IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Empowering Women in Rural Areas

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 the Director of Hope for a Child in Christ, a non-profit organisation based in Zimbabwe who participated on the IVLP in 2014. Ms. Sunga Mzeche spent three weeks in the United States visiting non-profit organisations, federal agencies, and corporations to learn about volunteerism and NGO best practices.  


PAYLP Alumnus Brian Sibanda’s Journey from Poverty in Zimbabwe to Scholarship in the United States

For 18-year-old Zimbabwean Brian Sibanda, discovering that he had been accepted to Pomona College in California was nothing short of a dream come true. “I was very shocked and for a couple of days I thought I was dreaming.” A former participant in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) administered by Meridian International Center in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Brian received a full scholarship to attend Pomona College this year where he is now just days away from completing his first semester. As someone who faced adversity at a young age, this feat represents a major milestone in Brian’s ongoing journey to empower himself and the lives of youth like him in countries across Africa. Continue  

If There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Renowned philosopher Confucius once said “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Perseverance will get you somewhere, and sometimes, it ends up being a better place than you originally envisioned. One of the purposes of professional exchange programs is to motivate participants to realize their potential and to give them opportunities to connect with new people and understand the advantages of social entrepreneurship through exchange of ideas and experiences. This gives them the tool set to persevere through the challenges Confucius referred to so long ago. Professional Exchange Program alumnus Moreblessing...


Small Footprints, Quantum Leaps: A Zimbabwean Fellow’s U.S. Experience

Written by Gerald Mangena, Founder of Great Mountains and Spring 2014 Professional Fellows from Zimbabwe As many people and organizations continue to seek refined and more effective ways of contributing to the development of the continent as a whole, quite a high number of varied exchange programs almost everywhere in the world have sprung but the Meridian International Center’s Business and Entrepreneurship Exchange Program (BEEP) is in a league of its own. There could not have been a better way of empowering emerging business leaders than through an exchange program of this caliber. The greatest part about this program...