The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a year-long professional leadership development program for people who are working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the environment, peace and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender. Community leaders will be selected to participate in the program that includes:
- Four-month fellowship in the United States: Community Solutions fellows are matched with host organizations throughout the U.S. where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience.
- Community Leadership Institute: Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking.
- Community-based initiatives: While in the United States and with the support of their U.S. host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the United States, they put these projects into action in their home communities.
Through tailored, hands-on learning experiences and the Community Leadership Institute, fellows gain valuable experience in U.S.-based community work, increase skills and knowledge, strengthen their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries, bring years of experience to community development in the United States, and create action plans for community-based initiatives back home.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2023
- Be a citizen of an eligible country listed here.
- Be living and working in your home country (individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration).
- Have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer.
- Have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application.
- Not currently participating in an academic, training or research program in the U.S.
- Be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
- You are available to travel to the U.S. for four months from August to December 2023
- You are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years
- You are committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program.
The application for the 2023 Community Solutions Program is open until November 2nd, 2022. For additional information on the Community Solutions Program, please visit the official website: https://www.irex.org/program/community-solutions-program-application-information