State Department Names Winners of Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund
Sixty-one winning teams will harness their energy and potential to address global challenges with grants awarded through the U.S. Department of State’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF). The AEIF competition provides grants to teams of past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs. These grants will help teams carry out community service projects that draw on the skills and knowledge gained from their exchange experiences.
This year, alumni from more than 137 countries submitted 829 project proposals. The 61 selected teams from 51 countries will receive grants of up to $25,000 each to support projects that focus on themes tied to U.S. foreign policy priorities, such as climate change and environmental protection, refugee resettlement, empowering women and girls, youth entrepreneurship and employment, and access to education.
A few examples of this year’s winning projects include: promoting constructive dialogues between the local community and refugees in France; providing training and tools for science experiments in 15 schools in Sudan; creating spaces where young women can voice their opinions on gender equality through poetry and spoken word in Nepal; mentoring 60 young aspiring entrepreneurs in El Salvador; hosting a two-week workshop on Lebanese musical heritage and music education in Lebanon; and in Cambodia, working with youth to increase their digital media skills and media literacy.
The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs created AEIF in 2011 for international exchange program alumni to collaboratively tackle critical issues worldwide.