Cartoons in the COVID-19 Era

Political cartoons can be biting or amusing, and in a moment of crisis they can illustrate a simple, persuasive point with no words at all. It is a form of satire that gives insight into the events and issues happening all around us. Amid a global pandemic, when there is information everywhere, using a picture may be more poignant than a lengthy paragraph and political cartoons grab attention and make the reader pay head. So how are cartoonists in the Middle East depicting the coronavirus in their work? Meridian administered a U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the Fall...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting the digital economy through collaboration

In September of 2019, Mr. Aaron Hape of New Zealand participated in the multi-regional International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project “Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital Economy.” Working as a senior public servant in the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, his focus is aimed at helping guide regional economic development policies. For Mr. Hape, his IVLP experience highlighted the importance of global perspectives in pursuing his work remarking, “Because of the myriad of cultures I was exposed to in my IVLP cohort, I now have a greater understanding of how other countries support the growth of their digital sectors and encourage the uptake and use of...

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Building Bridges from America to Zimbabwe

The following was written by Mr. James Horsman, IVLP Program Officer at World Learning What if you found out that something you do every day had a tremendous impact on someone’s life years earlier? What if that impact was felt across the world and you found out that person is someone in your family? All of this came true when I learned that my father-in-law, Herod Benjamin Sibanda from Zimbabwe, was a past participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). His IVLP project was administered by Meridian International Center, which along with World Learning and six other National...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: The Financial Phoenix – Bankruptcy and Growth

When thinking of bankruptcy, images of personal failures, bad management, or fraud often come to mind. However, some experts argue that bankruptcy should be perceived as a financial rebirth. Economists at the World Bank conclude that “effective bankruptcy laws that allow viable firms to reorganize and unviable ones to liquidate or be sold is a necessary condition for growth.” The U.S. has an extensive code of laws that cover financial death and rebirth for individuals, small businesses, and corporations but many other countries do not. To share how U.S. Bankruptcy law can help businesses grow, the State Department’s International...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Overcoming Fears through Exchange

In 2015, Mr. Victor Gotevbe of Nigeria attended the multi-regional IVLP, “American Youth: Inspiring Leadership and Civic Engagement.” At the time, he had been serving as the Administrative and Human Resources Manager at a national newspaper, however his experience inspired him to become much more. “I eventually left the lucrative job in April of 2017 after 17 years with the organization. It was quite emotional but the entrepreneur in me wanted more and basically helped me conquer the fear of the unknown.” Mr. Gotevbe’s American experience had a major impact on his personal growth, such as taking part in...

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