How World Learning Supports Human Rights Through Literacy

September 8 is International Literacy Day, designated by UNESCO to remind us of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance toward a more literate and sustainable society. We focus on two World Learning literacy programs, in Lebanon and Morocco, aimed at promoting and supporting this essential mission.

QITABI 2 Summer Program Tackles Wide-Ranging Needs of Lebanon’s Schoolchildren

By Dr. Wafa Kotob and Rajani Shrestha

Students of all ages crowded the small entrance of Omareyya Elementary Public School in Zahle, South Lebanon looking forward to the in-person educational activity they have not had for almost two years. Even though it was summer, the students were excited to take part in a catch-up learning program.

“These kids have been at home for too long and we are so happy they are finally in the school building and able to interact with their peers,” said one parent.

Throughout Lebanon, 300 public and private schools opened their doors to more than 40,000 children this summer for a program aimed at helping the students get ready for the coming academic year.

The USAID-funded QITABI 2 program, in collaboration with Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education, launched the summer catch-up program for primary school students in grades 1 to 6. The six-week, in-person program focused on young learners’ well-being to help them get back on track as they start the new academic year.

The summer program was received enthusiastically by parents, students, and educators as Lebanon spirals through the unprecedented turmoil of compounded crises — political uprising, COVID-19, economic collapse, and the devastating Beirut port explosion.

Two studies — the Rapid Education Risk Analysis and the Learning Recovery Study — conducted by QITABI 2, have demonstrated the impact of the shocks and stressors that have either amplified existing threats to children’s rights to education or given rise to new risks and challenges.

The Learning Recovery Study showed that over 90 percent of the students in grades 2 and 3 are reading at a beginner level, well below their expected grade levels. Parents, teachers, and principals also highlighted the urgency of taking action to support students’ emotional well-being through well-designed psycho-social support programs. Forty-five percent of teachers and 74 percent of principals reported that most of their students in grades 2 and 3 feel anxious or sad.

To address their students’ immediate academic and social and emotional needs, teachers assessed students’ reading in Arabic, English/French, and math to provide specialized instruction across all learning levels. QITABI 2 interventions also integrated social and emotional learning into the literacy and numeracy curricula, along with standalone activities to promote competencies such as executive function/cognition, emotion regulation, positive social skills, and conflict resolution.

Before launching the summer program in schools, QITABI 2 hosted capacity-building workshops with more than 100 trainers and mentors who, in turn, trained the teachers. The workshops covered the project’s holistic learning approach, which draws on connectedness, social and emotional learning, and inclusion, to ensure that children gain the reading, writing, math, and social and emotional skills that are foundational to their future learning and success.

Participants were also provided with a robust set of teaching and learning materials developed by QITABI 2 in alignment with the national curriculum. These math and reading lessons incorporate assessments that help teachers to identify struggling learners and the skills for which they need help.

QITABI 2 has deployed specially trained learning facilitators, who are based throughout the country, to provide coaching and support to schools and teachers as they carry out the learning program. Areas of support include accessing the digital materials, implementing diagnostic assessments, and consolidating student and teacher data.

QITABI 2 reaches more than 338,000 students from 1,307 schools in Lebanon, including students registered in 320 afternoon shift that serves the Syrian students. The project works with 1,300 administrators and 8,000 primary school teachers. World Learning leads QITABI 2 in partnership with Ana Aqra Association, American Lebanese Language Center, International Rescue Committee, and Management Systems International.

Dr. Wafa Kotob is chief of party and Rajani Shrestha is project director of Lebanon’s Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement (QITABI) 2 program

World Learning Uses Online Teacher Training Expertise to Develop National Course in Morocco

By Dr. Kara McBride

World Learning has combined its expertise in evidence-based literacy practices with its sizeable experience in online teacher training to support a USAID-funded early-grade reading project in Morocco.

Given Morocco’s high teacher-to-supervisor ratio and challenges in visiting many remote areas in the country, the development of online teacher training was already a high priority for Morocco’s Ministry of Education (MOE). It became a top priority when the COVID-19 pandemic began. That’s when Creative Associates, the organizational lead of the National Program for Reading (NPR) in Morocco, reached out to World Learning, in part because of World Learning’s success developing “Teaching Struggling Readers Around the World,” a MOOC on multilingual literacy instruction that first ran in 2019 through collaboration between World Learning and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

To improve a country’s public education system so that children grow up with stronger literacy skills, a deep understanding of how children learn to read and how teachers learn to teach is needed. During the summer of 2020, World Learning led a series of six workshops with 20 members of the Ministry of Education plus other people working on NPR from Creative Associates, members of the Center of Learning Technologies of Al Akhawayn University, and USAID.

Simultaneous interpretation between English and Arabic allowed for interactive, online workshops on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and task design and assessment for online instruction in low-resource contexts.

Participants have since been applying what they learned in the workshops to the development of four online teacher training courses related to Arabic teaching in primary grades. The course on teaching reading is currently in the pilot stage.

Since the workshops, World Learning has provided coaching to the online training designers from the education ministry and the Center of Learning Technologies. This support has covered a range of topics, including graphic design, course navigation, and classroom scenario filming, in addition to regular review cycles of content and design.

Just as the reading course was going into piloting, Abdellatif Fergoug of The Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, Staff Training, and Scientific Research wrote, “I reiterate my thanks for the time you have devoted to consulting [on] this course and for the excellent quality of your comments.”

Morocco’s education ministry expects to roll out NPR’s early-grade reading online teacher training course nationwide shortly after the current pilot is completed. The target population includes 98,500 public primary school Arabic teachers and more than 3 million students. In addition to addressing in-service teacher training, the online teaching modules will be used in pre-service teacher training. In this way, the ministry plans to ensure that all teachers have access to the best methods for teaching literacy to young learners.

Dr. Kara McBride is a senior education specialist with World Learning.

Breaking Down Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities

IVLP participants during their visit to the Accessibility Lab at Oath, a Verizon company.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, nine professionals from the Middle East and North Africa experienced what inclusion of people with disabilities means in a state known for outdoor adventure. During their stay, they visited a rock climbing gym that offers adaptive equipment like harnesses and hand grips and climbing partners. The gym is not a separate facility just for people with disabilities but a place that brings a community of people of all abilities together.

These professionals were in the U.S. for three weeks as participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an exchange program that brings professionals from a variety of fields to the U.S. to cultivate relationships and share experiences and expertise. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by World Learning, this program focused on disability rights. The group saw how the Americans with Disabilities Act has created accessible spaces since it was enacted 28 years ago. They also learned about the progress that still needs to be made to break down barriers people with disabilities face in finding employment.

An IVLP participant tries out the rock climbing wall at the National Ability Center.

Facilities like the rock climbing gym can make a difference. Mohamed Elbadry, one of the IVLP participants, is a disability rights activist and athlete in Egypt. He sees sports as a way to express himself and increase his confidence. His participation in sports ­has also helped change others’ perceptions of what people with disabilities are capable of doing.

Changing these perceptions is key to increasing employment among people with disabilities. This October, the United States celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an effort led by the U.S. Department of Labor to raise awareness of the employment needs — and the capabilities — of people with all types of disabilities. Everyone can contribute their unique talents and skills to a job if given the opportunity.

During the IVLP experience, Elbadry and his colleagues learned many ways to address this worldwide employment gap between people with and without disabilities.

Education is an important place to start. The group visited different schools and universities to observe the support and accommodations they provide students with disabilities. Group members were particularly impressed with The College Experience, a program through which students with disabilities live independently on a college campus in Albany, New York. A partnership between the nonprofit Living Resources and the College of Saint Rose, the program helps youth with developmental disabilities take classes and transition to the workforce. The program showed the group what meaningful employment is possible when people with disabilities are given accommodations and assistive technology.

For Elbadry, the program provided a helpful example of how organizations can build bridges between the disability community and employers, which in turn helps employers understand why they should hire people with disabilities. He hopes to apply what he learned from this IVLP experience when he returns to Egypt. “I see that we need a center in each field of work or in each region that can help those who need training,” he says. “Every state [in Egypt] should have a team responsible for connecting with organizations and companies to ensure the employment of people with disabilities.”

IVLP participants practice beep baseball.

Hafid Babazahou, another IVLP participant, is president of an association of people with disabilities in Morocco. He learned from these meetings the importance of data collection. People with disabilities have been found to have higher attendance and a lower turnover rate on average than people without disabilities. Sharing this information and specifics about low-cost accommodations and assistive technology support can show potential employers why it makes good business sense to hire people with disabilities. Employment data can also demonstrate how to create jobs that play to the skills and strengths of people with disabilities. When employers understand facts about working with people with disabilities, it is possible to shift their attitudes and open doors to create a more diverse workforce.

Professional exchanges like the IVLP can spark new ideas and build connections that advance international disability rights. These meetings across the U.S. motivated participants to continue their advocacy for disability rights upon returning home.

These exchanges also remind the U.S.-based hosts, interpreters, and program administrators of the progress we have made over the years and what more needs to be done to change attitudes toward people with disabilities. By working together and sharing our best ideas, we can bridge the employment gap in communities and countries across the world.

— Amy Reid, Program Officer

As NDEAM draws to a close, this is a time of reflection for individuals and organizations across the world. Consider: How are you fostering a more diverse and inclusive workforce? Are people with visible disabilities recruited, hired, mentored, and advanced? If you need ideas for increasing disability inclusion in your organization, check out the Department of Labor’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month resources. Put up a poster, arrange for a disability education program, and advertise employment opportunities with your local Center for Independent Living or Rehabilitation Services Program. For international recruitment, advertise with Mobility International USA.

How a Summer in Morocco Helped One Experimenter Bridge Cultural Divides

Richard was immediately intrigued last spring when he saw an ad that declared, “Pack Your Bags. Morocco is Calling. All Expenses Paid.” The Experiment in International Living was running an essay competition with the prompt, Why do you think understanding other cultures is important — now more than ever?

A sophomore at a Boston-area high school, Richard wanted to spend the upcoming summer abroad. And at a time when Islam and the Arab world was constantly in the headlines — particularly as a result of the U.S. government’s travel ban — he was also eager to understand more about the Arab world.

“I believe that fear and the lack of understanding of the Muslim culture creates a divide,” Richard wrote in his essay. “We, as Americans, should learn more about the Islamic culture because it will allow people to change the way they think towards the culture.”

Richard with his host mother in Ait Ouahi.

Richard knows firsthand how people can misperceive others. He’s Vietnamese-American and often finds himself explaining Vietnamese customs to his friends, who mix them up with Chinese or other Asian traditions. “Being in a position where you don’t know a different culture kind of puts you at a disadvantage, so I think learning a different culture would help you expand your mind and your views on the world,” Richard explains.


Having impressed The Experiment staff with his thoughtful answers, Richard won the essay competition and earned the chance to expand his own mind on the Experiment trip to Morocco. “I kept an open mind and I went there ready to pretty much do anything,” he says.

Over the course of four weeks, Richard and his Experiment group immersed themselves in Moroccan life: they traveled to the modern capital Rabat, the former Imperial City of Marrakesh, and Fez, known for its ancient walled city. They rode camels in the Sahara Desert. They learned Morocco’s Arabic dialect Darija. And they stayed with local families for two weeks in the small agricultural village of Ait Ouahi, where they learned how to cook, weave, and dance shoulder-to-shoulder.

Richard taking a break from the group’s camel ride through the Sahara.

There was, of course, some culture shock. Though Richard had traveled to Spain the previous summer and lived in a homestay in Alicante, he had never been somewhere so little influenced by Western culture. For instance, in the tribal region of Ait Ouahi, there were no Golden Arches of McDonald’s lining the streets and no wifi access in his home. Five times a day, the Islamic call to prayer rang out from telephone poles, startling him at first. And it was extremely hot in the mountainous village.

But his Experiment leaders helped Richard and the other participants cope with the radically different culture in their orientation in Rabat and also by placing students in homestays near one another. Whenever Richard needed help or wanted to talk to another American student, he only had to walk 30 feet to the host family next door that housed one of the girls in his group. “I didn’t feel as lonely or intimidated or out-of-place, but I also had the experience to share with someone else,” he says. In time, he adjusted to Moroccan life — and gained a deeper understanding of the Arab world, just as he’d hoped he would when he entered the essay competition.

“I’ve been more confident in addressing some of these world issues where people are prejudiced against a certain religion or a certain race,” he says.

Richard with his fellow Experimenters in Morocco.

In the past, Richard used to be afraid to speak out when he heard friends or acquaintances express something incorrect or biased against Muslims, for example, connecting the religion to terrorism. But after spending time in Morocco, he says he now has the knowledge to correct these kinds of statements. “Now I can actually support Muslims and say that these [terrorist] ideologies don’t support what they support,” he says.

Now in his junior year, Richard is hoping to spend another summer abroad, though he’s not sure where yet. He’s still in touch with his friends from his Experiment program, which he credits with helping him to learn more about himself and his worldview. The time away from home, too, boosted his confidence and independence. Richard recommends the experience to anyone.

“Although there might be a few hardships and a few times when you might feel in a state of culture shock, I definitely think you should attend this trip,” he says. “It really does open up your eyes to new worlds.”

Improving Education for Women in Morocco

Wafaa Afkir is passionate about expanding educational opportunities in Morocco.

During college, she spent a year in Tangier working with a women’s center called Darna Association. It was there she discovered the severe lack of resources available for people — especially women — to further their education. She was inspired to create an initiative called “We for Them”, which supplies books for schools in the region.

“The dropout rates are high, so one of the projects we thought to remedy this issue was to implement classroom libraries, and to run reading sessions for the students,” explains Afkir.

Afkir recently participated in the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF), an exchange program run by the non-profit World Learning for young leaders across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to develop their leadership skills in the U.S.

During the LDF program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Afkir interned at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international development organization that provides assistance and support for elections in new and emerging democracies.

She says the internship allowed her to expand her horizons and was a good opportunity to learn more about elections and democracy.

Now back home, Afkir is expanding the “We for Them” program by bringing the project to more areas of the country and creating classroom libraries in more schools in need of educational resources.

Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars

Participant Profile

Participants are alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs and vary in age and level of expertise, but all will be engaged in the seminar topic and highly motivated to create change in their communities.

Please consult the list of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs below.

Participant Selection

Alumni TIES participants who are not U.S. citizens are nominated by the U.S. Embassies or Consulates in their countries. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country to learn how you can participate in Alumni TIES. Potential Alumni TIES participants who are living in the United States can apply for specific seminars managed by World Learning. The web link to the online application will be distributed widely by the Office of Alumni Affairs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

All participants for Alumni TIES seminars are selected by the U.S. Department of State.

Program Design

Alumni TIES seminars take place in six world regions and the U.S.; each seminar is three to four days for small groups of alumni. The seminars include speakers, capacity development trainings, and alumni networking activities. Through the small grants initiative, alumni have the opportunity to take action and make a positive difference in their communities.

Learn More

Watch more videos about the Alumni TIES program.

Read stories from past participants about their experiences at the seminars or with their small grant projects on the Alumni TIES blog.

For information on programs for U.S. government-sponsored exchange program alumni visit the International Exchange Alumni website.

Alumni TIES is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Affairs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  

Communities Connecting Heritage

Communities Connecting HeritageSM  Program Impact


CCH Alumni Small Grants

At the conclusion of the program’s third year, the CCH team opened the Communities Connecting Heritage Small Grants to organizational and community member alumni from all three CCH cycles. The following projects were selected for CCH Small Grant implementation.

Kristina Llane (Albania)
Title of Project: Beekeeping Tradition as and Educative Tool

This project aims to preserve and share the importance of local beekeeping traditions in the Gjirokastra community of Albania. Kristina will work with elementary school students to cultivate youth interest in beekeeping’s cultural role in their community. Throughout the project, students and teachers will contribute to an educational book on beekeeping to that will equip teachers to continue sharing with future classrooms. The project will conclude with a panel discussion focused on protecting and preserving culture, tradition, and the environment in Albania.

Kalpana Gagdekar (India)
Title of Project: Connecting Community with Their Traditional/Heritage Cuisine

This project will explore and document the Chhara community’s traditional cuisines, which are experiencing a disappearing effect under modern global influences. Kalpana aims to document the rituals and heritage of Chhara cuisine through seven video interviews with Chhara women elders. The project combines modern technology with traditional food heritage and welcomes Chhara members of all ages to reclaim and rediscover their own heritage.

Mandala Theatre (Nepal) and Creative Connections (Connecticut, U.S.)
Title of Project: Hamro Sanskriti: Preserving Cultural Heritage through Participatory Theatre

The goal of this project is to provide youth in Connecticut and Nepal with a deeper connection to their own culture through student-led virtual workshops. The workshops – spearheaded by theater trainers in Nepal and Connecticut – will teach participatory theater techniques to 250 high school students and conclude with a model forum theater piece produced by students for the public.

Athar Lina (Egypt)
Title of Project: Rawya: The Water Women

Rawya: The Water Women is a Cairo-based project aimed at restoring the historically significant Sabil Um Abbas, a 19th century religious building and gathering place, into a usable community space once more. In addition to restoring aspects of the building, the project will connect U.S. and Egyptian women storytellers Donna Bryson and Chirine El Ansary to curate a storytelling experience of powerful 19th century women from their respective countries. Their work will culminate in a video exhibition that will be on display in the newly renovated Sabil Um Abbas for the local community to experience.

Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (India) and University of Northern Colorado (Colorado, U.S.)
Title of Project: Reclaiming Heritage II: Building Social Bonds and Bridges with Cultural Heritage

This project will utilize digital library resources at UNC to create and share cultural heritage “snapshots” with the broader community. These short videos will help immigrants and refugees in Colorado and indigenous peoples in India share their cultural heritage while building bonds with their local communities. The project will provide its participants with the ownership and platform to share their own heritage while paving a pathway for integration with others in their community.

Outside the Lens (California, U.S.)
Title of Project: Youth Tellers

Youth Tellers is a cross-cultural collaboration between Latinx youth in California and Bosnia-Herzegovina, relying on the concepts of past, present, and future to explore students’ complex cultural identities. Using digital media tools including photography, videography, and youth-facing communication forums like Discord, the project will culminate in a virtual exhibition showcasing the participants’ cultural heritage exchange with one another.

Explore the Story section on the right to learn more about the unique cultural heritage projects implemented since 2018.

Digital Communication Network

Examples of Past Digital Communication Network Projects

  • Internet vs. Democracy Forum
  • Roaring 20s #Digital Forum
  • Combatting Disinformation Training Program
  • Digital and Media Literacy for NGOs Training Program
  • Tolerance and Coexistence 2.0 Forum
  • Montenegro Digital Influencers Hub
  • Humor and Games for Social Good Forum

Fulbright Specialist Program


Link U.S. Experts and International Institutions

A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique opportunity for U.S. academics and established professionals to engage in two- to six-week consultancies at host institutions across the globe. Host institutions, including universities, non-profits, and other organizations, develop and submit projects for approval by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in their country in wide-ranging academic and professional fields that build capacity and promote long-lasting linkages between individuals and institutions in the U.S. and abroad.


Address Priorities and Build Institutional Capacity at Institutions Around the World

An important companion to the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, the Fulbright Specialist Program differs by providing short-term exchange experiences that tackle discrete, sometimes rapid response, projects. The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages participation of both university faculty and highly experienced non-academics, including legal experts, business professionals, public health practitioners, scientists, IT professionals, artists, and journalists. The program is a mutually beneficial opportunity for the Specialist who may not be available to leave their position for an extended period of time and the host institution which needs an experienced partner to jointly tackle a problem or examine an issue on a short-term basis.


Become a Fulbright Specialist: Apply to Join the Roster

Fulbright Specialists are a diverse group of highly experienced, well-established faculty members and professionals who represent a wide variety of academic disciplines and professions.  In order to be eligible to serve as a Fulbright Specialist, candidates must have significant experience in their respective professional field and be a U.S. citizen at time of application. Eligible disciplines and professional fields supported by the Fulbright Specialist Program are listed below.

  • Agriculture
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Biology Education
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry Education
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Law
  • Library Science
  • Math Education
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies
  • Physics Education
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Public/Global Health
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Urban Planning

Interested candidates can find more information about the Fulbright Specialist Program and apply to serve as a Specialist at Candidates who meet all eligibility requirements will have their full applications reviewed by a panel of their professional peers. Candidates who are approved by the peer review panels will then join the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Individuals remain on the Specialist Roster for a three-year term and are eligible to be matched with a host institution’s project abroad during that tenure.

The following costs are covered for those Fulbright Specialists who are matched to a project: international and domestic airfare, ground transportation, visa fees, lodging, meals, and incidentals. A daily honorarium is also provided.

Become a Host: Bring a Fulbright Specialist to Your Institution

The Fulbright Specialist Program allows universities, cultural centers, non-governmental organizations, and other institutions abroad to host a leading U.S. academic or professional to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects where the Specialist conducts activities which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Delivering a seminar or workshop
  • Consulting on faculty or workforce development
  • Developing academic or training curricula and materials
  • Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
  • Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution

Institutions interested in hosting a Fulbright Specialist should contact their local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy for country-specific requirements and deadlines.

Contact information for all participating countries is available on the website.

For more information or questions about the Fulbright Specialist Program, please email [email protected].

The Fulbright Specialist Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by World Learning.

International Sports Programming Initiative

Application Process

Participants come from a variety of sports backgrounds, based on local priorities and opportunities to create sustainability, in each specific country.

Participants are recruited by World Learning, with support from the U.S. Embassies abroad.

For more information on sports diplomacy programs, visit

The International Sports Programming Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

International Visitor Leadership Program

End of Year Report

Chosen by U.S. embassies worldwide to participate, distinguished professionals include:

  • parliamentarians
  • government officials
  • entrepreneurs
  • NGO leaders
  • journalists
  • academics
  • arts administrators
  • mid-career professionals

Programs focus on policy issues in areas such as:

  • government
  • international security
  • foreign policy
  • entrepreneurship
  • economics and trade
  • media
  • women’s leadership
  • education
  • public health
  • arts
  • agriculture
  • disability rights and inclusion

World Learning staff members design national itineraries, arrange logistics, set up meetings in Washington, DC, and coordinate the collaboration of U.S. Department of State program officers, interpreters and International Visitor Liaisons, and more than 85 community-based member organizations from the Global Ties U.S. Network who arrange local programs nationwide.


Most participants are mid-career professionals and emerging leaders, and for many, this is their first visit to the U.S. Groups are of varying sizes, from single visitors to groups of 25 or more. World Learning program staff work closely with their State Department counterparts to design a program customized to the project objectives and the visitors’ interests.


Participant Selection

IVLP candidates are selected solely by U.S. embassy personnel in each country. There is no application form. World Learning is a private sector partner of the U.S. Department of State; our role is limited to designing programs for participants once they arrive in the U.S. For further information regarding the program, please consult the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Program Design

A typical project includes up to a week of meetings in Washington, DC, to provide an orientation and overview of the theme and to introduce visitors to federal officials and agencies, national organizations, academics and think tanks, nonprofits and NGOs, and professionals in their specific field of interest. All projects include a briefing on the US federal system of government. Meetings may include panel discussions, site visits, workshops, individual interlocutors, job shadowing, or service opportunities. Visitors typically travel to an additional three or four cities in geographically diverse regions of the country; the itinerary may include a state capital and a small town to provide first-hand exposure to the great diversity that exists in the U.S. Also included in the program design are hospitality dinners, school visits, community service activities, and cultural events such as rodeos, state fairs, festivals, visits to national parks, or events that highlight some unique aspect of the region visited.

Participant Experience

“My recent experience in the IVLP program is so far the deepest ever for me to see and understand the full picture of what America as a country is like. I strongly believe this program will have a very long-term impact on my views about America and the world and to some extent it has already helped me to understand many long-time questions.” – Journalist from China

The International Visitor Leadership Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

Leaders Lead On-Demand Program

Examples of past leaders Lead On-Demand Projects:

  • Vietnam Legal Aid
  • Refugee Integration and Resettlement in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Sports Leadership Program for Colombia
  • Mongolia Disability Rights Legislation and Implementation
  • Promoting Open Educational Resources: Middle East and North Africa
  • Tourism and Development in Serbia and Kosovo
  • Religious Freedom and Interfaith Dialogue for Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
  • Emerging Leaders Exchange for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  • Environmental Advocacy for Mongolia
  • Getting Connected Program for the South Pacific
  • Civic Engagement Program for Moldova
  • Disinformation and Fact Checking in Kenya

The Leaders Lead On-Demand is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

Leadership Development Fellowship

Fellowship Cycle

Starting in 2020, the LDF Fellowship will take place over 12 months and include 5 stages:

Stage One: Fellowship begins with two weeks of in-person workshops and trainings in the U.S. with World Learning and Duke University focused on: studying the systems that contribute to societal challenges; building effective partnerships for social change; and developing inclusive and equitable interventions.

Stage Two: Fellows refine interventions and complete exercises that provide local focus on systems analysis, inclusive interventions, building partnerships, and other acquired tools and knowledge from Stage One.

Stage Three: Fellows spend three weeks in the United States for the English Track (for high-proficiency English speakers), or Tunisia for the Arabic Track (for high-proficiency Arabic speakers), to gain academic and local insights into civic engagement and social entrepreneurship and to report and reflect on the findings of their Stage Two activities.

Stage Four: Over six months, Fellows apply the lessons of the LDF Fellowship and report on results to strengthen their ongoing civic and social entrepreneurial activities. During this stage, Fellows may apply for small grants or technical assistance.

Stage Five: In the twelfth month, the Fellows reconvene for three days to learn and share the impact of their LDF experience.

For questions about the LDF Fellowship, please email [email protected].

For a list of eligible countries, please refer to the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) website.

For the latest updates and announcements, please visit the LDF Fellowship Facebook page.

Special Programs to Address the Needs of Survivors

Grantees of the program included: 

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation, Al Hussein Society, Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya, Buckner International, Catholic Relief Services, The Center for Victims of Torture, Christian Blind Mission International, Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise, CURE International, EveryChild, Friends International, Global Communities, Handicap International, Health Volunteers Overseas, International Nepal Fellowship, International Rescue Committee, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mobility India, Motivation Charitable Trust, Motivation Romania Foundation, St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy Wheels for Humanity, University of Iowa, University of Pittsburgh – International Society of Wheelchair Professionals, Whirlwind Wheelchair International, World Institute on Disability, and World Vision.