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (UFSD) hosted a workshop on “Exchange of Best Practices in Plastic Waste Management between Armenia- and Turkey-based CSOs and Practitioners.” The workshop is part of a project that contributes to the development of cooperation between environmentalists, waste management practitioners, businesses and local authorities of Armenia and Turkey through sharing best practices in plastic waste management. The grantee, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development in partnership with the Union of Diyarbakir Young Businessmen organized a 1-day workshop in Diyarbakir with participation of 20 representatives of local authorities, plastic waste management practitioners, environmental CSOs, businesses in the field of plastic waste separation and recycling from Armenia and Turkey. The workshop was followed by a study visit to Plastic Waste Recycling Plant in Diyarbakir, as well as a follow-up exchange workshop in Yerevan. Based on the results of the study visit and workshops UFSD will produce a booklet on the best practices of plastic waste management in Armenia and Turkey. The project will result in an increased awareness of stakeholders of the plastic waste management practiced on the other side of the border, as well as will provide an opportunity for networking between practitioners and businesses focusing on plastic waste management. Representatives of local authorities may consider replicating the best practices in plastic waste management in their own communities.
This activity took place within the framework of the Sub-grants Scheme implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation as part of the “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process” programme, funded by the European Union and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.