- Archive photo via Community Solutions Program -

Published on Thursday, September 23, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new exchange program will provide community leaders from around the world with intensive, professional development in the United States from August to December in 2022.

The entities making the exchange program possible is an effort from the Community Solutions Program, CSP, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ECA, and implemented by the International Research & Exchanges Board, IREX.

The CSP fellows gain valuable experience in community work and strengthen their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries. The interested candidates must apply before October 27, 2021.

Applicant requirements:

• Applicants must be between the ages of 25-38.

• Applicants must have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer.

• Applicants must be living and working in their home country.

• Applicants must have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English.

The winners will receive a four-month U.S.-based fellowship. All fellows are matched with non-profit organizations, private entities, and government offices across the United States where they work with U.S. counterparts on initiatives related to issues in their own communities.

Community Solutions leaders work in the following specialized areas: environmental issues, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender issues, among others.

The Community Leadership Institute, CLI, is a leadership academy that provides customized learning and coaching to each CSP Leader. The institute uses a hybrid-learning approach, where leaders participate in online sessions and in-person workshops, receive professional coaching, engage in experiential learning, and interact with other professionals in their field.

Fellows develop innovative community action projects in collaboration with their U.S. host institutions and implement these projects after they return to their home countries to integrate their new skills and knowledge into their community work at home. Project summaries are made available online, allowing fellows to share their work with other community leaders around the world.

CSP fellows continue to network and collaborate with like-minded leaders from around the world on global development issues through alumni activities and opportunities offered through the Community Leadership Institute online platform.

According to the institute, the following are need-to-know facts about the impact of the program:

• Over 300 U.S. organizations in 90 U.S. cities have hosted CSP fellows, making life-long international connections.

• 631 grassroots leaders from 79 countries have participated in the Community Solutions Program since 2011.

• Over the past six years, CSP alumni have impacted over 295,000 individuals with their community development initiatives.

• 100% of CSP hosts provide in-kind contributions to the program, including staff time and expertise and office space and support that has resulted in over two million dollars since the program began.

For more information, visit the Community Solutions Program website.

Have you heard of an entrepreneur or community leader interested in working in this U.S. program?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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