2020 was a year of organizational strengthening for Youth RISE, with the aim of ensuring our legal registration and financial independence in the near future having been very capably fiscally hosted again this year by our friends at » YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS FOR DRUG ACTION (YODA). This year we successfully managed three separate projects from two different funding sources - » THE ROBERT CARR FUND FOR CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORKS and » THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA.

Youth RISE has created a number of key organizational policies and procedures, such as our Financial Policy, Risk Management Policy, Human Resources Policy, as well as our Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association for us to register in Estonia. On top of this we have expanded our organization by accepting 7 new International Working Group Members, bringing us to a total of 18, including an Executive Director, three Project Managers, a Communications Officer, a Latin America and the Caribbean Communications Officer and a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

We have also been able to provide opportunities for our members to develop their local organizations through our small grants program. Small grants were distributed to Peru and Mexico, Argentina, the United States of America, Spain, Hungary, and Lithuania to help develop organizations in those countries and wider regions. As the year developed, we were also delighted to be able to offer Covid relief small grants to address the developing needs of young people who use drugs during the pandemic to our members in Pakistan, Nepal, and Argentina.

This year we also took part in a number of campaigns, primarily online given the nature of the pandemic, including » Support. Don’t Punish., where we were happy to give funding and other supports to organizations in Ireland, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as for an art contest across all of Latin America. We also helped organize a webinar as part of the Paradigma DeCentralized E-Conference with Youth RISE being represented by MJ Stowe and Carolina Ahumada making presentations on the call.