Young people are the future bearers of the culture of remembrance! Since its establishment, the EVZ Foundation has supported a variety of multilateral funding programs, cooperation projects and operational projects with youth and young adults. The "Z" in the name of the foundation stands for "Zukunft" - "future". It represents the responsibility to support future generations in becoming diversity-sensitive, historically aware young people who stand up for diversity and democracy.
With this in mind, the Foundation EVZ is continuously developing its funding approaches for effective, cutting-edge, and at the same time sustainable projects for and with young people. At the same time, it is necessary to constantly reflect on current social challenges and developments (e.g. the rise of anti-Semitism, the Russian aggressive war in Ukraine, or shrinking spaces of civil societies in Eastern Europe) and to align the funding approaches accordingly. This also applies to the changing needs of the young target groups in the respective target countries.
"Youth" is broadly defined in this context. Most EVZ-funded projects and programs are aimed at young people between the ages of 14 and 35. The target group we want to address primarily includes Generation Z, young people born between 1997 and 2012. However, Generation Y, the Millennials born in the 1980s and 1990s, also continue to be an important target group. In the future, however, programs and projects will increasingly target Generation Alpha, i.e. young people born in 2010 and later. For the EVZ Foundation, this "generational change" means a constant updating of the existing offers and their adaptation to a new generation, its interests and learning habits.
In the Law of the EVZ Foundation, youth exchange is anchored as one of its central tasks. In the 23 years since its inception, the EVZ Foundation has continuously developed this area and today it encompasses much more than the classic youth exchange: the Foundation initiates funding programs, develops operational projects and supports committed young people with the aim of implementing and promoting primarily international projects of educational remembrance work, engagement and youth exchange.
Promoting Humanity in Action Fellowships to empower young executives from Germany, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States and their civic engagement.
Launch of the EUROPEANS FOR PEACE program in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. First call for proposals with the program title Peace for Europe - Europe for Peace, from 2007 EUROPEANS FOR PEACE.
With the funding program "Young Volunteers Take Responsibility", the EVZ Foundation supports the commitment of young people, e.g. for survivors of Nazi persecution in Central Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as Israel, among others with a grant to Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste e.V.
Jugend debattiert international is a competition for students in Central Eastern and Eastern Europe who deal with human rights and their history. Cooperation project with Goethe-Institut, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung and Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen.
Young people simulate historical cases from the Nuremberg Trials, the Yugoslavia or Rwanda Tribunals in the Model International Criminal Court project in conjunction with workshops and training on rhetoric, historical background and human rights issues.
Launch of MEET UP! German-Ukrainian Youth Encounters, since 2021 MEET UP! Youth for Partnership. Support program funded by the EVZ Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office with a focus on the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
The international funding program YOUNG PEOPLE remember started in 2020 to strengthen the culture of remembrance - with funding from the EVZ Foundation and the Federal Foreign Office.
The EVZ Foundation has many years of experience in promoting and implementing pioneering youth education work: local history projects, international prizes or history competitions, bilateral school exchanges, tri- and multilateral youth encounters, digital formats of historical-political education, operational projects in the field of youth participation or even encounters with historical eyewitnesses. Read about our experiences, insights and approaches in our topic dossier. We shed light on how we reach young people!
The EVZ Foundation's youth programs and projects have become more participatory, multilateral, digital, and diverse in recent years. We have broadened the geographical focus and also diversified the topics. For the EVZ Foundation, this means always maintaining a balance between the Foundation's mission and innovation. After three years of the pandemic, Europe-wide social challenges - the rise of anti-Semitism and nationalism, the increasingly repressive political situation in Belarus and Russia, and especially through the Russian aggressive war on Ukraine - the youth education work of the EVZ Foundation faces great challenges. For its commitment, this means acting with foresight, supporting the project sponsors in the redirection and implementation of their work, and accompanying them closely. Because one thing is clear: The demand of young people for international youth encounters, for participation opportunities and for transnational diversity-oriented learning is unabatedly great - and so are the effects.
Forward-looking EVZ projects are therefore characterized by their multilateralism and their interweaving historical approaches. They create spaces and give impulses to stem the drifting apart of the memory consensus and to stand up for the European idea and a value-based culture of remembrance. The ground work for this is the direct participation of young people, because their historically aware participation and empowerment for their own actions are the most important building blocks for a living democracy.