YSEALI Civil Society Development

Scholarship Opportunity in U.S.
The 2017 YSEALI Civil Society Development Fellows
for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam

Program Summary
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) and the Mansfield Center of The University of Montana seeks professional applicants for a program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. The YSEALI Civil Society Development Fellows Program is designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, and build sustainable partnerships between emerging leaders from foreign countries and the U.S.

We are seeking emerging leaders that currently work engaging in civil society.  Because this is a program for professionals, students are not eligible to apply.  The required age range for participants is 25-to-35-years of age.

During over the five-week program in the United States, participants will gain firsthand knowledge of how organizations and institutions operate, while also participating in site visits and specially-designed seminars.  An important part of the program is a Fellowship.  Participants will be matched with a similar organization in Montana and work with an American counterpart for one month.  Participants will spend one month in the state of Montana and one week in Washington, D.C.

Cambodian participants may also be asked to host a U.S. participant at their place of work. That individual will be your Fellowship partner during your U.S. stay. A selected number of American participants will travel overseas to engage with you and your counterparts on economic and business-related issues in your country.  Because 32 Asian Fellows will be selected, and only 12 of their partners will travel to Asia, not every Asian participant will host an American at their place of work.  However, you must state your willingness to host a U.S. participant on your application.

A total of 32 successful applicants from southeast Asia will participate in only one of the two groups.
  • 16 successful applicants will participate in Group 1: May 4 – June 10, 2017
  • 16 successful applicants will participate in Group 2: October 5 – November 11, 2017
Selected southeast Asian applicants will host U.S. partners in their country that will travel between May 2017 and January 2018. Only 12 US partners will travel to Asia, so not each Asian participant will host a U.S. participant, but each Asian applicant must agree to do so in case they are chosen to host a U.S. participant.

Specific program objectives are:
  • Promote mutual understanding and lasting partnerships between emerging leaders from foreign countries and the U.S. While the program focuses on 32 participants from Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and 12 participants from the U.S., the program is designed to have a ripple effect to promote such benefits throughout engaged organizations and communities.
  • Provide opportunities for foreign and American emerging leaders to collaborate and share ideas, approaches, and strategies regarding pressing challenges.
  • Promote enhanced leadership and professional skills for both foreign and American Fellows so that they will be more able to effect positive change in their workplaces and communities.
  • Build a global network of like-minded professionals. 
Other Essential Program Information
This Fellows program is an important part of YSEALI.  Launched in 2013 by U.S. President Barack Obama, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) consists of bright young leaders aged 18-35 years from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These young leaders have innovative ideas for tackling what they have identified as their generation’s greatest challenges in the ASEAN region: economic development, environmental protection, education, and civic engagement. Every day, they are coming up with creative solutions — like using beneficial microbes to clean rivers or creating job opportunities by selling products made from water lilies. The United States is partnering with these extraordinary young men and women by providing training and funding to up-and-coming community leaders and social entrepreneurs.

The United States is proud to support the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, because we believe that young people are instrumental in plotting the course of Southeast Asia’s future. Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. Youth are innovative, creative, and eager to contribute their ideas and energy to improve not only their own lives, but the lives of others in their communities. Together, we can make a difference. For more information on YSEALI, please see https://youngsoutheastasianleaders.state.gov.

Program Funding:  The United States government will cover all participant costs, including international travel; travel and ground transportation in the U.S.; meals; lodging; and cultural allowances. If you will be asked to host U.S. participants at your place of work, the program for the Americans will be at no expense to you or your organization.  American participants will be provided all funds for hotels, meals and transportation.

Program Requirements and Restrictions:  Participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  They are expected to attend all workshops and organized activities.  The program is very intensive and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. This is not a tourism program but an intensive professional experience.  However, please realize that this is a group project.  Not every appointment will be specifically designed to your interests. Every appointment will contribute to overall understanding of economic empowerment issues.  This is an inter-disciplinary programs specifically designed to bring together people from different backgrounds and professions in a shared goal of economic empowerment.

English Language Ability:  All candidates must demonstrate English language fluency.  The program is rigorous and demanding.  Participants will be expected to handle reading materials in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.  English fluency is vital to a successful experience.
Candidate Description and Qualifications:  The participants are expected to be highly motivated professionals working in a civil society organization. All participants will have a good knowledge of English.  We welcome applicants from both rural and urban areas, with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside your home country.  We welcome participants of all backgrounds.  We encourage those with disabilities to apply as our program will accommodate such needs.

The recruitment period is October 15 – December 1, 2016. Application review will be conducted by local partners in conjunction with the Mansfield Center of the University of Montana. Successful applicants will progress to a telephone interview between December 7-20 in order to assess English-language skills and further ascertain suitability for the program.  A select number will be chosen for personal interviews earlier January, 2017.  Seven primary participants and one alternate will be chosen from most countries and notified by late February 2017.
Selection Criteria
  • English-language fluency.
  • Clear understanding of civil society issues that affect your community.
  • Completion of relevant education (preferred but not required).
  • Suitability of the applicant’s organization to benefit from this exchange and to host a U.S. participant.
  • Potential commitment to hosting a U.S. participant for 10-14 days.  This includes organizing a professional program, a cultural orientation, and working with the local partner and the Mansfield Center to organizing logistics such as lodging and transportation. (All activities are paid for by the program, not by you or your organization.)
  • The support of your supervisor and/or organization.
  • A commitment to the time investment required to make the program a success.
  • A demonstrated interest in working in cross-cultural settings.
  • Demonstrated understanding of program objectives.
  • Communication of personal goals in line with program objectives.
  • Participants chosen from each country as a whole reflect the diversity of that country in terms of its populace, geography, and variety of interests/fields/organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to strengthening your community.
  • Little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States.
  • Be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive program, Fellowship position, community service, and travel program in the U.S. for approximately 40 days.
  • Be able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those in your country.
  • Understand that this is not a tourism or a luxury program. This is a busy professional program.
  • Aged 25-35:  this program is for emerging leaders.
  • Plan to return to your organization following completion of the program.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in your work.
Click link for Online Application

The deadline for this application: 1 December  2016

For more information​ please contact: Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC)
#9-11, St.​ ​476, Toul Tompoung 1, Khan Chamkamorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mr. Chen Sochoeun,    H/P: 012 904 554,  Email: sochoeun.chen@ccc-cambodia.org
Ms. El Sotheary,         Tel: 023 214 152,    Email: sotheary.el@ccc-cambodia.org



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