The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) is an international organization established by the Western Balkans 6 participants - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, which aims to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programs.
RYCO stewards and promotes regional and intercultural cooperation of young people within and among six Western Balkans contracting parties. RYCO’s programmes focus 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.
RYCO puts young people at the centre of its work and believes that they should be creating a culture of mobility, intercultural exchange and reconciliation. Young people should also be active contributors to democratic development, social and economic prosperity, and European integration in an increasingly open Western Balkans region. The Western Balkans contracting parties should be providing proactive support to youth exchange and youth engagement within the WB6 and across the region.
RYCO Superschools Pool of Mentors
The newly initiated RYCO Superschools Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme is part of a multi-donor project co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) together with RYCO. RYCO Superschools Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme is a programme for school exchanges in the Western Balkans that supports peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, intercultural learning and dialogue among schools, students and their communities.
This call aims to identify and select qualified and experienced professionals to join the RYCO Superschools Pool of Mentors. The Pool will include candidates fulfilling the requirements outlined below. The validity of the Pool is predicted until December 2023. Only mentors registered in the Pool can be part of the mentorship support towards the selected schools of the RYCO Superschools Exchange Scheme.
Mentors for future RYCO calls for participation in the Superschools Exchange Scheme will be selected within the Pool, based on their availability and suitability in view of the requirements of each call that will be launched.
Note: Please note that being selected for the Pool of Mentors does not imply obligations to RYCO for awarding a contract to the mentor. Moreover, RYCO reserves the right to refresh the Pool, if needed.
Background of the assignment
This call for applications for mentors is published as a part of RYCO’s programme “RYCO Superschools Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme”. RYCO Superschools Exchange Scheme is a programme for school exchanges in the Western Balkans that supports peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, intercultural learning and dialogue among schools, students and their communities. By participating in this programme, secondary schools will have a chance to apply and, if selected, implement school-to-school exchanges as well as to participate in the programme’s activities dedicated to their capacity building, networking and cooperation. The proposed activities aim at making the Western Balkan societies more resilient to political challenges of the region by empowering their youth to take active participation in intercultural dialogue and regional cooperation. An important priority of youth exchange is to give all young people equal opportunities to access the exchange activities. The activities should be open to all young people regardless of their sex, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, etc.
Objective and scope of the assignment
In order to provide effective capacity building support to schools across the region, RYCO is looking for mentors from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The mentors will assist selected school teachers in finalisation and development of their full programme agenda.
The selected mentors within the Pool are expected to perform the following:
- Help the selected schools further refine their youth exchange idea, in line with the requirements set forth by RYCO’s call for participation in the exchange scheme, including by providing thematic mentoring and tailored feedback where needed.
- Provide hands-on technical support so that the selected schools are able to translate their exchange ideas into a full programme agenda and budget.
- Provide RYCO with insights and recommendations on how to further tailor its accompaniment to schools for the Superschools Exchange Scheme.
The contracted mentors for the RYCO Superschools call 2021 are expected to:
- Attend the onboarding training for mentors tentatively planned for third week of November 2021.
- Attend the Regional Annual Conference tentatively planned for the third week of January 2022 (The format of the event will depend on the COVID-19 situation across the WB6).
The mentors are expected to perform their assignment with a coaching approach which contributes to the long-term learning of the selected schools.
Tasks and Deliverables
To fulfil the above-mentioned objectives, each mentor will be expected to perform the following tasks:
- Familiarize themselves with all relevant aspects of the call for participation in the Superschools Exchange Scheme, on the basis of information received from RYCO.
- Familiarize themselves with RYCO Strategy 2019-2021 and the Teachers Methodology for Peacebuilding, DWP, intercultural learning that RYCO has been developing with UNICEF Albania and supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
Attendance at events
- Attend the onboarding training for mentors tentatively planned for the third week of November 2021.
- Attend the Regional Annual Conference tentatively planned for the third week of January 2022 (The format of the event will depend on the COVID-19 situation across the WB6)
Please note that all costs of travel and logistics will be covered by RYCO.
- Support the schools to develop the full programme agenda and budget of their youth exchange idea.
- Provide face-to-face and on-line support to the assigned schools in a time-efficient, qualitative and individualised manner.
The mentors are expected to deliver:
- The full programme agenda and budget of the youth exchange idea per supported school.
- An informative report which: (i) captures the areas where the selected schools needed most support; (ii) outlines recommendations to RYCO regarding the further adaptation of its schools exchange scheme and capacity-building approach vis à vis schools.
Timeframe relevant for the contracted mentors under the first RYCO Supershchools call 2021
RYCO’s call for participation in the Superschools Exchange Scheme was launched on 27 September 2021. The launch of the call is followed by the implementation of public info sessions in all the RYCO Contracting Parties. The selected mentors within the Pool are expected to perform this assignment after the selection of the schools by RYCO. The onboarding training for mentors is tentatively planned for 10-12 November 2021 while the Regional Conference is anticipated to take place during the second week of December.
Necessary Qualifications and Experience
- At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in the field of project cycle management which necessarily has to include relevant experience in design and preparation of project proposals and fundraising,
- At least 4 years of demonstrated experience in at least one of the following thematic areas: youth work, youth activism, peacebuilding, reconciliation, or intercultural learning and dialogue,
- At least 4 years of demonstrated capacity-building experience, including in a training or mentoring capacity, preferably with schools and/or CSOs,
- Familiarity with the regional and local contexts,
- Strong oral and written communication skills in English. Knowledge of at least one WB6 official language is a must.
- Familiarity with RYCO and RYCO’s work. Any prior experience with RYCO-funded projects will be considered an asset.
- Based in WB6 region (and citizens of one of contracting parties).
Applications should be submitted to email@example.com by 31 October 2021, 23:59 at the latest, with the subject: Pool of mentors_(Name and surname). The mentors are required to submit the following documents in order to satisfy the criteria of application:
- Application form and
- CV with description of relevant work experience and qualifications,
The awarded contract to the selected mentors within the pool will be of global price modality. Each contracted mentor will get up to 3 exchange ideas to develop a full programme agenda. For one exchange the lump sum is 500 EUR.
The payment will be made in one instalment upon the satisfactory completion of the deliverables.
Note: To avoid the conflict of interest, a mentor cannot be associated with the selected schools at the same time.