Saida Ibrahimava, Co-founder and Director of Projects Development of Youth to Youth Initiative, continues to empower youth with her life while her venture aims to construct an effective environment for youth participation in the decision making process and community development.
Saida has been active in the non-profit sector for last ten years and implemented more than twenty projects in the sphere of social inclusion, ICT’s, youth development, education, sport and volunteer movements. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Relations from Belarusian State University and Masters of Arts in International Economy and Politics from Charles University in Prague.
Y2Y was officially founded in 2015 by Saida Ibrahimava and Karonlina Mazetyte belonging to Belarus and Lithuania respectively.
Saida says, “Although Y2Y was officially founded in 2015, our activities started a year prior to official registration when we formed an informal group of young leaders. Originally the group consisted of three: me, Karolina Mazetyte and Ania Ankowska. A year later I and Karolina co-founded Youth to Youth Initiative.”
The aim of the Y2Y Initiative is to foster change and to construct an effective environment for youth participation in the decision-making process and community development. The organization has an international mandate and strives to give an access to young people from all around the world to efficient implement of their socially beneficial concepts, ideas, and projects through online incubator.
Three levels of action
Y2Y works on three different levels which includes annual thematic summits, incubators, and a network of ambassadors.
In Saida’s explanation, “Every year Y2Y Summit presents six challenging for youth topics and facilitates panel discussions, networking, cultural activities and workshops that aim to inspire participants to cooperate on production of joint projects. The best projects, selected during the Summit, automatically receive a year-long unlimited support for development and implementation under the Youth to Youth Action Hub.”
Y2Y Action Hub is an innovative online system for the development and successful implementation of socially beneficial ideas, concepts, start-ups, projects and initiatives created by youth and for youth.
She continues, “The main idea behind it is to maximize the impact of youth-led initiatives by providing around-the-clock support in project management and development, communication and research, technology and innovation, funding and campaigning, marketing and PR, multimedia and design. Y2Y Ambassadors are selected from the number of the most engaged young leaders, demonstrating a commitment to speaking out about global challenges that affects youth. As ambassadors, they represent Youth to Youth Initiative and help to raise awareness about supervised youth-focused projects to a wider audience. They lobby decision, work with the media to raise the profile of the organization, and represent its mission at international and local events.”
Apart from that, Y2Y conducts network sessions called ‘Brunch with a Speaker’ every month. These non formal conversations, conducted at any places of the world, with inspirational speakers offers a platform to discuss further about issues that matter to youth. They have already organised 12 brunches in eight different countries by now.
According to Saida, her biggest achievement is the venture’s success and acceptance among youth. She puts it, “The greatest achievement by now is the number of active network’s members that grew up to 400 people globally, with the access to the partners’ networks this number raise up to 3000 young activists as well as the amount of implemented and fully functioning social ventures, youth projects and organizations.”