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...Continue
In October of this year, a five-member group of Librarians from Mongolia participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Library Management. Beyond Washington, DC, the group traveled to Baltimore, Maryland; Albany, New York; Akron Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; and Reno, Nevada. Visits to public libraries were a principal component of the program and in one location, Iowa City, local librarians were grateful for the unexpected assistance of an IVLP participant. The University of Iowa brought out an old wood block tablet from Mongolia to demonstrate the library’s broad reach in showcasing other cultures for the community....Continue
On October 15, Meridian International Center implemented, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, a multi-regional project from 26 countries and representing all five major faiths on the theme of Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Freedom. The participants concluded their program in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 26 – just as news of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue was breaking. The previous Friday evening was spent in a Los Angeles synagogue, where the group attended a Shabbat service and shared a Shabbat meal. Upon returning to their respective homes, the...Continue
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.
For the past 21 years, Meridian International Center has successfully implemented the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange, a unique program jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State and the Republic of Korea National Assembly through its Committee on Foreign Affairs and Unification. The program brings together 20 young people from the United States and the Republic of Korea for a memorable opportunity to promote cultural awareness and political understanding between the two countries. Following below is a blog by one of the U.S. participants in the program, Nasya Blackwell, written at the conclusion of the...Continue