A new wave of community initiatives from the EU4Youth Alumni Network
March 15, 2023

A new wave of community initiatives from the EU4Youth Alumni Network

With the 2022-2023 cycle of the EU4Youth Alumni Network having already kicked off their work, more than 45 initiatives are underway to make a difference in the lives of young people living in less privileged communities throughout the Eastern Partnership region. Following three days of workshops and discussions with their mentors, which took place during the EU4Youth IdeaLab held in Tbilisi, Georgia, the Alumni received the feedback needed to now start rolling out their initiatives.

Alumni Network IdeaLab Event, Tbilisi,  Georgia

A sneak-peek into the current projects


Shoghik Ghazaryan and Hasmik Torosyan from Armenia are set to change public perceptions about youth with limited access to opportunities. The task at hand is to form a different kind of image: away from the portrayal of young people as vulnerable recipients of public help towards being seen as change-makers, whose own agency rather than their unfortunate circumstances is what stands out. 

The initial idea was to work with young people living in the Family and Child Support Centre of Shirak region. After the first two visits and a needs assessment and discussion with their EU4Youth Alumni mentor, the team decided to create  a mixed group of young individuals from both the Support Centre and the local Gyumri Youth House. 

“Our new approach will help these young people living at an institution feel integrated in the society surrounding them. Their communication with the young peers from outside the institution will become stronger, and that is exactly the vehicle we need to achieve our objectives. We have already had our first meeting with the group and can definitely say that it was a great decision,” said Shoghik and Hasmik.


When she joined the Network, Irina Mikava from Georgia had plenty of ideas, which she wanted to implement for young people in her community.  One of them was to help further develop and grow the Bolnisi Youth Space. Thanks to her participation in the EU4Youth IdeaLab, the concept evolved along with the specific objectives and tools to reach them. 

As Irina continued discussing her project with her peers, listened to the feedback from her mentors, attended workshops and thought through the concrete steps, the plan would become clearer. “I see the Bolnisi Youth Space as an important place where change-oriented initiatives and activities are being implemented with, for and by young people,” said Irina. 


Grigore Rinja and Dragos Binzari are planning to offer 20 young people in a Moldovan community of 1,500 inhabitants in Edinet district mentoring support to help them develop the skills and confidence they need to grow and excel. The idea is to connect them with mentors in their chosen fields by providing opportunities for networking and peer support, or organising workshops and events aimed at capacity building. 

Through his participation in the IdeaLab, Grigore was able to spot potential gaps in his concept and strengthened the project methodology. He decided to add more formats, such as one-on-one meetings between mentors and mentees, group workshops, social events and outings, and make sure that there was easy access to resources that support personal and professional development. “I understood more clearly who exactly would benefit from this opportunity the most and how to reach them. The EU4Youth IdeaLab gave me the impulse to carry out this project and really visualise the kind of impact this project will help achieve,” said Grigore.


Aysel Isgandarova and Nijat Shukurlu would like to support the inclusion of young people with disabilities in Azerbaijan. Their initiative called ‘Mixobility’ aims to reinforce the message that when it comes to careers or hobbies, people with different kinds of physical abilities can all succeed. To get there, Aysel and Nijat will work with a mixed group of young people to foster peer-to-peer support. 

During the EU4Youth IdeaLab, the team noticed the need to tailor some of the activities better to the physical abilities of the beneficiaries. “Having discussed our plan with the mentors, we realised that when designing the project we would need to consider the individual experiences of our participants better, anticipate how they may be feeling and focus even more on empathy,” explained Aysel.

Meet Alumni from the previous cycle

Each cycle offers opportunities for the participants to meet in person, for example during the onboarding meeting or the final evaluation meeting that are usually held over a couple of days. The Alumni also remain connected online, even after the cycle completion. Check out the impressions from the 2022 regional meet-up and read the stories about some of the initiatives they rolled out.

What is the EU4Youth Alumni Network?

Be it Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps, Young European Ambassadors or any other EU-funded initiative for young people in the Eastern Partnership, every year hundreds of graduates bring new experiences and skills back to their communities – and many want to do more, especially to support those with fewer opportunities. But figuring out on your own what you can do next can be a real challenge. This is why the EU4Youth Alumni Network was created. 

The current cycle began in September 2022 and will conclude in July 2023. Through the 10-month programme, the Alumni work with a mentor to create and implement their own initiatives on the ground, gaining new tools, skills and experience in working with young people.

Since the Network launch in 2019, Alumni have designed and implemented several hundred actions, each engaging a small group of young people in their community – most of these from disadvantaged groups. The impact of this work expands with each new beneficiary, who carries it further into their circles. More about the EU4Youth Alumni Network


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