September 20, 2018

This fall, young leaders in Mongolia will join together with some of the most inspired up-and-coming changemakers in Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar to make change in their communities and the wider region.

The Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Mongolia program is seeking applicants to join LEAD Alliance, which brings together Mongolian democracy advocates with their peers from Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar — three countries which are eager to learn from the Mongolian experience.

Why Mongolia?

People across Asia look to the country as a realistic model of how to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy.

Mongolia’s peaceful democratic revolution began in the winter of 1989 with young people demonstrating in Ulaanbaatar’s famous Sukhbaatar Square. And while Mongolia still has many challenges of its own to overcome — rising poverty and unemployment, environmental degradation, corruption — Mongolia’s young people continue to carry forward the legacy that began nearly three decades ago.

In short, Mongolia and its new generation of leaders have a lot to offer.

LEAD Mongolia, funded by USAID and implemented by World Learning, is cultivating the country’s next generation of democracy advocates. Participants, known as LEAD Mongolia Fellows, are a diverse contingent of the country’s most promising up-and-coming changemakers. Together, they work on projects to address Mongolia’s most critical challenges.

“The experience has [taught] me to see the bigger picture of the current political and social situations,” says LEAD Mongolia fellow Lkh.Khandsuren. “I realized that we should guard our democracy as a super precious treasure, because it comes with so much sacrifice.”

Since early 2017, they’ve also gone on to share their experiences as changemakers with their peers across the region as part of the LEAD Alliance. LEAD Mongolia partnered with the International Republic Institute (IRI) to introduce the LEAD Alliance, in which LEAD Mongolia Fellows serve as mentors to other young emerging leaders in Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. LEAD Mongolia fellows help LEAD Alliance fellows implement projects in their countries. Fellows from both programs also gather for collaboration and networking at an annual summit in Ulaanbaatar.

“For me, the LEAD Alliance has been a really great platform to be able to meet and learn, collaborate and be inspired by so many different individuals from so many different backgrounds,” says Rabsel Dorj, a LEAD Alliance fellow from Bhutan. “We all share a very common passion for community development and promoting democratic ideals in their own country.”

World Learning and IRI are recruiting for emerging leaders ages 25 to 40 from Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, or Myanmar to apply through October 27, 2018. Check out LEAD Alliance and apply today.

Want to read more about the LEAD Alliance projects that have taken place in Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar? Check out these stories:

For One Group of Young Kyrgyz Leaders, Leadership Starts with Inclusion

A New Generation of Active Citizens in Rural Myanmar

In the Kingdom of Bhutan, Learning to Value the Environment