November 20, 2023

This year’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Impact Award recipients are taking lessons learned from their IVLP professional exchanges to promote innovative solutions to global challenges and make a positive impact in their home communities.

The IVLP Impact Awards Initiative selected 259 alumni as awardees for 2023. The initiative is administered by Meridian International Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Abdirashid Abdilahi Farah speaking during a training seminar on journalism.
Impact Awardee Abdirashid Abdilahi Farah participated in the World Learning-implemented IVLP exchange “Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists: Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation.”

World Learning is one of eight IVLP National Program Agencies that partner with the U.S. Department of State to design and implement the program’s professional exchanges. Twenty-eight of this year’s awardees were from exchanges that World Learning helped implement.

The projects cover a wide range of topics, including stories of resistance from Ukraine, empowerment of rural women in Ecuador, STEAM methodology in high schools, and combatting gender-based violence.

“I believe the participants of my project will [learn] skills and knowledge that will help them develop their future journalism careers,” said awardee Abdirashid Abdilahi Farah of his project “Training on Self-Career Improvement for Private Media and Freelance Journalists in Somali Region.” He is an alumnus of the World Learning-administered IVLP exchange “Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists: Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation” which ran February to March 2022.

IVLP participants pose outside of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Impact Awardee Betty Nancy Fonyuy (far right) participated in the World Learning-implemented IVLP exchange “Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities.”

Awardee Betty Nancy Fonyuy is doing a project to advocate for the role of youth in human and disability rights. She is an alumna of the World Learning-administered IVLP exchange “Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities” which ran in January 2023.

“Through these acts of advocacy education, the stigma of disability being a taboo in Cameroon will be reduced or better still eradicated and there will be more promotion for inclusion for people with disabilities, reducing the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing their rights and developing their advocacy skills,” she said.

“I believe that community transformation can only take place if women in media take up the challenge to becoming torchbearers of peace in our communities,” said awardee Diana Tibeitorb Ngon of her project “Empowering Women in Media for Peacebuilding in Northern Ghana.” She is an alumna of the “Women Leaders — Promoting Peace and Security” IVLP exchange administered by World Learning in fall 2022.

A professional headshot of Diana Tibeitorb Ngon.

Profiles of each awardee and their projects can be found on Meridian International Center’s Impact Awards Initiative webpage.

World Learning implements professional exchanges for more than 685 current and emerging leaders from more than 140 countries each year through IVLP. Participants explore topics ranging from women and entrepreneurship and combating human trafficking to global pandemic collaboration and wildlife conservation. In the process, they foster lasting relationships and help strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world.