Programs Respond During COVID-19

September

Economic Development and Health Unit

  • The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program continues to provide remote technical assistance to the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region and its F2F core countries.
  • The program has recently expanded to include local volunteers in each of these core countries, including university students, faculty, and technical experts who wish to support their local communities in collaboration with remote U.S. volunteers.
  • Current collaborations between remote and local volunteers include insect rearing for pest management, risk-assessment for a micro-finance network, soil carbon storage, agricultural strategic planning, digital communications for container gardening, and small ruminant nutrition trainings.

Child Protection Unit

  • This past month, in Paraguay, the U.S. Department of State-funded Ñande Ko’ē project facilitated a virtual workshop with the Inter-Agency Roundtable to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons, during which the members unanimously approved the National Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons in Paraguay.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor-funded Paraguay Okakuaa project is excited to announce the launch of its virtual library, hosted on the Partners website. This platform hosts information on the project’s activities, reports, campaigns, success stories, legal definitions, and more.

Membership Unit

  • On September 10, the Membership Unit moderated Partners' International Board of Directors’ Board Development Committee (BDC)’s first virtual Town Hall event, “Why You Should Run for the Board.”
  • Beth Outterson, Chair of the BDC, provided prospective candidates with an overview of what Partners is and does, what it means to be a member of the International Board of Directors, and the eligibility requirements to hold a position as a member of the International Board.

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund launched its fall competition on September 28, 2020. Small grants up to $10,000 will be awarded to teams of at least one U.S. citizen alumnus/a and one U.S. or international citizen alumnus/a of government-sponsored exchange programs to carry out domestic and international public service projects that utilize the skills, knowledge, and networks gained through their exchange experiences.
  • In September, the Education and Culture Program announced the launch of its 2020-2021 program. The deadline for small grants is October 31, 2020.
  • On September 17, 2020, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas (100K) Innovation Fund launched the 2020 Mexico-U.S. Innovation Fund Competition via its first-ever virtual event. This 100K Innovation Fund competition is generously supported by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, Coca-Cola Mexico Foundation, and Sempra Energy to support new higher education partnerships and academic training programs for students between Mexico and the U.S.

August

Economic Development and Health Unit

  • The Farmer-to-Farmer program (F2F) continues to provide remote technical assistance to the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region and its F2F core countries.
  • The program has recently expanded to include local volunteers in each of these core countries, an innovation that will provide robust and sustainable support to farmers, agribusinesses, and cooperatives throughout and beyond the pandemic. Current collaborations between remote and local volunteers include curriculum development for fisheries, webinars in small ruminant nutrition, and agricultural strategic planning.

Child Protection Unit

  • This month, the CPU continued to combat child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in persons through virtual platforms and campaigns to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The CPU’s U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)-funded Palma Futuro project worked with their partners at the National Federation of Palm Oil Growers (Fedepalma) to expand their existing outreach campaign to spread awareness information about COVID-19 to Colombian palm oil growers. The expanded campaign featured infographic flyers used to disseminate COVID-19 information, including one titled “In These Difficult Times You Have a Right to Secure and Dignified Employment."
  • This month the CPU’s USDOL-funded Colombia Avanza and Palma Futuro project director, Eduardo Bejarano, met with the governor of Colombia’s Tomila department, Ricardo Orozco Valero. Through this meeting, Partners and the department of Tomila were able to strengthen their relationship and move forward with activities to continue supporting its coffee-growing civil society during the pandemic.

Membership Unit

  • The Texas Chapter, in conjunction with the Bolivia Diaspora in Texas, the Missouri Chapter, and the three Bolivian Chapters (Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, and La Paz y el Altiplano), is raising resources to purchase and ship equipment and medicine to Bolivia.
  • Other Chapters have established hotlines for those coping with social isolation or those in need of telemedicine advice.
  • In August, the Membership Unit finished hosting virtual meetings to connect the Chapter Network by region, first with U.S. Chapters and then with Spanish-speaking Latin American and Caribbean Chapters. Approximately 70 leaders from over 40 Chapters came together to demonstrate the strength of the Network.

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • On July 28, 2020, the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF) Rapid Response round closed, awarding 34 grants of up to $10,000 to individuals and teams of U.S. exchange citizen alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to respond to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Grant projects are now taking place across 20 countries, the U.S., and virtually, ranging from building resilience through the arts, media literacy, gender equality, COVID-19 prevention, and more. The U.S. Department of State and Partners are now preparing for the fall 2020 CDAF round with intent to launch in September 2020.
  • In August, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas (100K) Innovation Fund participated in two virtual events hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. The first event, "Desarraigo," focused on partnering for prosocial digital campaigns with a focus on coffee and climate change in Colombia. The second event featured "Women4Peace," a project led by Universidad de La Salle and implemented in partnership with 10 higher education institutions (HEIs) in the U.S. and Colombia. The project aimed to build knowledge and leadership skills of women in technology, engineering, agricultural, social, economic, and administrative sciences.

July

Economic Development and Health Unit 

  • The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program has facilitated remote technical assistance between 50 remote volunteers and hosts in each of the F2F core countries (Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, and Myanmar). This assistance has helped local hosts and communities build resilience and create innovative solutions to the pandemic’s challenges. 
  • The F2F program is currently building out a strategy for local volunteers to provide expert assistance and support to hosts and communities in their country. The program will link local volunteers in each core country with a remote volunteer in the U.S. to collaborate and provide robust and sustainable guidance to farmers, agribusinesses, small and medium enterprises, and communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  
  • The F2F program continues to engage Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated from their communities in F2F program activities. 

Child Protection Unit 

  • This month, the CPU continued its work to combat child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in persons by moving in-person activities to virtual platforms to adapt to the context of COVID-19. 
  • The Ñande Ko’ê project, funded by the U.S. Department of State (USDOS), participated in a series of webinars in honor of Paraguay’s Month to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  
  • These webinars included “TIP and the Protection System in Education,” aimed at educating public and private educational community members and “TIP Prevention During Times of COVID-19,” targeting officials of public institutions.  
  • The Unit’s U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) funded project Colombia Avanza distributed a new video across social media platforms to provide coffee farmers with essential information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 as a part of their "#LaSaludDeTodosEsAsuntoDeTodos" ("Our Community’s Health is Everyone’s Responsibility") campaign.  
  • The project also hosted a webinar with the National Federation of Coffee Growers (Fedecafé) and the Colombian Ministry of Labor on July 2, 2020, titled “Minors in Times of COVID-19."  
  • In July, the Colombia Avanza project developed a COVID-19 Response Kit to share how they are combatting child labor in the Colombian coffee sector.

Membership Unit 

  • In July, the Membership Unit created a “Find a Chapter” web page on Partners.net that does not require logging into PartnersConnect to view the Chapters throughout the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.  
  • On this page, Chapters are categorized and listed alphabetically by country. Connect with the Chapters and PartnersCampus Student Chapters by following their social media channels and visiting their websites listed on the page.  

Education and Global Citizenship Unit 

  • U.S. Exchange Alumni are now connecting on Whova to access a virtual mainstage with an exclusive look at navigating their way to a career in public service, programming on professional development and the state of international careers, live Q&As with career coaches and mentors, virtual discussions, panels, and exchange alumni community gatherings online.  
  • As of early July 2020, about 200 groups of U.S. citizen alumni applied and 32 were awarded grants for the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF) Rapid Response round. Winning projects include activities in the U.S. and in 12 countries ranging from building resilience through the arts, media literacy, gender equality, COVID-19 prevention, and more.  
  • The Rapid Response round closed in late July to prepare for the third CDAF round beginning in September 2020, which will promote a call for proposals addressing media literacy, community resilience, and building the U.S. exchange alumni community.  
  • On July 18, 2020, the EGC Unit promoted the importance of education for global citizenship for the International Day of Education for Global Citizenship with a message from Partners President and CEO John McPhail. 

June

Economic Development and Health Unit
  • The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) and AVOP teams continue to provide support to farmers, small and medium enterprises, and entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean through remote technical assistance. 
  • The F2F program is currently working with 31 volunteers that are providing support and guidance to hosts in each of the F2F core countries through zoom webinars, interactive presentations, document sharing, brainstorming sessions and more. 
  • A few assignments of note:
  • Melissa Delzio, Rob Alan, and Peter Buechler are supporting Marco Yogi Super Foods (YSF) in Guatemala to build out their online presence by updating their website and designs for their products to make them marketable in an online space. 
  • Michael Lowery is supporting Black Genesis Bees with strategic planning for his apiary and honey processing plant in Jamaica. 
  • Robert Spencer and Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak are supporting CEPROR in the Dominican Republic to provide value-added processing for rabbit-based products. 

Child Protection Unit

  • On June 17, Colombia Avanza talked with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros about preventing child labor in the Panorama Cafetero program.
  • On Friday, June 12, the CPU commemorated World Day Against Child Labor 2020: Protect children from child labor, now more than ever.
  • In commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL), the Ministry of Labor of Colombia held a virtual event on June 12 focused on the impact of COVID-19 on child labor. Projects funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Colombia Avanza, and Palma Futuro participated in the event.
  • Throughout the week, the USDOL-funded project Paraguay Okakuaa shared messages to promote WDACL and its focus on COVID-19 and provided relevant resources for its network.
  • Through extensive communications campaigns regarding COVID-19 prevention and reporting, the CPU continues to mitigate the crisis’ effects in rural communities and agricultural sectors of Paraguay and Colombia. 

Membership Unit

  • The Membership Unit congratulated 18 Chapters for achieving milestone anniversaries in 2020. These include nine Chapters celebrating 55 years, two Chapters celebrating 35 years, and seven PartnersCampus Student Chapters celebrating five years within the network. 

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • On June 24, 2020, the U.S. Alumni Network and Capacity Program launched its first virtual event, “How to Sell Your International Experience” as part of Career Connections Global+, which is a series of virtual professional development sessions bringing together U.S. alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs with expert career coaches, professionals from diverse fields, and international leaders.
  • On June 25, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund hosted "Tools and Tips for Virtual Education Programs: An Introduction to Collaborative Online International Education (COIL) and 100K Partnerships," a webinar to learn about cutting edge practices in virtual/online program development and delivery. It was hosted by the Innovation Fund team and the State University of New York (SUNY) Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Center.
  • In June, the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund gave a grant as a part of their Rapid Response round to poets, who developed the poem, “Poetry Is Like Bread Ghazal #1,” a collaborative poem created to nourish people through the pandemic and to envision the world that will come after. 
  • In June, the EGC Unit announced that it will promote the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 for quality education for the International Day for Education for Global Citizenship on July 18.

May

Economic Development and Health Unit
  • The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) and AVOP programs held a mid-year Latin America & the Caribbean Regional Meeting with co-implementer, NCBA-CLUSA. 
  • The regional meeting covered a diverse array of topics pertaining to COVID-19 and its implications on F2F programming. 
  • Representatives from USAID, AVOP, and the F2F core country offices discussed strategies to continue to support local hosts, engage volunteers, spread information, and support each other during the pandemic. 
  • The F2F team has launched remote assistance for hosts in each of the six core countries with a total of 18 confirmed volunteers. 
  • The F2F Guatemala office launched a series of five virtual trainings on small ruminant management with the support of volunteer, Dr. Abner Rodriguez and the Agrocadena Caprina Nacional. 
  • The first webinar had the maximum number of participants for a zoom meeting, providing support for 100 farmers.

Child Protection Unit

  • Partners of the Americas was admitted as a member of the Colombian Network Against Child Labor and the Business Network for a Child Labor Free Ecuador in May. With these alliances, the CPU and Partners in general can join efforts to prevent child labor in Colombia and Ecuador, both nationally and regionally.
  • In May, the CPU’s USDOL- and USDOS-funded projects implemented in Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica continued to monitor and adapt to the situation of COVID-19. 
  • The USDOL-funded project Palma Futuro held a webinar with private sector partners and public sector stakeholders on labor conditions and social compliance systems in Colombia’s palm oil sector.
  • On May 20, the Colombia Avanza Project Director and the Director of the Departmental Committee of Tolima of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia participated in an interview on the station Ecos del Combeima 790 AM - the main station of the Department of Tolima, Colombia - to share the efforts of the project to prevent COVID-19 within the Colombian coffee sector.
  • The Colombia Avanza project participated in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge webinar – a monthly event to discuss different topics facing the coffee sector. In the webinar, Colombia Avanza’s Project Director shared the interventions/activities carried out by the project to address child labor in the Colombian coffee sector, and how the strategies chosen are most effective in solving this problematic.
  • The Colombia Avanza project published a video titled, “Quédate en casa y tómate un café” (“Stay inside and have coffee” in English) with la Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (Fedecafe). The video is part of the project’s campaign to raise awareness of COVID19, have a coffee, and protect our workers. It reminds people that everyone's health is everyone’s issue. 
  • In May, the USDOL-funded Colombia Avanza, Paraguay Okakuaa, and Palma Futuro projects were highlighted in the newsletter for the Alliance 8.7, an inclusive global partnership committed to achieving target 8.7 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate child labor. The newsletter detailed that the projects in Colombia and Paraguay have launched awareness-raising campaigns on the risk of COVID-19 to those vulnerable of exploitation.

Membership Unit

  • In May, the Membership Unit welcomed intern, Vander Finotti, to the team. 
  • Vander is working with the team to support member engagement and provide assistance to Traditional Chapters and PartnersCampus Student Chapters throughout the network.
  • The Membership Unit also promoted utilizing PartnersConnect, our member portal, for our Network to engage with Partners of the Americas while working from home. 
  • They can receive announcements of upcoming events, engage with local Chapters, and connect with members throughout the Americas.

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • The U.S. Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program is continuing its Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Rapid Response round in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 
  • The team has received 58 completed applications and at least another 85 applications are being drafted. 
  • In May, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund announced the "Tools to Develop Virtual Education Programs" webinar hosted by Partners of the Americas, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and program leaders from the State University of New York (SUNY) Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) that will happen in June.

#GivingTuesdayNow — May 5 (Membership Unit updates on the Chapters Respond Page)

Economic Development and Health Unit
  • Dominican Republic Field Officer Gabriela Rosa helped Farmer-to-Farmer develop remote assignments to provide technical support to thousands of smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, and their communities after volunteer assignments were canceled due to COVID-19.
  • Farmer-to-Farmer Guatemala Field Officer Selvin Carrillo is engaging volunteers and hosts through remote assignments during COVID-19 after F2F volunteer assignments were canceled. Selvin has been helping F2F since 2017 with over 25 assignments. 
  • Farmer-to-Farmer Myanmar Field Officer Aung Myo Thant has shown creativity and commitment within his role and is an experienced agriculturalist. During COVID-19, Aung has helped establish remote assignments so that farmers & agribusinesses can persevere.

Child Protection Unit

  • Journalist Faustino Diaz has been voluntarily translating Paraguay Okakuaa's COVID-19 communications campaign to the language of his community, Nivaclé, and sharing it on the community radio station and social media. This will expand the reach of valuable health and safety messages to indigenous populations that may not otherwise have access to this information.
  • In response to #COVID19, the Colombia Avanza project has developed awareness-raising materials to promote not only health, but safety and solidarity. These messages have reached residents of Chaparral, a municipality in Colombia. This community decided to help by distributing a part of their agricultural production to families in their three most vulnerable neighborhoods. They also equipped the local hospital with biosecurity supplies, such as masks.
  • La Red de Voluntariado de Itapúa (the "Volunteer Network of Itapúa" in English), a strategic ally in the implementation of the Ñande Ko’ê project to combat human trafficking in Paraguay, has developed its own initiatives to assist its community during the #COVID19 quarantine. In Itapúa "solidarity pots" were organized to provide a plate of food to over 10,000 vulnerable people during the quarantine period in Paraguay.
  • The University of Ibague, a strategic partner of Colombia Avanza, began their own initiative to study and predict the effects of the pandemic in the Tolima department. This included assessments of the surveillance system for infected people and monitoring infection alerts. The University also lent laptops and donated computers to first-year students so they could access remote classes. The University’s research and educational contributions are supporting the community in these difficult times.

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • The Antioquia, Colombia Chapter, a recipient of the Education and Culture program, has helped their community during #COVID19. The Chapter started the campaign “Y sí todos ayudamos toma o dona” (“What if everyone helps, take or donate” in English). They set up food stands and with the help of donations, the Chapter purchased food for 300 apartments housing elderly and low-income families.
  • Since the beginning of COVID-19, the Wisconsin-Nicaragua Chapter’s Learning Centers have been hard at work producing masks for a medical center in Nicaragua. Chapter members and partners donated their thread, sewing machines, fabric, and sewing supplies with the Learning Centers. The Chapter is a recipient of the Education and Culture program.
  • Shelley Tinkham served as a volunteer reviewer for the 2019 U.S.-Mexico 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Competition in March and April, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March, Shelley was evacuated from Mexico, where she was serving as a Peace Corps Response volunteer. Despite this hardship, Shelley completed all of her reviews to help students participate in training and exchange opportunities once international travel is open.

April

Economic Development and Health Unit
  • The EDH Unit has been leveraging its relationships throughout the F2F network to spread information and best practices regarding COVID-19. 
  • On April 15, EDH Program Officer Kelly McNally hosted a virtual training through AVOP for all F2F implementors and their staff regarding cross-cultural communication.
  • The F2F team and field staff continue to share Partners’ daily updates on social media to extend the guidance to in-country networks. 
  • The F2F team is coordinating with the Peace Corps to plan a “rapid response” team of returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their projects in-country and reconnect with their communities through long-term F2F assignments.
  • The F2F team is also exploring avenues for remote assignments with volunteers and hosts in each of the core countries.
  • Projects range from improving marketing strategy, business development, and crop management to helping farmers, cooperatives, and enterprises cope with the effects of COVID-19. 
  • The Unit continues to follow all guidance and recommendations from the CDC, Department of State, and USAID regarding travel and other program activities impacted by COVID-19.

Child Protection Unit

  • Paraguay Okakuaa, Colombia Avanza, and Palma Futuro are carrying out communications campaigns to spread information on self-care, identifying symptoms, and proper protocol to follow if workers present symptoms. 
  • The Colombia Avanza program is using radio messages, a jingle, and an animated video to spread information on Occupational Safety and Health in the coffee sector to rural communities in the agricultural sectors. 
  • The Paraguay Okakuaa project is raising awareness of government assistance programs available to employers and workers impacted by the crisis. 
  • The USDOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) has praised the CPU’s successful response to COVID-19 in Latin America through a post on the ILAB website.

Membership Unit

  • The Membership Unit has focused its efforts on promoting and facilitating virtual communication as a valuable community resource during self-isolation. 
  • The Membership Unit has provided all the Traditional and PartnersCampus Student Chapters with unique partners.net email addresses to facilitate the organization of virtual meetings and activities. 
  • The Membership Unit conducted training sessions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to demonstrate the features of PartnersConnect as a management and communications tool. 
  • The Membership Unit reached out to members and Chapters to promote their events and contributions during the pandemic.
  • In May, the Membership Unit plans to launch a virtual platform for engagement across the hemisphere.

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • Due to COVID-19, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund decided that it was necessary to postpone the launch of the 2020 U.S.-Mexico Competition, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State.
  • The launch was scheduled to open on April 1, 2020. 
  • The Innovation Fund team recognizes that HEIs need to focus on completing the 2019-2020 academic year under new and challenging circumstances.
  • The Innovation Fund is hopeful for what is to come and looking forward to opening the 2020 U.S.-MX Competition when the time comes.
  • Students and faculty from the 100K “Leaders United for Positive Energy (LUPE)” 2019 program virtually reunited in April from Tucumán and Ushuaia, Argentina, Hermosillo, Mexico, and Flagstaff, Arizona. 
  • They shared how they are coping with COVID-19 and how they spread positive energy by discussing ways to form partnerships.
  • The U.S. Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program launched a Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Rapid Response round in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 
  • U.S. citizen alumni of all U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs are eligible to apply to address issues related to the COVID-19 crisis with grants ranging from $500 to $10,000.
  • The Education and Culture program anticipates announcing a call for proposals for small grant support. 
  • Priority is given for creative projects that foster entrepreneurship, innovation, and corporate social responsibility, promote diversity and social inclusion in a strong civil society, and that can improve the lives of at-risk youth, women, or marginalized communities during or after COVID-19. 
  • The deadline for submission is June 30. 
  • The program also plans to create a professional development workshop for teachers of English as a second language in June, July, and September.

March

Economic Development and Health Unit

  • All upcoming Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteer assignments have been canceled.
  • F2F field staff in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guyana, Jamaica, and Myanmar are now all teleworking
  • They informed farmers and other stakeholders of the canceled assignments and provided them with information on critical preventive measures to combat COVID-19.
  • Staff has directly or indirectly reached thousands of farmers and their families throughout the Western Hemisphere. 
  • Some agribusinesses like Yogi Super Foods in Guatemala have leveraged the skills and knowledge they learned from F2F volunteers to adapt in response to the COVID-19 crisis and now sell the organization’s products on Amazon.

Child Protection Unit

  • The CPU is directing efforts to raise awareness about COVID-19 throughout Latin America.
  • They are working to continue the implementation of project activities addressing child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in persons, with a focus on the amplified risk that COVID-19 poses to already vulnerable rural populations. 
  • Colombia Avanza is collaborating with the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FEDECAFE) to provide high-risk rural populations with information about COVID-19 through nation-wide radio broadcasts relating to Occupational Safety and Health and child labor in the coffee sector. 

Membership Unit

  • The Membership Unit is actively monitoring how the current COVID-19 Pandemic affects Chapters and members throughout the Americas and is offering support to those in need of additional assistance. 
  • Chapters across the hemisphere are also acting and taking steps in their own communities to support those in need. 

Education and Global Citizenship Unit

  • The EGC Unit is working closely with our network throughout the Americas and is adapting programs as necessary in response to COVID-19.
  • The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund has addressed both active grant recipients and the Innovation Network regarding the impact of COVID-19 on international higher education exchanges. 
  • Programs implemented by the U.S. Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program were temporarily paused by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on 3/12/2020.
  • The EGC Unit and ECA met to discuss immediate contingency plans for the Career Connections Seattle seminar from July 8-10, 2020. 
  • COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the implementation of the activities of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, necessitating a longer grant period. 
  • As of March 20, 2020, all CDAF teams have returned to the U.S. for the Education and Culture program and all but one of the participants received by host families have safely returned home.
  • All travel plans for mid-March through April for the Education and Culture Program have been canceled, potentially to be rescheduled later in 2020.
  • Contingency plans are underway for the launch of the next Education and Culture grant. 
  • EGC plans to partner with organizations to offer online opportunities to enhance the professional skills of English teachers.
  • Venezuelan Journalist Giovanni Daboin traveled to Tennessee to help Tennessee Chapter President James Gary Linn and Venezuela Chapter President Yraima Méndez document their Chapters' more than 40 years of history, as a part of our Education and Culture program. Daboin was supposed to return home to Venezuela in late March, but due to COVID-19, he can't until the country's borders open again. The journalist continues to collect testimonies virtually.