Mar 03, 2020 12:00 PM
Emerging Leaders: Youth-led Social Change

This year, the Rotary Club of East Wichita is hosting the Open World delegation from Armenia; with a program emphasis of Emerging Leaders: Youth-led Social Change.  This emphasis played a key role in galvanizing the political transition in Armenia in May 2018, and during the past year, this sense of empowerment to change "business as usual" has matured. Young people wish to remain engaged and have their say in decision-making, both at the local and national levels. A customized Open World program benefits these emerging voices by providing first-hand exposure to local politics in the United States, how strategies/plans of action are developed, and how networks are formed. The program provides insight as to strengthening institutional capacity, incorporating issue-based planning, and how to increase exposure for increased influence and impact. The delegation benefits from exposure to grassroots issues started at the local level that have gained traction at the state and national level.  Rotary plays a significant learning opportunity for the delegates and an opportunity to see grassroot action.

The Open World Leadership Center awards grants to a wide range of U.S.-based nonprofit and governmental organizations to host Open World delegations. The Center selects its host organizations annually through a competitive grants process conducted according to federal guidelines. All successful candidates have expertise in implementing professionally oriented foreign exchange programs. Some grantees carry out Open World visits themselves or through their local affiliates; others develop and oversee a network of local organizations to provide this hosting. These local organizations include civic associations, academic institutions and centers, and nonprofit international training providers.  Rotary is one of the partner host organizations.