Azerbaijani Students Prepare to Launch Community Action Projects
Students in the Study of United States Institutes (SUSI) for Azerbaijani Student Leaders on Civic Engagement program recently presented their Action Projects at IREX headquarters in Washington, DC. These projects gave the students a chance to put theory and knowledge into practice on a community project of interest to them, with topics ranging from environmental awareness, refugees, and disabilities, to women’s issues and orphans in Azerbaijan. Representatives from the U.S. Department of State were on hand to observe and join in the discussion.
One group proposed a talent show, entitled “I Have a Chance,” to be organized for youth with disabilities. The project is intended to overcome stereotypes among Azerbaijanis and to make them think differently about people with disabilities. Another group’s project, “No Women = No Life,” aims to increase women’s participation in society through seminars on a variety of topics including women’s rights, leadership, domestic violence and discrimination, empowerment, and networking.
The 21 Azerbaijani students, aged 18–22, were chosen on the basis of their leadership skills and commitment to civic engagement. The program’s intensive curriculum involves learning about and interacting with some of the most important citizen movements and issues of the United States, and is designed to act as a catalyst for participants to return ready to engage in their communities in Azerbaijan.
Study of United States Institutes for Azerbaijani Student Leaders on Civic Engagement is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and implemented by IREX in partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville.