PAYLP Alumni Share Their Knowledge With Local Communities Back Home

In August 2018, Meridian welcomed 109 high school students and adult mentors from twenty-three African countries to the U.S. for the Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), an annual three-week academic and cultural exchange on leadership development and civic engagement. Below is a blog post written by Vanessa Elongo Meridian’s PAYLP Intern who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is an international student at George Mason University studying Integrative Studies with a concentration in International Studies. “It has been almost two months that our PAYLP 2018 Alumni of the summer cohort returned to their home...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Bringing Technology Entrepreneurship to Low-Tech Environments

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature Mr. Jarius Andrew Greaves, the Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Network for Reform (YONER-Liberia),  a youth development organization in Liberia that has directly impacted the lives of more than 30,000 underprivileged and poverty-stricken youth and children through partnership with communities to provide local scholarships to deserving students. His three-week IVLP project introduced him to strategies for bringing technology (energy, IT, medical), technical education (STEM), and entrepreneurship to underserved communities. Mr. Greaves we recently selected to participate in the Obama Foundation Leaders Program: Africa.

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Cultivating talent among African students through Community Action Plans pitches to DC social entrepreneurs

Nearly 100 students from 23 African countries arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, this summer to participate in the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP). Many students were not only traveling outside their respective countries for the first time, but also meeting citizens of neighboring countries for the first time. Participants shared that they were equally intrigued by exposure to the customs and personalities of fellow Africans, along with those of the Texans, Washingtonians, Hoosiers, and other Americans they met during their three-week cultural and educational exchanges across the United States. Upon arrival in Atlanta, students were challenged to assess the greatest...

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African Women: Leaders in the Economy and Society

Expanding markets. Ensuring quality control. Accessing supply and value chains. Broadening networks. Addressing management challenges. Showcasing women’s leadership. And yes, advocating for change. These are topics that a dynamic group of African women entrepreneurs are focusing on during their visit to the U.S. as part of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). AWEP was launched, in conjunction with the 2010 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Every year, U.S. Embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa nominate leading women entrepreneurs to participate. While in the U.S., the group...

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The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program: Cultivating Social Entrepreneurial and Civic Minded Leaders

The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) is a program designed to develop leadership skills in youth through dynamic trainings and cultural exchanges. In April 2018, Meridian hosted adult mentors and young scholars between the ages of 15 and 18 from Sub-Saharan Africa, including the nations of Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “I have discovered a group of diverse cultures, from my fellow African participants from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana as well as Malawi.” Exchange programs like these bring leaders from around the world to the U.S. to experience and enhance...

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