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International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It also serves as a day to raise awareness of the need to continue advocating for women’s equality.

Today, we’re highlighting a few of the incredible women who have taken part in our programs and used what they learned to give back to their communities and the world.

Djamila Azzouz


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Dhaka, Bangladesh

People who are marginalized and excluded from political and economic power are more likely to be negatively impacted by development projects and significantly less likely to receive benefits from development, humanitarian assistance, or advocacy. Interventions that address marginalization due to age, disability, gender, race, and other factors, can therefore be important catalysts for more sustainable, equitable societies.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is driving transformative social change by prioritizing disability-inclusive education and incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into its education programming, especially for literacy education. …


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Krysta practices writing using the supplies in the educational box she received from QTIABI 2.

Zahle, Lebanon, is home to more than 7,000 students in public primary schools, including eight-year-old Krysta Al Arjaa, who attends the New Zahle School and is the youngest of four children.

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools, universities and many other sectors to move classes and operations online. In Lebanon, already contending with an economic crisis, the situation was no different. The country endured several lockdowns to contain the virus’ spread, which impacted livelihoods, businesses and education. …


A smiling man and college-aged woman stand shoulder to shoulder in a classroom.
A smiling man and college-aged woman stand shoulder to shoulder in a classroom.
Dr. Maurice Mongkuo (left) stands with one of his students while serving as a Fulbright Specialist at Altai State University.

Siberia was not where Maurice Mongkuo had initially imagined he would be going when he applied to the Fulbright Specialist Program.

When he was matched to a project to provide lectures and workshops at Altai State University (ASU), a public institution in Western Siberia, Mongkuo acknowledges he did not know much about the region, except for the long and complex political relationship between Washington and Moscow.

“I had no idea what to expect,” says Dr. Mongkuo, a Professor of Public Administration at Fayetteville State University (FSU), a historically black university in North Carolina. …


A Fulbright Specialist Goes to the Kyrgyz Republic

Three smiling women stand shoulder to shoulder.
Three smiling women stand shoulder to shoulder.
Dr. Mega Subramaniam (center), stands together with two of her Kyrgyz colleagues.

Mega Subramaniam is on a mission to engage underserved youth through libraries and digital learning. The associate professor at the University of Maryland in College Park is passionate about helping librarians use design thinking techniques and digital technologies to re-envision how libraries can engage and serve youth patrons in the 21st century.

In the Spring of 2019, Subramaniam took her expertise to the Kyrgyz Republic as a Fulbright Specialist in order to train librarians from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds how to better engage with youth.

“In an increasingly divided world of haves and have-nots, libraries play…


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Developing soft skills, such as those related to communication, decision-making, and social interaction, is a top priority for youth workforce and entrepreneurship programs around the world. However, measuring participants’ progress in these areas can be challenging. To help take the guesswork out of this process, World Learning has developed a new, free tool that can be used to track and assess changes in soft skills both at the individual and group level.

Now available to download in English and French, with Arabic versions under development for several countries, the WorkLinks Skills and Values Assessment (WLSVA) is designed to measure a…


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LEAD Mongolia alumna Enkhbayar Tumurbaatar works as an election observer in June 2020.

By Meghan Burland, Chief of Party, Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Mongolia

Free and fair elections are often considered a hallmark of democracy. Mongolia was no exception to this on June 24, 2020, when 73 percent of registered voters turned out to vote for the 76 members of the State Great Khural, Mongolia’s unicameral parliament, demonstrating their steadfast commitment to citizen participation in spite of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and severe weather across the country.

Youth played a significant role in the election, with youth voter turnout at 62 percent for voters aged 18 to 25, an increase from the 2016…


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The “Tuna Diplomacy” cohort in Oregon, June 2019.

September 4, 2020 — At a time when many around the world are disconnected from their family, friends, and larger community because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of high school students from the Freely Associated States of Micronesia and the United States are bridging the Pacific Ocean through their shared dedication to ocean conservation.

Only a year ago, these students were strangers. Today, they are jointly seeing through a plan to get youth in their communities involved in ocean conservation and climate advocacy through an international network of environmental clubs.

This story begins, in part, in June 2019 when…


Ten Questions for The Experiment Digital Facilitator Djamila Azzouz

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Djamila Azzouz was a facilitator for The Experiment Digital programs in 2019 and 2020.

Djamila Azzouz is a 22-year-old Algerian student who worked as a facilitator for World Learning’s eight-week The Experiment Digital program in 2019 and 2020. The program is a virtual exchange designed to connect hundreds of young people across the U.S. with peers in Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region. Trained facilitators play an essential role in the exchange, fostering safe and intimate group conversations between participants — both in virtual ‘neighborhoods’, groups of 30–35 participants and ‘families’, small groups of 6–8 participants.

Azzouz…


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Sawsan Jan (bottom left) with some of her Global UGRAD classmates.

Sawsan Jan had always wanted to study abroad in the United States. While studying architecture at Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, she heard about a program that would allow her to study in the U.S. for a semester and knew she had to take advantage of the opportunity.

“It was very overwhelming to give something a chance,” she says of the application process.

However, taking that chance paid off as Jan was accepted into the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD), which brings outstanding students from around the world to the U.S. for one semester of study. …

World Learning

World Learning empowers people, communities, and institutions to create a more peaceful and just world.

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