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IREX Community Solutions Program 2019/2020 for Youth Leaders (Fully Funded to USA)

Application Deadline: October 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a year-long professional development program for people who are working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the environment, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender.

For 2019–2020, up to 80 community activists will be selected to participate in the program, which includes:

  • Four-month Fellowship in the United States: Community Solutions fellows are matched to host organizations throughout the U.S. where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience.
  • Community Leadership Institute: Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking.
  • Community-based initiatives: While in the U.S. and with the help of their U.S. host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the U.S., they put these projects into action in their home communities.

Financial Support

The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with:

  • J-1 visa support;
  • Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the U.S.;
  • Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the U.S.; and
  • Accident and sickness insurance.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Community Solutions Program, applicants must meet the requirements listed below. Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be disqualified and will not be reviewed by the selection committee.

  • You are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2019;
  • You are a citizen of one of the eligible countries listed below;
  • You are living and working in your home country;
    • Individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration.
  • You have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer;
  • You are not currently participating in an academic, training, or research program in the U.S.;
  • You have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application;
    • Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English language test.
  • You are available to travel to the U.S. for four months from August to December 2019;
  • You are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years;
  • You are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa;
    • Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement.
  • You are committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program; and
  • You are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member.

Eligible countries by region

  • Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • East Asia and the Pacific: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
  • Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
  • Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Palestinian Territories.
  • South and Central Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS PROGRAM TIMELINE

  • September 19, 2018 : Application opens
  • October 31, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. EST: Application deadline
  • November – December 2018: Applications reviewed by selection committee
  • December 14, 2018: Applicants notified if selected as a semifinalist
  • December 14 – 30, 2018: Semifinalists complete online interviews
  • January 2019: Semifinalist interviews reviewed by selection committee
  • February – April 2019: Finalists and alternates take English language tests as needed
  • March 1, 2019: Applicants notified if selected as a finalist or alternate
  • June 2019: Pre-departure orientation
  • August 2019: Participants travel to the U.S. and participate in the Welcome Orientation
  • August – December 2019: Participants complete a four-month practicum at a U.S.-based host organization
  • December 2019: Participants participate in the End of Program Workshop and then return to their home countries
  • December 2019 – June 2020: Participants complete their community-based initiatives

Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted online at https://oas.irex.org/csp by October 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Applications that are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to IREX will not be accepted.

Detailed application instructions can be downloaded by the link below. Please review the program requirements prior to starting an application to ensure that you are eligible. Please note that eligibility requirements are determined by the US Department of State and exceptions cannot be made. If, after reviewing the application instructions, you have additional questions, please e-mail cspapply@irex.org.

Application Materials

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the IREX Community Solutions Program 2019/2020

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