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IREX 2023 Community Engagement Exchange Program for Young Leaders

The CEE Programme is a dynamic global network of innovators working with communities to address critical 21st Century issues.

The Community Engagement Exchange (CEE) Programme equips dedicated visionaries with the expertise, skills, and resources to develop multisector approaches and build healthy and engaged communities in over 100 countries. A transformational leadership development experience, CEE is a year-long programme designed to enable civil society leaders, ages 21-28, to harness the power of networks, relationships, and information for the public good, specifically on issues related to civic dialogue and peacebuilding, open and participatory government, women and gender, resilience and sustainable development, and youth engagement.

Fellowship components include:

  • Three-month Practicum in the United States: IREX matches CEE fellows to civil society organizations throughout the United States. Designated supervisors and peers support the fellows through a three-month, hands-on professional practicum.
  • Leadership and Civic Engagement Academy: CEE fellows explore the programme themes through interactive curriculum that includes service learning, face-to-face trainings, mentorship, professional coaching, and inclusion in a global network.
  • Community Engagement Project (CEP): With the help of their U.S. host organization and mentors, CEE fellows design and plan a community engagement project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the U.S., they put these projects into action in their home communities.
  • Community Engagement Project (CEP) Exchange: Select U.S. hosts and CEE specialists will travel to a CEE alumnus’ country and work collaboratively to support the fellow’s project implementation and bring back what they learn to strengthen communities across the United States or their home country.

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About International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)

The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) is an international, nonprofit organization that specializes in global education and development. IREX works with partners in more than 100 countries. IREX was established in 1968 by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the US Department of State.IREX conducted scholarly exchanges between the US and the Soviet Union until the fall of the Iron Curtain. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, IREX implemented projects to su... read more


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IREX Community Engagement Exchange Program


Aim and Benefits of IREX Community Engagement Exchange Program

The programme covers the cost of most expenses associated with:

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the U.S.
  • Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the U.S. and
  • Accident and sickness health benefits

Requirements for IREX Community Engagement Exchange Program Qualification

Competition for the CEE Programme is merit-based and open to emerging civil society and community leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Age 21-28 at the time of application;
  • Citizen of one of the eligible countries listed below;
  • Currently living and working in their home country at the time of application;
    • Special consideration can be given to individuals living in another country who have refugee status and are working on behalf of their home community.
  • Has a minimum of two-years professional or volunteer experience, working on community or civil society issues, at the time of application;
  • Working on a community engagement initiative in their home country, either in a professional or volunteer capacity, with a demonstrated intent and vision to pursue a career working to support civil society or within the civil society sector;
  • Able to begin the CEE Programme in the United States in 2024;
  • Able to receive a U.S. J-1 Visa;
  • Committed to returning to their home country after completion of the program and implementing a community-based project; and,
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.
    • Semifinalists will be required to take a Duolingo English language test

Eligible Countries by Region

  • Africa: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
  • East Asia and the Pacific: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Vietnam
  • Europe and Eurasia: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
  • Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Palestinian Territories
  • South and Central Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
  • Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela

Checkout: How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

Application Deadline

November 30, 2022


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) on cee.irex.org to apply

For more details,visit IREX website


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