Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, 52 people from 18 countries (including India, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Egypt and Russia) tuned into our first webinar on March 14th. Vernon Ringland, from the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, who has worked with YouthBanks all over the world, kicked off with a general overview of the programme, including its philosophical roots in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, its “Golden Rules” and “10 Top Tips for Getting Started”. He also touched on what was required from community foundations and other types of support organization in terms of trust, inspiring leadership and ability to engage with youth people.
When it came to Simona’s turn to talk about the Cluj Community Foundation’s YouthBank, she gave a detailed description of the foundation’s programme and activities, talked through a standard one-year cycle and also described the kind of administrative support that a YouthBank requires on the part of the community foundation. Finally, she described how YouthBank has taken off at a national level in Romania: there are now seven across Romania, which together have collectively financed 116 community projects implemented by 570 young people, to the value of $80,000.
The webinar, which was an hour long, prompted a stream of questions from participants and there wasn’t enough time to answer them all. We will be making both Simona and Vernon’s presentations available for download (slides and commentary) and we will also be preparing a “Q&A on YouthBank” sheet where Simona and Vernon will respond to any outstanding questions. Watch this space, too, for news of our next webinar!