The Community Solutions Program (CSP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented by IREX, provides community leaders from around the world with an intensive, professional development exchange program in the United States from August to December 2020. CSP fellows gain valuable experience in community work and strengthen their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries.
- Applicants must be between the ages of 25-38 as of January 1, 2020
- Applicants must have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer
- Applicants must be living and working in their home country (individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration)
- Applicants must have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English
Four-month U.S.-based fellowship: CSP fellows are matched with non-profit organizations, private entities, and government offices across the United States where they work with U.S. colleagues on initiatives related to issues they face in their own communities. Community Solutions leaders work in one of four technical areas: Environmental Issues, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues. For example: A gender-rights activist from Vietnam focused on reducing human trafficking works with YWCA on human trafficking in Houston, Texas.
Community Leadership Institute: The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is a leadership academy that provides customized learning and coaching to each CSP Leader. The CLI uses a blended-learning approach, where leaders participate in online sessions and in-person workshops, receive professional coaching, engage in experiential learning, and interact with other professionals in their field.
Community-based initiatives: CSP fellows develop innovative community action projects in collaboration with their U.S. host institutions and implement these projects after they return to their home countries to integrate their new skills and knowledge into their community work at home. Project summaries are made available online, allowing fellows to share their work with other community leaders around the world.
International network of community development professionals: CSP fellows continue to network and collaborate with like-minded leaders from around the world on global development issues through alumni activities and opportunities offered through the Community Leadership Institute online platform.
Project Impact to Date
- Over 300 U.S. organizations in 90 U.S. cities have hosted CSP fellows, making life-long international connections.
- 631 grassroots leaders from 79 countries have participated in the Community Solutions Program since 2011.
- Over the past six years, CSP alumni have impacted over 295,000 individuals with their community development initiatives.
- 100% of CSP hosts provide in-kind contributions to the program, including staff time and expertise and office space and support that has resulted in over two million dollars since the program began.
Community Solutions Program Embassy Engagement Timeline
- Application deadline: October 30, 2019 COB. To APPLY visit: http://oas.irex.org/csp
- Finalists and alternates identified in February 2020
- Finalists go through a visa interview in April 2020
- Participants have CSP Practicum in the U.S. during August – December 2020
Connect with the Community Solutions Program
For questions, email IREX at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the program and application details, see our website: www.irex.org/csp; https://exchanges.state.gov/non-us/program/community-solutions
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