Mongolia has been undergoing a dramatic political and economic transformation. The transition to a democratic decentralized government and market economy has created new information and development needs for Mongolia’s youth. Based on the surveys and studies conducted to identify the needs and all aspects of the issues related to the Mongolian youth, the need was raised for establishing the Information Training and Research Center for Mongolian Youth Development. The project is an innovative and dynamic step forward in attempting to address these needs. It aims to provide youth with opportunities to develop their knowledge and life skills and communicate with people throughout the world and gain more skills and experience, through social and cultural programmes.
The project has been designed based on the assessment of the opinions and ideas expressed by youth, which reflect their actual needs. This distinguishes the project from other projects that tended to be developed based on external assessment. The project is also a bold new initiative in terms of including youth in the implementation of a project that is for their benefit. Among the cornerstone activities of the project, is the training of youth to be trainers of other youth, through educational programme aims at promoting youth participation in fields such as health, environment and child right education.
The project includes the creation of youth centers for information, education and research to work in an open friendly environment. This provides the Mongolian youth with an important access to technology for communication and development, which is completely new to them. Through experience and skills gained through the use such technology the Mongolian youth will have grater vocational opportunities and will develop a sense of international perspective on development issues, particularly youth development. The project also covers activities like training in the fields of productive and general health, participation and non-formal education.
The project is considered to be unique in being the first comprehensive project aimed at the development of Mongolia’s youth in general. It also serves to benefit other target groups, as street youth and neglected youth and also those without access to technology or information due to social or economic reasons. In addition, the outcomes of the project extend beyond the youth to include parents, younger children etc.
The project has great potential both for expansion in Mongolia and as model for implementation in other countries undergoing similar political and socio-economic transition.