Events

2017 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program – Youth Activism in Civil Society

The U.S. Department of State, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and World Learning once again present the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program!

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program: Louisville, Kentucky

Exchange Dates: August 3 – September 3, 2017

Host Community Dates: August 13 – 27, 2017

Participant Numbers: 12 – 13 Iraqi students / 1-2 Iraqi Adult Mentor(s)

 

The goals of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program are to:

  • promote mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between the people of the United States and Iraq;
  • develop a cadre of young adults in Iraq who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, awareness of current and global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills;
  • foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups in Iraq;
  • include significant interaction with American peers and/or families; and
  • prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities.

In addition to the primary goals mentioned above, each program will also have one of following three sub themes:

  • Peacebuilding, Dialogue, and Reconciliation
    • Topics may include: political reconciliation, dialogue among diverse groups, interfaith dialogue, innovative peacebuilding methods, bipartisanship, pluralism, conflict transformation, conflicts within school settings, teen courts.
  • Youth Activism and Countering Violent Extremism
    • Topics may include: youth mentorship, gangs and drugs, youth councils, community centers and interventions, education initiatives, youth employment, sports, LGBTQ support centers, race and identity.

The programs has a three segment structure. During the first segment in Vermont, students will focus on large program themes and concepts, teambuilding, leadership skills, cross cultural communication, and program educational expectations.

The second segment, for which Host Communities will be responsible, will provide opportunities for students to practice their leadership and cross cultural communication skills, and experience program themes. This should be achieved through site-visits, practical hands-on training and skills building sessions, home stay placements, volunteer opportunities, and cultural activities.

During this period, the participant objectives are as follows:

  1. Participants will develop and model leadership, problem solving, public speaking, organizing, and critical thinking skills through hands-on experience
  2. Participants will strengthen understandings of civic engagement, the subtheme, and the role of various actors in society (local government, NGO’s, businesses, citizens)
  3. Participants will further expand their tolerance and empathy for diverse cultures and perspectives, strengthen their cross-cultural skills, and extend their comfort zone
  4. Participants will develop strong relationships with host families, youth in the host communities, and within the cohort
  5. Participants will be exposed to “real life” in the U.S. and further break down stereotypes

The final segment of each exchange takes place in Washington, DC and will focus on synthesizing the initial program segments and developing community project plans that the students will implement when they return home.

Please contact the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana if you would like to volunteer as a host family for one of these amazing young students!

2017 Jóvenes En Acción Young Leader Exchange Program from Mexico – July 18-30

The U.S. Department of State, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and World Learning once again present the Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program from Mexico!

Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program: Louisville, Kentucky

Host Community Dates: July 18 – 30, 2017

World Learning Participant Numbers: 10-12 Mexican students / 1 American Adult Mentor(s)

 

 

Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program:

Country: Mexico

Duration: September 2012 to April 2017

Funders: Secretaría de Educación Pública , US Dept. of State – Bureau of Educational and Cult

Contact: youthprograms@worldlearning.org

The program taught me I can be a part of change in the world, and that I can influence another generation.

2016 Jóvenes en Acción participant

Program Description

Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), is a four-week summer exchange program in the United States focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development for Mexican high school students. The program includes subthemes that focus on how local communities can develop a culture of lawfulness by addressing problems related to gangs, violence, substance abuse, bullying, human rights, or social disintegration.

Participants engage in a variety of activities such as workshops on leadership and service, community site visits related to the program themes, interactive training, presentations, and visits to high schools, supplementary English language classes, local cultural activities, and more.

Follow-on activities with the participants are an integral part of the program, as the students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by planning and carrying out service projects in their home communities.

Program Cycle

Students travel to the United States in July to World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT; followed by homestays in cities across the United States; concluding their program in Washington, DC.

Alumni conferences are held regionally throughout Mexico, as well as annually in Mexico City.

Program Goals & Objectives, as defined by the Department of State

The goals of the program are to:

Promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Mexico;

Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; and

Nurture a cadre of students to be actively engaged in addressing issues of concern in their schools and communities upon their return home, and to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become citizen activists.

“The whole program was an amazing experience…I learned a lot and met some of the most important people I may ever know.” -2015 Jóvenes en Acción participant

Examples of Jóvenes en Acción Alumni Projects

¡No te bajes, espera tu parada! Don’t get off, wait for your stop! – Youth in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila created a peer tutoring program in their school to help students succeed in their studies. They are also coordinating workshops and motivational speakers for after school events.

No conoces mi historia. You don’t know my story – Youth in Monterrey, Nuevo León have been facilitating anti-bullying, leadership, and positive values workshops in their high school as well as a local preschools and elementary schools.

Alza la mano por un hogar sano. Raise your hand for a healthy home – Youth in Matamoros, Tamaulipas have been leading monthly workshops and conferences for parents and high school-aged students to teach tools for managing healthy relationships.

“I can tell that I am part of a complicated society but when you are willing to help your community in different activities, I feel so happy and proud that my example and my actions are the guide for other young people.” -2014 Jóvenes en Acción participant

The final segment of each exchange takes place in Washington, DC and will focus on synthesizing the initial program segments and developing community project plans that the students will implement when they return home.

Please contact the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana if you would like to volunteer as a host family for one of these amazing young students!

Brian Easley – WAC Visitor Program Manager – brian.easley@worldkentucky.org