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International English Teachers Visit Kentucky

From March 21-25, the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana hosted 10 international teachers. The visitors, from Turkey, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, were all English as a Second Language educators studying ESL teacher training programs. Our visitors traveled across the state, first meeting with professors from the Masters in Teaching ESL program at the University of Kentucky. Next, they traveled to Frankfort to tour the state capitol and meet with officials from the Department of Education to discuss Kentucky’s foreign language standards.

Finally, on Friday, the group saw these training programs put into action through a visit to ESL Newcomer Academy at Shawnee High School, a middle and high school that works with students beginning their first year of school in the United States. These students are typically at beginning levels of English proficiency, so instructors help students develop their English skills and provide emotional support during their transition to American life. The visitors sat in on English classes at Newcomer before meeting with officials from the Jefferson County Public Schools system to discuss the hiring of ESL teachers and curriculum development.

Our international visitors’ trip to Louisville concluded with a fun cultural day on Saturday. The group visited the Muhammad Ali Center and Kentucky Derby Museum before finishing the day with a dinner cruise on the Ohio River. From Louisville, the visitors went to Chicago, IL to participate in the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo. Our visitors enjoyed their visit to Kentucky and will take many valuable skills back to the training centers and universities in their home countries!

Regardless of our experience in the field, there is always so much we can learn from one another. ‘Professional learning’ is endless! | – Bahar, Turkey

 

My strong belief is that people like us, teachers and educators, make the differences and build understanding between countries and nations. We shape and influence young generation’s minds and future and it was great to meet professionals from Kentucky to learn from them! | – Svetlana, Uzbekistan

Visit the group’s Facebook Album!

Real power is locked within us and we are unaware of it. Visiting the Muhammad Ali Center helped me to unleash my vital energy! | – Michel, Gabon

 

This program was funded and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs and implemented locally by FHI 360 & World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Brazilian teacher uses Louisville connections to educate students about racism on MLK Day

In Summer 2017, World Affairs Council hosted ten English Access Microscholarship Program (ACCESS) educators from across the globe. While in Louisville, the group met with Dr. Renee Campbell, President and CEO of Wesley House, to learn about the organization’s work to empower families, individuals, and communities toward self-sufficiency. An educator from Brazil, Cícero Ferreira, walked away with a profound idea. When back in Brazil, Cícero wanted to work with his ACCESS students on a project to tackle racism. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, Cícero invited Dr. Renee Campbell into his classroom via Skype, to share her experience surviving racism and to talk with students about how complex it could be dealing with this issue. Through her accomplishments, she inspired students to fight for a better world free from racism. Afterwards, students engaged in a project named ERACISM, where they debated ways racism is shown in the Brazilian society and came up with ideas on how to “erase racism” out.

Cícero shared reflections about the virtual exchange below!

It was a different Monday for our Access students during their intensive course in January. While in America people were celebrating Martin Luther King Junior’s Day, our students at ICBEU Manaus – a binational center in the Amazon city – were also getting a taste of how important this date is for our reflection: racism is a fact; it’s there and we have to stand against it. Thanks to Dr. Renee Campbel, this urgent message was even more underscored.

Thinking of that, we at ICBEU Manaus, through our Pedagogical Supervisor Cicero Ferreira, have invited Dr. Renee Campbell to address a wonderful online speech to our students due to her fruitful endeavor to assist the women and kids who are victims of racism. Cicero met her during his visit to the Wesley House as part of a program from the American Embassy in partnership with World Affairs Council of Kentucky & S. Indiana. As he observed her willingness to contribute to a fairer society as well as the results of her work, he decided to keep in touch with her through social media and had suggested that one day she would be invited to address to the Access Microscholarship Program in his city Manaus, Brazil. The suggestion was promptly regarded as an invitation.

As the day of Marthin Luther King Junior approached, they had agreed she would deliver a speech on racism, showing where it is present in the American society, how she has contributed to assisting victims of racism(she was one herself) and how our young students could make a difference in Brazil, their country.

Speaking of the students, they were very touched by Renee’s story and felt very encouraged to become voices standing against all the evil racism does, just like she is a voice herself. The first step inside the classroom was a project named ERACISM, which served as a follow-up activity based on the issues caused by racism in Brazil, where it is present and how it can be fought. Aligned with Dr. Renee’s brilliant insights, students also came up with ways they can contribute to erase racism in their communities, schools and, considering a wide range, the Brazilian society.

Every day is the right day to discuss racism in our classrooms. More than ever, schools are key partners of institutions like the Wesley House, which – through inspiring people like Dr. Renee Campbell – instill the need for a better society tackling on such important social issues as racism. In a few minutes, Dr. Renee was able to convincingly instigate our students to stand against this evil practice and to make a difference in others’ lives. Like Martin Luther King, these students also say: “I have a dream!”

-Cícero Ferreira
ACCESS Coordinator

Dr. Renee Campbell, upon reading Cícero’s reflection had a few words of her own to share!

I sincerely appreciate and hold dear the opportunity that I had to provide an online speech to the students and teachers who are a part of ICBEU. It was indeed and honor and a pleasure to be making such a presentation a monumental and significant day as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It was remarkable to connect via SKYPE to students and teachers who were as far away as the Amazon Rainforest. I felt very blessed to be able to discuss racism and to provide strategies on how to erase it.

I also learned a great deal from the students. It was wonderful to get to know them and hear about their struggles of racism and colorism. I discovered that there is parity in the struggles that happen in Brazil, and the United States. Many youth face the same obstacles youth of color face in the United States. The students that I presented to that day are brilliant and resilient at the same time. I believe that they represent the tools and vision for our World’s great future, without racism.

I must say that my dream is to one day visit and meet these students and teachers in person.

-Dr. Renee Campbell
President/CEO of Wesley House

About the English Access Microscholarship Program

The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13–20-year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs.

This project was locally implemented by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana in partnership with FHI 360.

Interview with Vitoria Marques of Brazil Youth Ambassadors

by Karina Cabral
Original article printed in Portuguese at O Livre.
Photo Credits: O Livre.


An example in her community, Mato Grosso student wins exchange in the United States

 

Fifty students from Brazilian public schools were chosen by the US embassy in Brazil, among 23,000 applicants, to gain an exchange in the United States. Among them is Vitoria Lissa de Oliveira Marques, 18, a Mato Grossan from São José do Rio Claro (296 km from Cuiabá), an example in her community for her leadership and volunteerism.

The program that Vitória is participating in is called Young Ambassadors and was created in 2002. A success since 2010, it has been reproduced in all the countries of the Americas. Since the program began, 522 Brazilians have participated.

Vitoria always volunteered—at school, in the church, teaching English to children in a public school—but it was in 2016 that she signed up for the program for the first time.

“My mother had a fundamental role, because she was the one who made my pre-registration, without even telling me. I remember that, as the stages went by, I became more and more surprised and I reached the final, but I was not selected,” said the young woman.

In the first attempt, as a finalist she was given the opportunity to participate in another embassy program, the EIP (English Immersion USA Program), which takes the finalists of the Young Ambassadors to a week in Brasília, where they undergo a total immersion in American culture.

“We participate in lectures and classes on culture / history and other things in the United States, in partnership with Thomas Jefferson House. This gave me an incredible view of the United States and of Brazil itself, because it contains people from all over the country,” said Victoria.

Last year, Vitória tried again and went through the entire selection process, which includes a pre-registration, sending documents to prove the written application, and a written and an oral test.

The entire process is done by a partner institution, which in Mato Grosso is the State Secretary of Education (Seduc). In the end, four finalists per state are selected—and one of them gets the chance to go to the Young Ambassadors and the other three go to the EIP.

The program is for students aged 15 to 18, who are in high school, have a good command of the Portuguese language, do some kind of volunteer work and have never been to the United States. That is, this was the last year for Victoria, who is 18 and finished high school in 2017.

Fluent English is not a requirement, but it is necessary to be at a good level of the language in order to communicate in that country. Victoria never took lessons, she learned English alone.

She is currently awaiting the outcome of the Enem, as she intends to attend medicine. In the meantime, she will spend three weeks in the United States with the Young Ambassadors, attending leadership workshops, volunteer projects, meeting government officials and US community leaders and giving presentations on Brazil.

“I’m going to stay in Washington for a few days, and then I’ll be staying at an American family’s home in Louisville, Kentucky,” she said.

With the trip coming—she goes on Friday—the young woman said that her anxiety was “at a thousand”, especially regarding meeting the family that will host her. She believes that this experience will transform her future, giving her the opportunity to broaden her worldview and improve her English.

“It’s the realization of a dream, a result of commitment. I just have to be thankful,” she said.

 

Meet Some Iraqi Exchange Students Who Want To Change The World

Listen to the WFPL radio spot.

Thirteen exchange students from Iraq are in Louisville this week. The teenagers are part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. While they’re here, the students visit education institutions and attend workshops on youth activism.

They’ll go back to Iraq and work on a community project around an issue they’re passionate about.

I caught up with the students on their break at the Big Four Bridge. I talked to them about their projects, what they do for fun at home, and about misconceptions some may have about their country. Listen to what they had to say in the player above.

Roxanne Scott | wfpl.org
Ali Al_Behadili

“My project is about designing a dialogue group to inspire others about being more open-minded and celebrate the diversity. Because Iraq is so diverse. We have people from different backgrounds, different languages, different religions.” —Ali Al-Behadili, 16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Scott | wfpl.org
Zainab Al-Hilfi

“Just to be honest I want to be a pilot. But my mother said no so I have to be a doctor. I don’t have an opinion about my life. It’s all about your parents, the community. And I will work on that, actually. Like, through doing some dialogue groups.” —Zainab Al-Hilfi, 16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Scott | wfpl.org
Awab Abdulhadi Majid

“Here’s the thing: not all Iraqis are Arabs. Not all Arabs are Muslims. And not all Muslims are terrorists.” —Awab Abdulhadi Majid, 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article, written by Roxanne Scott, was reposted from WFPL News.

Events

Multiregional | U.S. State and Local Governance

September 21 – 26, 2018


Twelve international visitors from an array of different countries will be in Somerset and Frankfort, Kentucky in September to explore “U.S. State and Local Governance.” More details to come…

Home hospitality dinner host needed! Contact Laura Duncan, Visitor Program Manager, with questions at [email protected].

Ukraine | Open World – Prison Rights

September 12 – 19, 2018


Open World Ukraine | Prison Rights

Program details coming soon…

Host families needed! Please contact Laura Duncan, Visitor Program Manager, at [email protected].

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program 2018

August 5 – 19, 2018


Theme: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

Language: All students speak English

The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) brings English-speaking Iraqi secondary school students to the U.S. for a four-week summer exchange to explore themes of leadership development, civic rights and responsibilities, respect for diversity, and community engagement. The will be Louisville’s ELEVENTH cohort since the program’s inception in 2007!

Participants on this U.S. Department of State-funded program are between the ages of 15 and 17 and are recruited from all provinces in Iraq. Iraqi adult mentors who accompany the students are educators and/or community leaders who work with youth and have demonstrated an interest in promoting youth leadership and social development. Competitively-selected American students also join Iraqi participants in all U.S. activities.

The program continues after the U.S.-based exchange with follow-on activities in the participants’ home communities, including alumni activities focused on leadership development.

Host families needed!

Read what one of our host families had to say!

“As a three time host parent of students in this program I highly recommend this experience. Getting to know these children and follow them in their endeavors to better their communities back home is so rewarding. Our family has maintained contact with all of our children. They never cease to amaze. I am proud to be a part of fostering these relationships. I feel it is an important step for this and future generations.” – Kelly

 

Worried about transportation and logistics? World Affairs Council helps with that!

 

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Professional and cultural programming
  • All necessary transportation to and from meetings
  • All in-home orientation for hosts
  • Orientation and cultural programming for visitors

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private sleeping area (students may share rooms but need separate beds)
  • Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
  • Share your city with them!

 

Contact Visitor Program Manager, Laura Duncan, for more information! [email protected] or (502) 561-5422 x2


Mexico | Jóvenes en Acción (Youth In Action) 2018

July 17 – 29, 2018 (Tentative)


Theme: TBD

Language: All students speak English

Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), is a four-week summer exchange program in the U.S. focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development for Mexican high school students. Students begin their program in Vermont, then are split into different community cities such as Louisville, then reunited in Washington, D.C. before heading back home! Students work on projects to be implemented in their home communities in Mexico and use the lessons, experiences, and tools learned while in Louisville to help them develop their action plans!

Jóvenes en Acción is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and implemented in partnership with World Learning.

Host families needed!

Read what one of our host families had to say!

“As a three time host parent of students in this program I highly recommend this experience. Getting to know these children and follow them in their endeavors to better their communities back home is so rewarding. Our family has maintained contact with all of our children. They never cease to amaze. I am proud to be a part of fostering these relationships. I feel it is an important step for this and future generations.” – Kelly

 

Worried about transportation and logistics? World Affairs Council helps with that!

 

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Professional and cultural programming
  • All necessary transportation to and from meetings
  • All in-home orientation for hosts
  • Orientation and cultural programming for visitors

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private sleeping area (students may share rooms but need separate beds)
  • Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
  • Share your city with them!

 

 

Contact Visitor Program Manager, Laura Duncan, for more information! [email protected] or (502) 561-5422 x2


Belarus | Community Connections – Women’s Leadership

May 30 – June 20, 2018


Community Connections Belarus

Theme: Women’s Leadership

Language: Belarusian, Russian, and/or varying levels of English

Number of Participants: 10

Ten women leaders in the fields of law, journalism, and non-profit work will be in Louisville for three weeks. This project connects professionals from Belarus with their Kentucky/Southern Indiana counterparts through a carefully tailored professional exchange. Participants will establish professional connections, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a democratic, free-market economy, and examine best practices/experiences that may be adopted back home to address their local challenges. Funded by USAID, Community Connections is being nationally managed by our partner, World Learning, and locally implemented by World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana.

WAC is currently in need of host families for this “Women’s Leadership” program from Belarus. Hosting is an unbeatable way to learn more about the world and make lasting friendships; an experience you can’t get any other way.

Read what one of our host families had to say!

“I have been hosting international guests through World Affairs Council for several years. Each experience has been special. The guests (teachers, students, musicians, health care professionals, etc.) are incredibly appreciative for the opportunity to live with and learn from an American family. I enjoy the opportunity to share a bit about our American culture and lifestyle; and, dispel a few stereotypes – we don’t all look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie; we don’t all live in a mansion with a swimming pool! The guests visit to the US can be life changing and I am grateful to be a part of it.” – Patrick

 

Worried about transportation and logistics? World Affairs Council helps with that!

 

World Affairs Council Provides:

  • Professional and cultural programming
  • All necessary transportation to and from meetings
  • All in-home orientation for hosts
  • Orientation and cultural programming for visitors

Host Responsibilities:

  • Provide a private sleeping area (students may share rooms but need separate beds)
  • Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
  • Share your city with them!

 

Contact Visitor Program Manager, Laura Duncan, for more information! [email protected] or (502) 561-5422 x2


 

Mexico | Police Professionalization Exchange Program – Internal Affairs

May 13 – 16, 2018


Country: Mexico

Project: Police Professionalization Exchange Program – “Internal Affairs”

World Affairs Council is working with Global Ties U.S., in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, to implement a project of the Police Professionalization Exchange Program (PPEP) for Mexican senior law enforcement officials. The program has four components, with some participants engaging in one and others in two or more:

  • Online learning as pre-arrival training for officials traveling to the United States, or as a separate course for a larger pool of officials who will be trained virtually
  • On-site training at various U.S. police academies
  • Professional study tour experiences in cities across the U.S., exploring themes such as internal affairs
  • Hands-on training in Mexico by U.S. or regional experts based on the priorities of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation

The four components were intentionally designed to create a multi-dimensional professional development program. Most program participants are chiefs or deputy chiefs of state and large municipal police agencies, as well as directors or chief academic officers of state and large municipal police academies.

Read some of our Facebook posts from last year’s Mexican police cohort to Louisville: 2017 Opening Reception, Global Power Coffee Hour, Southern Police Institute at UofL, Meeting with John Holiday, Director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (2), & Meeting with FBI Louisville Field Office Chief Counsel, SSA David Habich

 

Zambia | Promoting Disability Rights and Inclusion

April 12 – 21, 2018


Theme: “Promoting Disability Rights and Inclusion”

Country: Zambia

Number of Participants: 14

This special project will bring fourteen Zambian wheelchair basketball coaches to the U.S. this April. The visitors will be in Louisville, KY to participate in the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (April 12 – 15). World Affairs Council is proud to work on connecting visitors with local disability sports advocates, coaches, and much more! More details to come…

 

We are seeking home hospitality dinner hosts!