By Yannick du Pont, SPARK Director 

Greetings and congratulations to all organisations world-wide on World NGO Day!

We have come a long way since SPARK’s inception in 1994. Born as a small dedicated team of students and professors known as the “Youth in Solidarity with Yugoslavia” Foundation, SPARK has grown up and flourished into an independent international development organisation with up to 80 staff members in offices across South-East Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. We work in regions that are struggling with the complex and detrimental effects of recent conflicts with little to no employment or educational opportunities.

In order to promote peace, inclusive sustainable growth and a secure future, we are determined to increase the number of sustainable jobs and economic prospects in post-conflict regions through higher education and entrepreneurship. We work particularly towards the empowerment of marginalised groups of society such as youth, women, IDP’s and ex- combatants. Our aim is to equip our entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to lead their own conflict affected societies into prosperity.

SPARK couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of our partners, staff and all who are involved and committed towards our mission for the future. Let us take a moment to appreciate both our achievements so far, and the lessons learned from our mistakes that only help us do our job better. Let us also acknowledge the accomplishments of our fellow NGO’s around the globe and our common international cause to build a stronger future for all. Keep up the good work and success to you all!

Special thank you goes to our partners throughout the years: Chevron, European Commission, Microsoft Unlimited Potential, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ministry of Trade and Industry of Rwanda, Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Kosovo (MEST), World Bank, Humanity United, Royal Norwegian Embassy, King Baudouin Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denmark, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UK Department for International Development (DFID), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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