The U.S. Embassy Cotonou Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) from organizations interested in applying for funding for program proposals that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Benin through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation.
PDS Cotonou invites SOIs for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Benin through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. Examples of PDS-funded programs include, but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs;
- Professional and academic exchanges and programs;
- Experiential learning activities (e.g. Model UN, Model Government).
Priority Program Objectives
Project proposals submitted through this APS should address one of the following Priority Program Objectives:
- Shared Democratic Values: Activities that promote better understanding of the value and function of democratic tools to improve people’s lives, drawing on examples from Benin and the United States, in order to build support for and encourage greater participation in democratic governance.
- Investigative Journalism: Activities to strengthen and encourage the use of recognized fact-checking platforms, and/or competitive recognition of journalists producing high quality reporting on topics of shared U.S.-Beninese interest (e.g. effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance programs, diversity visa scams, wildlife and human trafficking), in order to strengthen free press and journalism as an institution in Benin.
- U.S.-Benin Partnership: Activities featuring popular American and/or Beninese artists, musicians, cultural figures, and other influencers in order to promote a deeper understanding of the United States’ long support for improving health and prosperity in Benin, as well as living habits that lead to healthier and more prosperous lives (e.g. antimalarial campaigns, COVID-19 prevention, promoting U.S.-Benin trade, etc.).
- Skills for Success: Activities to strengthen Benin’s English Club network and promote learning American English, or workshops in French or English to build soft skills (such as resume writing, digital communications, basic financial literacy, public speaking, entrepreneurial skills) using American and Beninese examples, in order to encourage successful participation in the formal economy.
- Length of performance period: 6 to 12 months;
- Number of awards anticipated: varies (dependent on amounts);
- Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $20,000;
- Total available funding: $128,000 (Anticipated Subject to Availability of Funds).
The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from U.S. and Beninese:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience;
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions;
- Governmental institutions;
- For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
For more information, visit https://bj.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/162/FY21-Cotonou-PD-APS-RSOI.pdf