Youth Programme Assistant in the Western Balkan

VSI, de 12 mois, en Albanie

Supporting projects enhancing regional youth mobility, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Context of the volunteering assignment

Presentation of the host organization

Institutional Mission

RYCO is an intergovernmental organisation that stewards and promotes regional, cross-border and intercultural cooperation in the Western Balkan 6 (WB6) region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia). RYCO’s unique governance system brings together government and civil society representatives to ensure young people are represented at all levels within the organisation. Its Local Branch Offices ensure RYCO is represented in all the six Contracting Parties, while its Head Office is the organisational hub situated in Tirana. In total, it has 13 permanent employees with possibility of hiring staff for the purpose of implementing projects.

The Agreement on establishment of RYCO was signed by the WB 6 Prime Ministers on WB Summit held in Paris, on 4 July 2016, within the Berlin Process. Berlin process is a political process, launched in 2014 by Germany in order to promote Western Balkan integration into the European Union. It also serves as a platform for the improvement of regional cooperation. Within this process, the Governments of Germany and France have provided significant support in the process of establishment of RYCO, partly through engagement of Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ). 

Since its launching in 2017, a Governing Board composed of the WB6 Ministers of youth and 6 youth representatives from the region has overseen the recruitment of core staff, the approval of a budget, the contribution of 1.000.000 € (2017) from WB6 participants. In 2017 and 2018, RYCO has been negotiating donor support of European Commission, UN Peacebuilding fund and Agency for Development of France. During the preparation phase for establishing RYCO several international organizations and governments provided immense support to the process. The most engaged in that phase have been German Federal Foreign Office, Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW/OFAJ), OSCE, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, NGO Youth Initiative for Human Rights. Their supporting role has continued once RYCO was established. From 2017, organisational development has been supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, PeaceNexus Foundation and GIZ (German Development Cooperation Agency). 

Programme Mission

RYCO’s programme focuses on creating opportunities for young people to engage in activities that build mutual understanding and reconciliation in the civic, social, educational, cultural and sports domains. RYCO initiates and participates in policy making and advocates for reform. It supports the development of a political and social environment that empowers and facilitates youth exchange. In pursuing its mission, RYCO will demonstrate its commitment to human rights, human dignity and the building of peace based on mutual respect and trust.

Presentation of the host project

RYCO is predicated on the belief that by building understanding between people, especially with those with whom a conflict has damaged relations, those people will become more open to continuing dialogue, to bridging their differences, to reconciliation and to building common cause as active citizens. By helping young people to engage with each other in fields of mutual concern and interest they will develop intercultural insights, strengthen their skills, enhance their social and economic prospects and achieve personal fulfilment. The development of social capital among young people and the facilitation of their awareness, ability and motivation to participate actively in society is a major RYCO commitment. (RYCO Strategic Plan 2019-2021).

Thus RYCO’s programming will boost the competencies of young people, civil society and schools in the region. RYCO will fund initiatives that connect schools and Civil Society Organisations in the region. It will invigorate and enhance constructive dialogue. It will enable and stimulate intercultural learning and build mutual understanding. These non-formal education investments will strengthen the competences of young people and encourage their active citizenship. RYCO will support Civil Society Organisations, schools, and other partners to provide youth from the region with training and cooperation opportunities. The organisation will work closely with partners to assist them in building effective and enduring relations of confidence and cooperation between governments and civil society, and to encourage and foster their capacity to support youth exchange investments. (RYCO Strategic Plan 2019-2021).

RYCO Strategic Priorities, as defined in RYCO Strategic Plan 2019-2021, are to : 

  1. Deliver Programmes : Create opportunities for and access to regional youth cooperation, exchange and learning. Funding and technical support for innovative exchange projects and initiatives involving young people at every level.
  2. Build Demand : Advocacy and participation with partners in policy development and reform-oriented dialogue that supports and enables a positive and supportive social, political and legislative environment for young people to engage in mobility and exchange with each other across the Western Balkans region.
  3. Invest in Competence : Investment in the development of RYCO’s people, internal systems, structures and instruments that strengthen the governance, leadership and delivery of RYCO’s program.

Volunteer’s assignment framework

Summary of the volunteering assignment

The volunteer will be in charge of supporting RYCO in terms of creation and implementation of projects and programmes enhancing regional youth mobility, intercultural dialogue and learning, and reconciliation. More precisely, he/she will work closely with RYCO Programme Officer based in RYCO Head Office in Tirana to improve and implement ongoing regional and international project/program activities as well as to design the new ones. RYCO projects are, in addition to partners coming from the WB6 region, developed with international partners coming also from French civil society. In addition to other projects/programs, the volunteer will be expected to actively contribute to the process of development and implementation of the projects envisaged with French civil society. RYCO has just completed its first year of functioning ; therefore, volunteer’s support will be very beneficial for programme consolidation and development.

Main activities to be done

  • Pro-actively contributes to day-to-day project/programme creation and implementation and ensures conformity to expected results and project work-plans ;
  • Researches and collects specialized data from multiple sources for assigned research and projects (regional and international projects dealing with youth mobility, intercultural dialogue, dealing with the past, youth participation, social innovation etc.), including capacity building, program quality assurance and grant making ;
  • Composes, revises and edits a variety of routine to moderately difficult correspondence, reports, and informational materials ;
  • Performs a variety of technical, analytical and administrative support duties in providing responsible staff support with special projects, reports or other assignments
  • Supports creation of strategic partnerships and collaboration with the key national and international stakeholders, with a special view on French partners.

Main intervention area

The volunteer will work mainly at the office of RYCO in Tirana (Albania), but some travels can be necessary in the WB6 involved in the program (Albania, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia).

Duration of the volunteering assignment : 12 months

Place of the assignment : Tirana, Albania

Availability : From November 19th to 23rd 2018, for the preparation session. Beginning of the volunteering assignment : Beginning January 2019.

Requested volunteer’s profile

Background required

University Degree (Master 2) in Social, human or political sciences.

Professional experience required

  • At least 3 years of experience in project management (mainly implementation), or other substantive area is required.
  • Previous experience in development assistance or related work for a donor organization, consulting company, or NGO is a very strong advantage.
  • Experience and ability to work in intercultural environments

Main skills required

  • Ability to prepare clear, accurate and concise reports, records and other materials ;
  • Communicates clearly and concisely, orally and in writing ;
  • Operate a computer using word processing,
  • Ability to simultaneously work on multiple projects / tasks
  • Flexibility
  • Team work
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Intercultural skills 

Language(s) required and level

Fluency in both oral and written English (C1)

Terms of VSI contract with France Volontaires

  • Status of the International Solidarity Volunteer (law of 2005) ;
  • Installation allowance and relocation allowance upon return ;
  • Monthly subsistence allowance : this allowance does not have the character of a salary or remuneration, and allows the volunteering assignment to be carried out in decent living conditions ;
  • Social insurance (complementary insurance, repatriation insurance, old-age insurance) ;
  • Accommodation ;
  • Travel costs between the place of residence and the place of employment (both ways).

To apply

Send a resume and a cover letter (in English) to :

Please indicate in the subject of the email : « Mission 9A0001 RYCO Albanie ». 

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