Congratulations to our 2020 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) winners! This year, the U.S. Department of State held its 10th annual AEIF competition, focusing on the theme of Women, Peace, and Security, with 80 winning teams from 67 countries.
We received over 300 competitive applications from alumni teams comprised of multiple U.S. government-funded and facilitated exchange programs from all around the world. Projects focused on four thematic areas:
- Strengthening the role of women in peace, security, and governance;
- Promoting protection of women and girls from violence, abuse, and exploitation;
- Supporting women’s political, economic, and civic participation; and,
- Engaging women as partners in preventing terrorism, and countering radicalization and recruitment.
Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition. AEIF supports alumni initiatives that promote shared values and innovative solutions to global challenges.
AEIF 2020 Winners by Theme
Strengthening the Role of Women in Peace, Security, and Governance
Côte d’Ivoire: 99 Women Leaders in Tonkpi Region Trained in Reconciliation and Conflict Management will launch a series of peace and security trainings in the form of awareness sessions, monthly and quarterly meetings, and social networks to strengthen governance, enhance stability, and advance transparency in the Tonkpi region. The project will strengthen the capacities of the women leaders to facilitate peaceful resolutions of family and community conflicts and promote non-violence during election periods. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center).
Croatia: Strengthening and Supporting Women in the Armed Forces and in the Peace Missions of the Republic of Croatia will increase the participation and inclusivity of women in military and peace operations. The alumni team aims to increase military trainers’ expertise on gender perspective, gender-sensitive approaches to professional development within the armed forces, thus preventing gender-based and SGBV in Croatia’s army and peacekeeping missions. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Guatemala: Training Indigenous Women for the Defense of Their Human Rights will empower 24 indigenous women, ages 18-35, from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras by strengthening their human rights defense capacities and equipping them with the technical skills to successfully engage in the labor market. Through a series of virtual trainings, workshops, and hands-on activities, the project seeks to reduce drivers of illegal migration and promote economic development in Guatemala. (Alumni Team: Global Undergraduate Exchange Program).
Israel: Diversifying the Clubhouse: Creating Inclusiveness in the Tech Bubble will feature a series of workshops to support women's economic prosperity in Israel by providing 100 Arab and Jewish participants with the skills and practical tools needed to successfully integrate and advance in the hi-tech industry. The project aims to strengthen the role of women in peace and security by creating a safe environment to bring together Arab and Jewish hi-tech professionals to collaborate and build a network of key female role models to empower women and build self-confidence. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), MENA).
Kenya: Sauti Kenya will train female community leaders and influencers in effective advocacy, storytelling, and multimedia communication techniques with the aim of strengthening conflict resolution and community stakeholder engagement to better protect women and girls from gender-based violence. The 60 participants will engage in trainings in Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nairobi Counties, with each location set to host a film festival to raise awareness of Gender Based Violence and the importance of including women in peace and conflict resolution, to a broader Kenyan audience. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program).
Mali: Women's Voices Count will train 18 alumni,12 community agents, and 24 women's association leaders in social inclusion, disability rights, and accessibility and mobility for all. The leadership development program and awareness campaign will address the deficiencies in access to public service establishments for marginalized and disabled populations. Among the group of trainees, 16 will draft an action plan and learn how to advocate for their recommendations at the local and national government levels. (Alumni Team: English Access Microscholarship).
Mozambique: Women Can: Best Practices will facilitate a social intervention for women leaders of civil society organizations in Northern Mozambique to promote the inclusion of women in peacekeeping and intervention strategies. The project will amplify the voices of 25 women leaders to public actors, including deputies of the provincial assemblies, community leaders, and the general public. (Alumni Team: Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program).
Pakistan: Women Peace Power will engage women – both teachers and students – of religious seminaries of Multan on peace building, interfaith and intersectional harmony, and tolerance. Through a networking forum, teachers and leaders will develop understanding, and build bridges of harmony to increase interfaith harmony and social cohesion in their target areas. (Alumni Team: US-Pakistan Journalists Exchange Program)
Philippines: Project Urduja: Emerging Filipina Leaders will connect rising female leaders, ages 18-30, from underserved or conflict-affected communities in the Philippines with established exchange alumni to engage on leadership, gender equality, and social justice. The year-long program will utilize online webinars, mentoring, targeted small grant projects and conclude with a final event for participants to share their community projects. (Alumni Team: Kennedy-Lugar-Youth Exchange Program, Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative).
South Africa: Fight Like a Girl will use boxing to increase high school girls’ confidence and develop the next generation of female leaders in peace, security, and governance. The project will advance public health, human rights, and dignity through a two-way exchange between 12 girls in South Africa and the United States. Participants will be empowered through their exposure to women leaders, cross-cultural exchange, self-defense training, and leadership development. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program).
Sri Lanka: Youth Leadership for Peace and Security will equip youth, ages 19-23, with the required skills and capabilities to engage in peace, security, and governance activities in Sri Lanka. The project will raise awareness of the importance of including women in these areas of discussion, thus creating an environment of inclusiveness, acceptance, and support. The project will provide a space for youth to conduct training sessions to peers on conflict transformation, empathy, and effective negotiation and communication skills. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program).
Togo: Women's Participation in Non-Violent Conflict Management in the Kpendjal Prefecture will raise awareness of conflict management and countering violent extremism among women, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and stakeholders in their communities. The project will engage 165 individuals, including 50 women, in negotiation, mediation, conflict management, leadership, and gender awareness training in the northern part of Togo, an area susceptible to violent extremism.(Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program).
Turkmenistan: School of Inclusive Growth will increase the capacity of 45 girls with disabilities in Turkmenistan by improving their leadership and professional skills, legal core competencies, political and social literacy, and civic engagement. The project will also raise awareness of gender and inclusion rights, reproductive health, and employment rights. (Alumni Team: Community Connections, International Visitor Leadership Program).
Promoting Protection of Women and Girls from Violence, Abuse, and Exploitation
Algeria: She Blogs DZ will offer intensive workshop training for women, ages 19-30, from six provinces in Algeria, to provide the skills necessary to share their life experiences. Through a combination of blogging and journalism trainings led by influential leaders in the industry, the participants will learn how to conduct interviews, report on different print and online platforms, and improve their leadership and civic engagement capacities. (Alumni Team: Global Undergraduate Exchange Program)
Bangladesh: Protecting Women and Girls from Sexual Abuse by Creating Awareness and Introducing Self-Defense Training will introduce self-defense training to young women, ages 14 to 35, living in rural areas in Bangladesh. The project will feature hands-on practice in martial arts techniques, as well as education on first-aid, prevention of abduction and rape, fear management, conflict resolution, and personal safety. (Alumni Team composition: MacArthur Fellows Program, International Women of Courage, and International Visitor Leadership Program)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Women Solidarity Network will promote the protection of women and girls from violence in political, economic, and public/civic life. The alumni team will identify and map forms of violence women’s safety; carry out a national online survey; and collaborate with journalists to publish articles about their findings. The project aims to create a network of women that will support women’s solidarity and joint action to tackle gender-based violence across ethno-nationalist, age, and professional divisions. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Fulbright Program)
Cameroon: Protecting Internally Displaced Women from Abusive Arrests will strengthen the systems in place to improve health outcomes and empower Cameroon to transition from receiving humanitarian assistance. The alumni team will provide legal aid to internally displaced women and girl victims of political conflict by establishing civil status documents and national identification cards. The project will also train the women and girls in the monitoring and reporting of human rights violations. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program, Study of the U.S. Institutes, TechWomen)
Cameroon: Combatting Sexual Violence Against Female Students and Female Teachers in Secondary Schools in the Littoral Region will empower the vulnerable female student population and strengthen community-based institutions in their response to Gender Based Violence. The project aims to effect community level behavioral change in schools and homes by raising awareness of School Related Gender Based Violence. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program, African Women Entrepreneurship Program, International Visitor Leadership Program, Women's Ambassador Forum, TechWomen)
Cabo Verde: Soul Project will raise awareness of sexual abuse and all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Cabo Verde and provide free trauma recovery services to SGBV survivors on the island of Sal where there is the highest number of reported sexual abuse cases, especially against minors. The project will launch a pilot wellness center to provide legal, psychological and medical support services to SGBV survivors and training for local public institutions and key stakeholders (i.e. teachers, police, medical practitioners, and families). This model's practical approach to addressing SGBV will be presented as a country-level best practice for preventing SGBV and for supporting survivors nationwide. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Colombia: I Too Belong Here: Toward a Safe and Inclusive City for Women and Girls will promote the elimination of gender-based violence (GBV) in Afro and Native Colombian communities. Through a series of Women Community Safety Audits in the cities of Tumaco and Quibdó, and the partnership with local government and civil society, the project will empower marginalized women to speak out about the issues that affect them, promote their participation in decision-making scenarios, and help create safer and more inclusive cities for all. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program)
Dominican Republic: Apptiv@s: Girls Against Cyber-Violence! will raise awareness to reduce cyber violence in the Dominican Republic. The project includes a multi-pronged approach to community engagement: including a capacity-building boot camp on cyber-violence and life skills development, a hackathon to create an app aimed to prevent violence against women, and events with community members and civil society organizations. (Alumni Team: Study of the U.S. Institutes, International Visitor Leadership Program)
Egypt: NADA fights Female Genital Mutilation will aim to reduce violence against young girls in Egypt, specifically female genital mutilation in the Al Hwatka village, through facilitated training workshops and health awareness campaigns and initiatives. Named after a 12 year old girl who died during a procedure in the village where the project will take place, the project will build a strong network of stakeholders and civil society organizations to enhance their capacities in designing and implementing awareness programs aiming to reduce and combat the practices of female genital mutilation operations and will educate local families on the dangers of such practices. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Ghana: Liberating Stories of Women will promote women’s peace and security by providing training for 15 women victims of violence in the art of storytelling, filmmaking, and social media creation. The project will empower the survivor’s to use their narratives of liberation to advocate for gender equity. Building on a five-year advocacy campaign for women’s rights, stories from this first cohort will premiere at the annual Benpaali Young Filmmakers Festival and film festivals worldwide. (Alumni Team: The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA))
India: Cyber Saathi- Know your Digital Rights will address cyber bullying and harassment targeted towards women and girls in India. Through digital training workshops and online educational sessions youth will challenge gender norms and stereotypes, learn responsible use of technology, and promote effective tools and strategies on dealing with and reporting cybercrime. (Alumni Team: Fortune 500 Mentoring Program, International Visitor Leadership Program)
Indonesia: SPEAK: Anti-Violence Paralegal School will improve access to legal services for women in Bali by increasing the number of paralegals who better understand gender-based violence cases and receive specialized hands-on training. In addition, the project will strengthen the institutional approach to GBV by training and educating local government leaders and civil society. Lastly, the project will amplify core concepts and messages through an inclusive public campaign. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Indonesia: Survivors First: Improving Law Enforcement and Protection for Sexual and GBV Survivors will increase the knowledge, awareness, and capacity of police officers, prosecutors, and judges who are involved with sexual and gender-based violence cases in Indonesia. The series of virtual trainings, in partnership with leading experts and local and national organizations, will focus on a rights-based, gender-aware, and victim-oriented approach. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program, American Council of Young Political Leaders)
Kazakhstan: Girl Empowerment Community will create supportive communities and promote safe spaces in schools in Kazakhstan. Teenage girls, ages 14-17, will learn about sexual harassment, domestic violence, bullying, leadership, and other topics that are not covered by the local school system. Participants will attend self-defense classes, gain confidence to raise awareness in their communities, and demonstrate the skills and information they have learned. (Alumni Team: Professional Fellows Program, Future Leaders Exchange Program)
Kazakhstan: Stand Up For Your Rights will teach protective measures against domestic violence to 2,000 women in Kazakhstan. In partnership with leading Kazakhstani human rights activists and experts, the project will include an advocacy campaign to increase awareness of domestic violence prevention among Kazakhstani society. The project will create four online courses to provide information about national and international protection resources from domestic violence and teach women psychological tools of self-defense. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, BridgeUSA, Study of the U.S. Institutes)
Latvia: Dare to Talk: Addressing Gender-Based Discrimination and Violence at Universities in Latvia will launch a cycle of workshops in three Latvian cities as well as a publicity campaign to raise awareness of gender-based discrimination, stereotyping, harassment, and violence in higher education institutions in Latvia. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program (International Visitor Leadership Program, Community Solutions Program)
Lebanon: Women and Girls Against Political Violence will prevent violence against women in politics in Lebanon, especially cyber bullying, and harassment. As the number of politically active women rises in Lebanon, the project will produce a set of recommendations for addressing the issues of violence against women. The project will also raise awareness through a social media campaign featuring testimonials from women impacted by gender-based violence. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Humphrey Fellowship Program)
Lithuania: Decoding UN Resolution 1325: Promoting Safety at Home through Greater Leadership will train more than 200 Lithuanian leaders to advance gender equality in political representation and to reduce domestic gender-based violence. The project will organize a training workshop for representatives from local municipalities; will host an international “Women Leadership Forum” with Eastern Partnership countries to ensure greater collaboration on coordinating Women’s Peace and Security efforts; and will develop a multilingual online training curriculum focused on improving women’s leadership and preventing gender-based violence. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Fulbright, and Community Solutions Program)
Madagascar: Women Break the Silence will raise awareness of the 2019 legislation protecting women against gender based violence and condemning rape as a criminal offense. The awareness campaign will draw on artistic, cultural, and educational tools to empower survivors of gender based violence. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center)
Mexico: Curbing Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking In Persons through Awareness Strategy and Volunteers Network will promote the protection of women and girls against violence, abuse and exploitation. Through a public awareness campaign, trainings for parents, families, and professionals, as well as the creation of a network of community volunteers, the project will combat human trafficking and gender-based violence in Mexico. (Alumni Team: Combatting Trafficking in Persons)
Mongolia: Crossroads will launch a storytelling platform with short videos to highlight the individual experiences of women and girls with disabilities across Mongolia. The project will culminate with a documentary film that will encourage public discourse on disability rights and amplify these important voices to spark change among Mongolian policy makers and civil society. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program (Fulbright Program, LEAD Mongolia Program, Global Undergraduate Exchange Program)
Nicaragua: Raising Awareness of TIP and Illegal Migration through Life Skills and Small Business Management for Nicaraguan Women will educate young women survivors of violence, their guardians, and at-risk youth on the dangers of irregular migration. Eighty youth and young women, ages 13-25, and their parents/guardians will participate in workshops and forums on cybersecurity, TIP, and illegal migration. The project will further strengthen the development of 15 women through weekly life skills and small business management workshops. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Nicaraguan Peace Scholarship Program)
Nigeria: Opened Hearts will educate 115,000 students and religious community members on gender-based violence. The 70-day campaign will address sexual abuse and harassment in schools, what mechanisms to use for all stages of reported abuse, and how to close the gap between commitment and action, for relevant authority figures. (Alumni Team: Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Program, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
South Sudan: Digital and Physical Safety Training and Mentorship for Young Female Journalists in South Sudan will equip 50 early career female journalists with the skills and resources to identify and address online harassment, gender-based discrimination, and physical and psychological exploitation. The project will establish a partnership with a local university to train current students and recent graduates in resilience against cyber-bullying and reporting mechanisms for addressing SGBV Alumni Team: Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center)
South Korea: Freedom Writers Korea Project will empower young, female North Korean defectors (NKD) through a series to trainings to improve their digital literacy skills while developing self-awareness on traumatic experiences. The participants will also take classes to improve their narrative writing skills, which will help them ultimately to share their voices and experiences via digital books. (Alumni Team: English Language Fellows, American English E-Teacher Program, International Visitor Leadership Program)
Tajikistan: Strengthening the Capacity of Women to Resolve Violent Family Conflicts will train and mentor women leaders in 22 villages and districts of the northern Sughd region of Tajikistan and will provide them with effective tools and resources for family conflict resolution. Topics covered by the program will include psychological counseling, communication with law enforcement agencies, and legal and social solutions to domestic violence situations. (Alumni Team: Open World, Regional Scholar Exchange Program)
Thailand: SHero Project for Peace and Security will convene youth for virtual sessions and a three-day Youth Peace Camp in southern Thailand, increasing their understanding of peacebuilding and preventing gender-based violence at national and local levels while sharing common challenges and solutions. The camp will also integrate design thinking methods to promote innovative solutions for advocacy in this space. (Alumni Team: Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, Fulbright Program)
Timor-Leste: I'Qual for All (I am Equal with Others) will launch a two-day educational campaign to increase knowledge of gender-based violence in five public schools, targeting youth between 10-18 years old. In addition, the project will implement parent-teacher seminars, country-wide radio spots, and a national workshop to reach larger parent- teachers’ councils. (Alumni Team: Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, Fulbright Program)
Venezuela: ImpactGirls Program: Educate Young Girls about Gender-Based Violence will empower girls, including young women with disabilities, ages 13-17, to know their rights and autonomy. Participants will develop “life projects,” where they can dream and explore practical examples of what they want to do in life, using their talents, passions, and social needs. The project will promote the defense of human rights, dignity and integrity of growing teenage girls, and provide a guide for healthy and productive lives. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Zambia: Eradicating Gender-Based Violence of Women and Girls in the Rural Communities of Monze District by the end of 2025 will provide critical psychodynamic support to survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Zambia. The project will help survivors to confront their past and provide opportunities to rebuild from a point of strength and confidence. To foster an ecosystem that supports survivors of GBV and prevent future acts, the project will also target male community members, and will promote community-based radio talk shows to address traditional and cultural practices that need to shift towards empowering women. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Supporting Women’s Political, Economic, and Civic Participation
Australia: She Runs will equip young women under the age of 35 with the knowledge and practical skills to launch local, state, and federal campaigns through virtual and in-person modules on leadership, campaigns, media, and global politics. The project will also convene regional meetings on the topics of women and politics, civil society, community change, and ethics to reach a broader audience of women. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP))
Australia: Strong Women, Strong Communities: Empowering Indigenous Female Changemakers will enhance the leadership and governance skills of inspiring indigenous female change makers through a culturally meaningful and relevant virtual program, providing access to supportive mentors and participation in a larger network that seeks to make a difference in the areas of violence prevention, civic participation, and women’s empowerment in local communities. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program)
Azerbaijan: “You Can Say No” Online Girls Empowerment Program will raise awareness of issues of young women and girls’ social status, challenges for their education, career and well-being with the aim of breaking up the public silence on these “culturally defended” realms. The team will create an online platform with tools and resources to bolster young women and girls’ capacity and energy to make informed decisions. The platform will combine three strands: a collection of personal stories and interactive videos; online consultancy on education, women’s health, Azerbaijani laws, career possibilities; and, blogging to develop girls’ capacity to discuss and promote girls’ education, self-determination, safety and protection. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program, Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Scholarship)
Benin: Women’s Political Empowerment will increase the political, economic, and civic participation of 770 Beninese women and girls by equipping them with new strategies for successful political engagement, enhancing their communication skills, and developing their campaign organizing capacity. The project builds on existing efforts by several local and international partners to bolster women’s political participation with the goal of motivating participants to become more involved in future elections as candidates, voters, and civic activists. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Fulbright Program, Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center).
Bolivia: WARMI SHINING – New Gates for Girls in Oruro will empower 20 female public school students, ages 14 to 16, in the suburban areas of Oruro by teaching English as a foreign language, training participants in virtual and IT skills, and building capacities in leadership and community civic engagement. Students will participate in a year-long virtual language program and will implement four community service projects throughout the year. (Alumni Team: Study of the U.S. Institutes, Youth Ambassadors, E-Teacher Program)
Burundi: Burundi Woman, You Are Capable will mobilize and empower women to build peace, stability, and economic empowerment in their communities. The project will educate women living in Rumonge on civic engagement in order to improve their communities and contribute to stable and prosperous Burundi. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship)
Cambodia: Her Project (Digital Edition) will empower female youths from four Cambodian provinces in the areas of media literacy, civic understanding, content production, and project management through an intensive five-day training course. The participants will also have the opportunity to apply their skills and deliver digital campaigns and outreach workshops to engage their local communities on the importance of media literacy. (Alumni Team: Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative)
Canada: Building Political Leadership Capital in Young Canadian and Nigerian Marginalized Women Through a Collaborative Educational Experience will empower and educate young girls and women, ages 15 to 17, of African and Caribbean descent from Ontario, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria on issues related to political, economic, and civic participation in their local communities. Through in-person and virtual trainings, 100 participants from Toronto and Lagos will earn about local and international issues and how both countries can increase participation of women in all levels of decision making. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Global Entrepreneurship Summit)
China: Envision the Power of Women and Children through Cartoon Creation will build a replicable model for schools to train teachers on the use of cartoons to creatively engage students on gender equality and women’s rights. The project will utilize virtual sessions with international expert speakers and the teachers will also conduct virtual classroom sessions with their students. The project will culminate with a compilation of the students’ work at a final ceremony. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, International Visitor Leadership Program)
Croatia: Incorporation of Women Bar Associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia will aim to improve gender balance within the legal profession by establishing formal women lawyers associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The project will promote equal opportunities for women in the legal profession; strengthen links between Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian women lawyers; and increase regional cooperation and understanding, including in rule of law. (Alumni Team: Ron Brown Program)
Ethiopia: ‘Boosting Intra-African Trade: African Women Entrepreneurship (AWEP) Women Taking the Lead will facilitate networking among members of the AWEP Chapters in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda to promote an exchange of best practices on products and services. The project will help 400 women entrepreneurs by creating a platform to network among themselves, educate women entrepreneurs on the opportunities available through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and share how best those women entrepreneurs can prepare themselves to benefit from the AfCFTA. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Grenada: Inspire Leadership and Mentorship Program will address the needs of low performing and at-risk students on the island of Carriacou, part of Grenada’s tri-island state. The project will support secondary school students facing academic, social, personal, behavioral, and career challenges, by contributing to brighter futures, a better school environment, and stronger communities for all. (Alumni Team: Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, Fulbright Program)
Kenya: Marsabit County Women Cohesion and Empowerment Project will facilitate community sensitization meetings to raise awareness of the value of the social inclusion of women, form savings groups to train 200 women from poor pastoral communities in financial management and income generating activities, and connect women to basic financial services. The women’s self-help and saving groups will also provide safe spaces for bonding, building trust, and amplifying women’s voices as agents of change and economic growth. The project will also reach 300 secondary school girls mentorship to raise their awareness of women’s health, FGM, child marriage and career development opportunities. (Alumni Team: Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center)
Lesotho: Women First Self Help Program will train 200 women in business and entrepreneurship. The project will promote economic independence of the participants through workshops led by local and international business owners. (Alumni Team: Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center)
Liberia: Empowering Underprivileged Women by Transforming Agricultural Waste into Profit will train women in management, entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy and leadership. The project will promote women's economic participation with the help of two local businesses by training the women in how to turn agricultural waste into biochar - a charcoal product that acts as a plant fertilizer. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Liberia: Women's Participation Through Information, Sensitization & Education (WISE) will promote more effective and inclusive governance by building an enabling environment for women’s political participation in Kakata City. The project will increase community and civic understanding of gender equality, voting and campaign processes by organizing public and stakeholder engagements, and using advertisement campaigns. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Mauritania: Women Entrepreneurship Program will train women students attending business schools in Nouakchott in leadership, entrepreneurship, and basic digital skills to boost youth employment. The project aims to raise awareness of career opportunities for 100 women, provide mentoring to help female students enter the job market and to sustain their own startups. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Morocco: Bolstering Women’s Development in Rural Morocco will provide language literacy, technical capacity building, and empowerment training to 20 women from rural areas in Morocco. Through this training program, women will have the confidence to engage in the political, economic, and civic spaces in their communities. (Alumni Team: Humphrey Fellowship, International Visitor Leadership Program, Professional Fellows Program)
Namibia: VENDORS CITIZEN JOURNALISM PROJECT (VCJP) will diversify Namibia’s economy and increase trade by sharing best practices and building the capacities of women vendors. The project will address income inequality in Namibia by collecting data on informal traders to detect challenges that would hinder their operations in designated markets. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Nigeria: Project Enable will equip 450 women with disabilities, female caregivers, and mothers of special needs children across Nigeria with digital business management skills. The project will also provide support services and mentorship to 50 businesses led by women with disabilities and promote the integration of the community of persons with disabilities into society through traditional, print, and social media campaigns that call for inclusivity. (Alumni Team: Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Empower Partnership, Carrington Youth Fellowship)
Nigeria: Girls Creativity Hub will train girls between the ages of 16-25 years in areas of creative design, entrepreneurship, and leadership with the goal of the participants establishing economic independence. The project aims to reduce the high rate of unwanted pregnancies by providing mentorship in business and entrepreneurship. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Pakistan: Capacity Building of Future Decision Makers on Civic Engagement and Political Participation will train 300 young female students from six districts in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in civics, economics, and politics. The project will connect the young aspiring women from these regions to other female role models and will inspire them to be more active in society. (Alumni Team: Professional Fellows Program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women ELP)
Palestine Territories: Hack to Empower and Save Women will educate female youth, ages 15-17 in rural areas in the West Bank, on discrimination, safety, security, and gender inequality gap issues in the Palestinian society. Participants will gain critical and design thinking, problem-solving, communication, teamwork and independent skills. Throughout the hackathon, participants will work together in groups to develop technology driven projects to solve existing problems. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, TechWomen)
Palestine Territories: Mompreneur will support and empower mothers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to start their own online businesses. The project will feature six specialized marketing and design workshops to assist the mothers with cultivating and developing their business ideas. To further support economic stability for the participants, the project will conclude with two large career days to highlight the success of the mothers in Palestine, and to present their products. (Alumni Team: Study of the U.S. Institutes, TechWomen)
Paraguay: WIF PY (Women in Film Paraguay) will engage 40 women, ages 18 to 30, on how to effectively utilize film and media to tell their personal stories through mentorship and hands-on workshops. The women will foster their creativity and learn skills to help support potential career paths in Paraguay's audiovisual industry. In addition to building networks with industry leaders, participants will share their own stories of struggle, bullying, or abuse through short films. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program)
Peru: EmpoWarmi will increase civic participation of 60 teenage girls in Apurimac, the fourth poorest region of Peru, to raise awareness about environmental issues affecting their community. Through mentorship with Peruvian exchange alumni role models, development of soft skills, and learning new communication techniques, participants will build presentation and communication skills, and will be empowered as leaders in their community. The project will culminate in an online event that will influence and inform parents, teachers, and local authorities. (Alumni Team: Study of the U.S. Institutes)
Rwanda: The Knitting Sisters will promote the protection of women and girls from violence, abuse, and exploitation by providing 45 mothers between the ages of 15-19 years across three districts of Kigali; Nyarugenge, Gasabo, and Kicukiro, with knitting skills. The project will foster financial independence for the mothers through knitting, and provide psychological support through the community of knitters. The activities will boost the participant’s self-esteem and empower them to counter social discrimination faced by teenage mothers in Rwanda. (Alumni Team: Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
South Africa: TEDxLytteltonWomen 2020 – Pathfinders and Connectors will empower women to be at the forefront of discourse that shapes narratives, and changes perspectives. The project will advocate for gender inclusion in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by showcasing Pathfinders and Connectors from around the continent who represent women’s political, economic, and civic participation. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Fortune, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Spain: FabLab Mobile will launch a STEAM experiential learning pilot program for female youth in the Spanish rural region of Castilla la Mancha (CLM). This team will adapt a van provided by a local partner and convert it into a digital fabrication mobile space to deliver maker space workshops for young girls and educators in four small towns in different provinces across CLM. (Alumni Team: FOIA, International Visitor Leadership Program)
Suriname: Female-Led Innovative Rural Startups (F.L.I.R.S.) will equip 60 female entrepreneurs from the Saramacca, Coronie, and Nickerie districts of Suriname and regions of Guyana withskills to increase the effectiveness of their businesses and to scale their operations. The project will provide hands-on training organizational, managerial, and technical capabilities. Participants will share their products and services to investors, local government, and students at an entrepreneurship fair, which will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Suriname and Guyana. (Alumni Team: Young Leaders of the Americas Program, Youth Ambassador Program Mentors)
Turkey: Smart and Persistent Women Network will establish a learning and networking platform to empower primarily Syrian refugee women with skills that will be beneficial in rebuilding their lives in Konya, Turkey. In collaboration with Konya Teknokent Inc. and Selcuk University, the team aims for the pilot project to be the cornerstone of future incubators built on the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and social inclusion. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program)
Turkmenistan: Empowering Unemployed Women and Girls living in Rural Areas of Mary Welayat will create employment opportunities for 72 unemployed, low-income women and girls living in rural areas of Turkmenistan. The project will provide technical assistance through a series of customized business trainings, mentorship on enterprise development, and consulting services to increase participant’s knowledge and abilities to start and operate sustainable businesses. (Alumni Team: Fulbright Program, Community Connections Program, Contemporary Issues)
Ukraine: The School of Political Participation for Women and Girls with Disabilities “LIDERKA” will inspire 20 women and girls with disabilities (and their caretakers) to engage more actively in the political life and decision-making process in their communities and country through the education, internship and mentorship activities. The team hopes to equip the participants with the necessary knowledge of the political situation in Ukraine and instruments for influencing the decision making process and improve the leadership skills of women and girls with disabilities. (Alumni Team: Global UGRAD, International Visitor Leadership Program, Professional Training Program)
Zimbabwe: Visual Expression of Young Women’s Voices will support women’s participation in peace and security by empowering women ages 18-35 to become champions for peace and development. The project will provide training in research, citizen reporting, advocacy and, visual arts to promote inclusion, access to socio-economic justice, and foster increased participation of young women in decision-making. (Alumni Team: International Visitor Leadership Program, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)
Engaging Women as Partners in Preventing Terrorism, and Countering Radicalization and Recruitment
Burkina Faso: Peace Building through Community Radio will advance peace and security in the region by training 10 female members of community health clubs in radio production. The project will provide the participants with training in peaceful dialogue between different ethnic groups in the rural : region in Burkina Faso. (Alumni Team: (Fulbright Program, International Visitor Leadership Program, Peace Corps)
United Kingdom: Community Concept will train a diverse group of women across Greater Manchester on the process and prevention of extremism, as well as the specialist techniques needed to deliver their own community radicalization prevention projects. The project will engage participants around ways to create their own innovative community-led workshops that they can deliver to wider groups of women in the region in the long term, enabling a lasting legacy. (Alumni Team: U.S.-UK Countering Violent Extremism: Community Leaders Two-Way Exchange)