Application Deadline: October 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
IREX is currently accepting applications for the 2018–2019 Community Solutions Program (CSP). 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 2018–2019, up to 100 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 US 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 US and with the help of their US 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 US, they put these projects into action in their home communities.
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. Please note that the US Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all the information included in an individual’s application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the applicant will immediately be disqualified.
• You are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2018
• You are a citizen of one of the eligible countries listed below
• You are living and working in your home country
o 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 US
• You have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application
o Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English
You are available to travel to the US for four months from August to December 2018
• You are not a citizen or permanent resident of the US and have not applied for US permanent residency within the past three years
• You are eligible to receive a US J-1 visa
o Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the US 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
• You are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member
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
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Palestinian Territories
The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with:
- J-1 visa support;
- Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the US;
- Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the US; and
- Accident and sickness insurance.
COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS PROGRAM TIMELINE
- September 15, 2017 Application opens
- October 31, 2017 by 11:59 pm EST : Application deadline
- November–December 2017 : Applications reviewed by selection committee
- December 15, 2017 : Applicants notified if selected as a semifinalist
- December 15–31, 2017 : Semifinalists complete online interviews
- January 2018 : Semifinalist interviews reviewed by selection committee
- February-April 2018 : Finalists and alternates take English language tests as needed
- March 1, 2018 : Applicants notified if selected as a finalist or alternate
- June 2018 Pre-departure orientation
- August 2018 : Participants travel to the US and participate in the Welcome Orientation
- August-December 2018 : Participants complete a four-month practicum at a US-based host organization
- December 2018 : Participants participate in the End of Program Workshop and then return to their home countries
- December 2018-June 2019 : Participants complete their community-based initiatives