Be a man, change the rules

Publication Subtitle

Findings and lessons from seven years of CARE International Balkans’ Young Men Initiative

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Sophie Namy, Brian Heilman, Shawna Stich & Jeffrey Edmeades.

What does it mean to “be a man” to adolescent boys in the Balkans region? Can it mean keeping the peace instead of perpetrating violence? Having fun without drugs and alcohol? Practicing safe sex?

For the past seven years, a coalition of local, regional,and international organizations has been promoting these positive masculine identities under the banner of the “Young Men Initiative” (YMI). Coordinated by CARE International Balkans, implemented by collaborating institutions in four countries, and evaluated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), YMI seeks to promote a lifestyle that prioritizes good health, nonviolence, and gender equality through a combination of educational workshops and community campaigns. This synthesis report provides an overview of the program’s rationale, design, and evaluation results from YMI’s implementation in vocational high


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