Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ), Kosovo
Established in 2001 by a group of young community activists, the Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) plays an important role in the Kosovo non-profit sector. Its mission is to mobilize citizens and empower them to claim their rights and to hold authorities to account. For FIQ local philanthropy, which it has been promoting since 2009, has an important role to play in this process, both as a set of values and as a tool aimed at mobilizing people and resources.
With the youngest population in Europe, youth unemployment in Kosovo stands at 55.9% and the majority of these are categorized as “long-term unemployed.” There are few mechanisms through which young people can engage in policy and decision-making processes.
FIQ’s “Young Ambassadors” programme is aimed at promoting local leadership and participation. Young people in participating municipalities are invited to apply through an open process. The role of selected Ambassadors is to engage peers in community life through a range of activities including community meetings, trainings (on things like public speaking, project management etc.) and by participating in small grant-funded activities. Activities have included building community libraries, youth discussion groups and social media campaigns and have drawn in volunteer, in-kind and financial support from different parts of the community.
FIQ’s plans are for the programme – which has attracted extensive media coverage – to become national. Over a short period of time, it has already created important channels into individual communities and surfaced many of the often hidden challenges that people are facing.
The GFCF has provided U.S. $45,000 in grant funding (between 2016 & 2019). FIQ is also a member of an action learning group of GFCF partners focused on measurements in community philanthropy.