Despite the establishment of legal protections in many domains, LGBTQI+ people in Serbia face bias, discrimination, violence, and high levels of stigma. Further, surveys continue to demonstrate low, although improving, social acceptance of LGBTQI+ people in Serbia. Global evidence shows that (1) LGBTQI+ inclusion and economic growth are mutually reinforcing and (2) discrimination brings social and financial costs to societies. Consequently, USAID strives to support initiatives aimed at promoting equity and economic empowerment of LGBTQI+ people in Serbia.
Making Cents is a sub-awardee to Grupa Izadji, a Serbian organization awarded a 3-year program to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in Serbia’s workplaces and business communities by promoting economic empowerment of and opportunity for LGBTQI+ people in Serbia. The activity will foster an environment that increases employment potential for LGBTQI+ persons, expands opportunities for LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs, and reduces workplace discrimination.
Making Cents will support the delivery of soft-skills training and coaching to LGBTQI+ youth. This training and coaching will center on skills employers in Serbia deem critical, and that empower LGBTQI+ youth to thrive and advance in the workplace, build confidence, and develop long-term professional goals. Our assistance will also focus on the capacity of local LGBTQI+ organizations to provide soft-skill training programs and career guidance services to LGBTQI+ youth.
To assist Izadji in overcoming identified constraints, improving organizational efficiencies, strengthening systems, ensuring the quality and delivery of services, and sustaining progress, Making Cents will provide technical and organizational capacity-building support. Making Cents will train staff on positive youth development, along with the key principles of youth engagement and embedding positive youth development into organizational operations. We will also advise Grupa Izadji in implementing the project’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan, as well as build their capacity to develop and update a learning agenda to improve understanding of the challenges LGBTQI+ people face and the impact of the project’s interventions.