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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

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