German Grants for Children & Youth Development in SE Europe

Deadline: 17 December 2013
Open to: non-governmental organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
Grant: 125.000 EUR to 175.000 EUR


The German foundation Schüler Helfen Leben (SHL) invites non-governmental organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to apply for project funding. The general funding purpose is to strengthen the social development of children and youth in the target countries with a particular emphasis on supporting democratic educational work and social integration. The ultimate aim is to strengthen civil societies, in which young people take on responsibility and participate.

They are looking for problem-sensitive, strategic-oriented, sustainable and innovative projects that are capable of creating a difference in the focus areas described below such as migration, inclusion, regional cooperation and youth empowerment.

SHL is a non-profit non-governmental organization which contributes to the social development of children and young people through youth projects. It supports the process of building democratic civil societies in South East Europe. Further information is available on SHL’s website HERE.


SHL invites non-governmental organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to submit project proposals that can be implemented within 24 months, starting no later than 1 September 2014.

Eligible organizations are characterized by a high degree of professional working experience with youth in one of the focus areas. Throughout the application process this has to be proven by relevant project references and other supporting documents that show the professional capacities of the applicant (i.e. financial statements, strategies, articles of the association, external evaluations). Further essential requirements include strong links to local partners, stakeholders, networks and beneficiaries relevant to a successful implementation of the project.


Eligible projects have reasonable budgets ranging from 125.000 EUR to 175.000 EUR. NGOs are encouraged to submit them on the following themes:

I. Migration and work with refugees, IDPs, returnees, transit migrants and asylum seekers

The region of Southeast Europe still faces various challenges and problems in the context of migration and immigration, may it either be refugees, IDPs, returnees, asylum seekers/ transit migrants or the phenomenon of brain drain. In all these areas children and in particular youngsters are negatively affected. Societies are often not responsive to the problems and needs of young refugees, IDPs, returnees and asylum seekers. Therefore, SHL encourages NGOs to apply for funding with projects that deal for instance with the following topics:

  • support of the social and economic integration of IDPs and returnees
  • psycho-social support/ social work/ education for IDPs, returnees, transit migrants or asylum seekers
  • awareness raising/ campaigns regarding land flight, brain drain or the like 

II. Social and economic inclusion of ethnic, social or sexual minorities

The social and economic inclusion of ethnic, social or sexual minorities remains a major challenge in the countries of Southeast Europe. Members of those minorities often find themselves marginalized in the education or economic system or in society at large. In the framework of this focus area we would like to encourage NGOs to hand in project ideas that help to overcome marginalization of minorities with sustainable and innovative ideas. We are looking for projects:

  • creating sustainable economic and social perspectives for marginalized young people
  • that provide innovative social services that are not offered/supported by state agencies or other civil society organizations
  • raising awareness/ promote societal integration of minorities especially in rural areas

III.  Promotion of regional cooperation of youth initiatives

The promotion of cross-border cooperation among youth initiatives is still of particular importance in the region. In this context we are looking for projects which facilitate processes of dealing with contemporary history, overcoming stereotypes, e.g.:

  • establish, support and maintain regular cooperation between project participants from different countries in the region
  • build sustainable institutional capacities for long-term cooperation

IV. Promotion of youth empowerment

In all of the focus areas described above the involvement or promotion of empowerment of young people is of crucial importance. They are deeply convinced that a functioning civil society is based on social and political activism of young people. Hence, we are interested in project proposals planning sustainable and creative approaches towards youth empowerment in the region, such as:

  • creation of structures and opportunities for activism and volunteerism
  • capacity-building for organizations promoting youth empowerment


The project selection process is highly competitive and includes three stages in total. The first stage comprises the evaluation of the short project proposal. This evaluation will be conducted by a commission composed of various SHL representatives. In the second stage, organizations that pass the first round will be invited to hand in a detailed project proposal by 14 February 2014. This again will be evaluated by the same commission. For each focus area (see above) the final projects will be selected and presented to school students who provide the funds through conducting the Social Day. They will take the final decision on which project will be funded.

The first deadline for short project proposals is 17 December 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Applications must be written in German or English and can only be submitted online through the application form which is available HERE.

Applicants are strongly advised to consult the Funding Guidelines HERE for further information on eligibility and further information on the application process!

Between 2-5 December 2013 there will be the possibility of a consultation of maximum 20 minutes with a representative of the SHL office in Berlin via telephone (+49 30 30 83 16 90), Skype or Google Talk. If you require consultation please inform them by 25 November 2013 via email. If you prefer to send a written inquiry, please contact the project coordinator Ms Judith Schulte by email at [email protected]. Written enquiries will be accepted until 9 December 2013 and answered within two working days.

For more details, see the Frequently Asked Questions here and the official website HERE.

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