Call for mentors in CSOs: Share your knowledge, engage the youth!

Hello to all of you in CSOs!

We developed an apprenticeship model based on CSO needs – apply now!

Use our support for designing a mentoring program specialized for your organization – useful for preparing new people and first job seekers coming to work in your organization on concrete positions.


Why did we create this?

A survey done on 85 CSOs in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia, the organizers of the apprenticeship program (Social Innovators project partners) revealed that CSOs in these three countries are understaffed and have a big need for creating new jobs and hiring more staff to secure the implementation of their projects and to work on their mission.

As the skills which CSOs as employers value the most are:

willingness to learn, 


written communication, 

critical thinking 


The main goal of Apprenticeship is bipartite:

  • to endow future workers with formal and nonformal knowledge and skills specialized for working in CSOs
  • give an opportunity to first-time job seekers for gaining valuable and concrete knowledge and skills for the specific workplace in order to make them fully prepared for workload in CSOs


Civil society organisations will have the opportunity to provide young people work experience and give them the opportunity to get involved in some of the most relevant initiatives and programs that address social challenges in Europe today.

This innovative model has the potential to simultaneously address the challenges of high youth unemployment rate and low employment rates in the CSO sector, the challenge of a huge loss of human resources and missed opportunities for greater contribution to social transformation!

Apprenticeship for young apprentices will provide an opportunity for learning through imitation of the mentor and evaluation of work quality through practice.


What Apprenticeship program includes?

→ 80 hours duration of training for the apprentices

→ financial compensation for the mentors

The four main types of activities provided to apprentices are:



Do applicants apply for learning for a particular position or for work in CSO generally?

Applicants will have the opportunity to apply for training in order to gain knowledge and skills for a particular position in your respective organisation.

Possibilities for different specializations, depending on different types of training CSOs can offer are as it follows:

→ Project management officer,

→ Administration officer/Office Manager

→ Communication officer,

→ Advocacy officer/Specific thematic area expertise officer / Program coordinator

→ Trainers/Education staff


What kind of responsibilities will a mentor have?

We encourage organisations to appoint a mentor for the apprentice. The mentor should be a suitable colleague within the employing organisation. We define mentoring as The learning and development partnership between somebody who has the experience and somebody who wants to learn.

Responsibilities of the mentor include: attending the two-day training that will be announced in advance, developing a apprenticeship program during a training, adapted to the needs and resources of the CSO as well as the needs of the apprentice, agreeing on the apprenticeship program with the apprentice, evaluation of the matching after the completion of the apprenticeship, sharing own experience and examples and support different ways of thinking by offering new perspectives as well as assisting the apprentice to develop self-reflective skills, providing guidance on the process of coming to conclusions, by thinking through the implications.

Please share the link to this call on your webpages and social media accounts so interested future apprentices may have information on how to become part of the CSO community.



Apply by February 28, 2020.




The Social Innovators project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

Working Together for a Green, Competitive and Inclusive Europe.

A Successful Opening of the YIHR.hub and Birthday Celebration

A new space dedicated for civil society organisations, informal citizen initiatives and others free of charge – the YIHR.hub at Đorđićeva 8a in Zagreb was officialy launched on November 28. The celebration was twofold: together with the hub opening, we celebrated the 11th birthday of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights. More than 100 CSOs, media, and college staff and students, as well as our associates and volunteers attended the event. The report from the event (in Croatian) in Novosti journal can be read here. The hub opening and the Social Innovators project was also covered on a radio show on Yammat (in Croatian – listen to it here).

The YIHR.hub opening started with the Social Innovators project presentation. The project, dedicated to addressing the unemployment of humanities and social science students, as well as increasing interest in working in the civil society organisations, is the main framework under which the YIHR.hub was launched. This is why we also discussed other project activities complementary to the hub such as the CSO Apprenticeship model and a new educational programme focused on the topic of social innovations, that is developed together with our partners from the National Management School (Bulgaria), PiNA (Slovenia), and Østfold University College (Norway).

After the Social Innovators project presentations, we hosted a panel “Deconstruction of Social Innovations – the return of the underrated!”, moderated by our Nikola Puharić. The panelists were Gabrijela Ivanov (K-zona, FierceWomen), Tena Šojer Keser (Netokracija), and Eugen Vuković (Zelena akcija, Biciklopopravljaona). The panelists shared their formative experiences in civil society organisations and IT sector, discussed the potential for social innovations, and shared their perspective on activities planned within the Social Innovators project.

The dinner was followed by the music programme performed by the Domaćigosti choir, which served as an opening for the Initiative’s birthday celebration. Main speakers were Mario Mažić (Founder), Nikola Puharić (President), and Morana Starčević (Executive Director). The message we sent out was unambiguous: regardless of all difficulties and obstacles, we will not give up the uncompromising struggle for human rights!

We thank all our associates, friends, supporters and volunteers, as well as all others who came to celebrate this important day for us.

An invitation to the YIHR.hub launching event and celebration of Youth Initiative for Human Rights Birthday

Youth Initiative for Human Rights, with regard to its upcoming 11th birthday, officially launches the YIHR.hub – a new, free and exciting co-working space in the Zagreb city center that will be open for civil society organizations, informal initiatives, youth and everyone who wants to change the world!

As a part of the event, the Social Innovators project will be presented, together with a panel discussion focused on increasing the employability of youth with education in humanities and social sciences and popularizing seeking employment in civil society organizations. Youth Initiative for Human Rights will present its work at the reception “11 years of uncompromising struggle for human rights” and mark its 11th year of work.

The event will be held at Đorđićeva 8a (Zagreb), second floor, beginning at 16h.

The representatives of civil society organizations will be able to participate in a discussion about the planned activities of the Social Innovators project, tour the new YIHR.hub and discover ways to get involved. They will discuss how to empower NGOs, increase the employability of youth and develop their skills which will equip them to work in NGOs and alleviate the NGOs in terms of training new workers for the specific challenges of working in civil society organizations.


16:00 – 16:30 YIHR.hub and Social Innovators project Presentation

16:45 – 18:00 Panel discussion: Deconstruction of Social Innovation – the return of the underrated!

18:00 – 19:00 Reception

18:30 – 19:00 Musical performance by Domaćigosti choir

19:00 – 19:30 11 years of uncompromising struggle for human rights – the celebration of the 11th birthday of the Youth initiative for human rights and the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize

We are inviting activists, journalists, NGOs, youth organizations and social entrepreneurs, as well as our associates and friends to join us at one of the events or the whole program, and celebrate with us this important day for the Youth Initiative for Human Rights!


Social Innovators project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. The project is cofinanced by the Government of the Republic of Croatia Office for Cooperation with NGOs. Project partners are Youth Initiative for Human Rights, PINA Slovenija, National Management School from Bulgaria and Østfold University College from Norway.

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2019 awarded to YIHR!

The Regional Network of Youth Initiative for Human Rights has the great honor to announce that we have received the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize for our work on peacebuilding and reconciliation in the Balkans. The prize was presented at a special on 30th September at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

This honor is even greater considering that we were awarded and nominated alongside two exceptional and important human rights defenders – Ilham Tohti, a prominent advocate of Uyghur rights in China, and co-founder of the website Uyghur Online, which aimed to promote understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese; and Buzurgmehr Yorov, a Tajik human rights lawyer, who has represented and defended many political prisoners in Tajikistan, and for which he had suffered severe state oppression.

The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize is a prestigious prize awarded to individuals and non-governmental organizations  for outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. It is of immense importance to us that the values of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights have been recognized as crucial for a democratic Balkans, but also, for the strengthening of democracy in Europe.

The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism. The first-ever Václav Havel Prize for Human Rights was awarded in 2013 to Ales Bialiatski (Belarus), followed by Anar Mammadli (Azerbaijan) in 2014, Ludmilla Alexeeva (Russian Federation) in 2015, Nadia Murad (Iraq) in 2016, and Murat Arslan (Turkey) in 2017 and Oyub Titiev in 2018 (Russian Federation).

As Ivan Đurić, who accepted the prize on behalf of Regional Network of  Youth Initiative for Human Rights offices, stated in his speech:

The future we hope for and work towards is one where opinions of others will not be formed through prejudice and lies, but through personal, authentic experiences and knowledge. We want to make it possible, normal, natural for young people to meet, travel, work together, create, make exchanges and fall in love across the countries in the Balkans; just as they do across Europe.”

With this prize, this is something the Youth Initiative for Human Rights will strive to achieve – we will continue to create opportunities for regional exchanges and dialogue through strengthening our regional network as the main platform for youth reconciliation processes in the Balkans. We will continue to build peace and fight any attempts at renewed warfare and hatred.

In this moment in history, when state actors and nationalist rhetoric threatens to destroy our peace, we are immensely grateful that our work is recognized as important and necessary for a peaceful, European Balkans.

We thank those who have supported us and nominated us for this award.

We dedicate this award to the hundreds of Youth Initiative for Human Rights’ present and former activists, volunteers, exchange participants and leaders.