Deadline: 30 October 2019
The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) is accepting applications for its Community Solutions Program (CSP) 2020–2021 which is a year-long professional development program for people who are working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the environment, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender.
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The Community Solutions Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by IREX.
The goal of the Community Solutions Program is for engaged community leaders to positively impact the complex economic, environmental, political, and social challenges in their communities and become ambassadors for mutual understanding.
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Types of Program
For 2020–2021, up to 80 community activists will be selected to participate in the program, which includes:
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- Four-month Fellowship in the United States: Community Solutions fellows are matched to host organizations throughout the U.S. where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience.
- Community Leadership Institute: Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking.
- Community-based initiatives: While in the U.S. and with the help of their U.S. host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the U.S., they put these projects into action in their home communities.
The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with:
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- J-1 visa support;
- Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the U.S.;
- Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the U.S.; and
- Accident and sickness insurance.
- Applicants are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2020;
- Applicants are a citizen of one of the eligible countries listed below;
- Applicants are living and working in their home country;
- Individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration.
- Applicants have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer;
- Applicants are not currently participating in an academic, training, or research program in the U.S.;
- Applicants have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application;
- Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English language test.
- Applicants are available to travel to the U.S. for four months from August to December 2020;
- Applicants are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years;
- Applicants are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa;
- Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement.
- Applicants are committed to returning to their home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program; and
- Applicants are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member.
How to Apply
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Applicants can apply online via given website.
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- Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- East Asia and the Pacific: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
- Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
- Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Palestinian Territories.
- South and Central Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
- Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
For more information, please visit https://www.irex.org/program/community-solutions-program-application-information