The Open Society Foundations have chosen to support youth-focused initiatives in an integrated way across its network rather than through a separate program, and as a result the Open Society Youth Initiative is now closed.
Open Society has a long history of supporting youth around the world. During its existence, the Youth Initiative committed more than $20 million to youth development, with a focus on supporting platforms for self-expression, and the cultivation of analytical and leadership skills required by youth to think critically about the world, and to engage effectively in the public sphere. One of the key methodologies used to achieve this was school and community debates under the Global Debate Program.
The Open Society Foundations are proud to have collaborated with a network of organizations, networks, coalitions, and movements of youth whose work has had inspiring and important impact in areas such as drug policy, elections, civilian-police relations, as well as informal youth policy making and implementation. We are particularly honored to have contributed to the adaptation of tools and methodologies for public participation and advocacy by marginalized rural and urban youth living outside the frontiers of policy and decision making.
Please note that effective January 2014, the Open Society Youth Initiative is closed and is no longer accepting unsolicited grant applications. This announcement also applies to the Global Debates, Youth Policy, and Youth Action Fund calls for proposals, which are now closed.
The Open Society Foundations’ commitment to promoting young people’s inclusion and participation in all aspects of our work continues.