The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the 2014 winners of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF). The AEIF competition provides small grants to teams of past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. The teams, comprised of at least five exchange alumni, carry out public service projects using the skills and knowledge gained through their exchange experiences.
This year, alumni from more than 100 countries developed 1,083 project ideas and 187 projects were selected as finalists. Sixty teams were awarded grants of up to $25,000 to support their public service projects embodying one of the following themes:
• Empowering Women
• Outreach to Underserved Communities
• Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment
• Expanded Access to Education
• Environmental Protection
• Government Transparency
• Freedom of Expression
• Conflict Resolution
• Citizen Security
• Promoting Civil Society
Examples of this year’s winning projects include promoting national unity and tolerance among youth across Ukraine, implementing a financial literacy program for albino women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tackling the root causes of gender-based violence and supporting girls education in Costa Rica, promoting ethnic reconciliation through a civic education program for underserved youth in Burma, empowering young female students through English language learning in Yemen, and developing a mobile app to create awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of urban development among youth in India.
The State Department created the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) in 2011 to promote collaboration among program alumni seeking solutions to global challenges. To participate, alumni must be members of the International Exchange Alumni (IEA) global online community and form teams of at least five IEA community members.