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Combatting Violence Against Women in Egypt

IREX's Justice & Dignity for the Middle East & North Africa program is working with the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) on a project to support organizations in Egypt working to combat violence against women. ICAN produced this short profile of Bassma, one of the participating organizations. Its mission: to end discrimination against women and stand up against the forces that allow it to continue. Composed entirely of unpaid volunteers, Bassma bravely confronts the issue by taking to the streets of Cairo. Their two grassroots initiatives involve working one-on-one with community members in an attempt to change the way men think about and perceive women.

IREX is working with the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) on a project to support organizations in Egypt working to combat violence against women. ICAN produced this short profile of Bassma, one of the participating organizations.

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Photo courtesy of Bassma

Inspiring Change: One Liberian Woman’s Story Inspiring Us

Thanks to the support of WONGOSOL, encouragement from IREX's USAID-funded Civil Society and Media Leadership Program in Liberia (CSML), Munah Kieh Kelly went from feeling incompetent to leading training workshops and managing grants. In honor of International Women’s Day and its theme Inspiring Change, we are pleased to share Munah’s story as her inspiration to change inspires us in our work around the world.

When Munah Kieh Kelly was first hired at the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), she was a volunteer office assistant, receiving only a small monthly stipend to clean the office and sort incoming mail. A mother of five young children and in the process of leaving a marriage that left her feeling incompetent and silenced, Munah was reserved, quiet, and burdened with concerns that her opportunities to excel professionally were limited because of her lack of knowledge and skills.

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Munah (right) at the Women's NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL)

New Online Studio Expands Georgian News Coverage

With support from IREX’s USAID-funded G-MEDIA program, Georgan media professionals and news outlets are expanding their news coverage thanks to Batumelebi, a new online studio for the creation of media content. The studio will host programs produced by Batumelebi journalists, volunteer students from the NGO Independent Journalists’ House (IJH), and reporters from national website Netgazeti.ge.

Georgian media professionals and news outlets are expanding their news coverage while strengthening the Georgian media sector thanks to Batumelebi, a new online studio for the creation of media content.

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Journalists discuss producing multimedia news coverage in the Batumelebi studio

Improving US STEM Achievement with Global Education

Fellows in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) are trying to encourage student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields with a global context. STEM education helps students think critically and prepare for the possibility that their ideas might be used in innovation and technology – helping to answer the need for STEM professionals and pushing the US forward among other nations.

According to the US Department of Education, the United States ranks 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations, representing a dire need for students to study and achieve in those areas. Fellows in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) are trying to accomplish that by encouraging student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields with a global context.

Journalism Students Bring Attention to Georgian Minority Communities

For more than 20 years, students at a school in the village of Tazakendi, Georgia were in the dark with few books to read and no electricity. That all changed when two journalism students at the Georgia Institute of Public Affairs, sponsored by the G-MEDIA program and funded by USAID, wrote a story about the school’s isolation for the newscafe.ge website. Soon after the story was published, the missing books had arrived, including Azerbaijani literature. The school had also solved their electricity problems.

For more than 20 years, students at a school in the village of Tazakendi, Georgia were in the dark with few books to read and no electricity. That all changed when two journalism students wrote a story about the school’s isolation for the newscafe.ge website. Soon after the story was published, the missing books had arrived, including Azerbaijani literature. The school had “also solved their electricity problems.”

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Students shoot video content through GIPA

Expanding Higher Ed E-Learning in Turkmenistan

More than 2,700 education innovators in Turkmenistan now have the tools and training to teach and learn more effectively and cheaply in the digital age.
Developing information and communication technologies is top priority for government in Turkmenistan. Classrooms and labs nationwide gleam with cutting-edge instructional equipment as a result, but few really know how to take full advantage of the resources. Locals also aren’t aware of quality open-source technologies that are free, compared to more costly products hawked by a flood of commercial companies rushing to the country.

More than 2,700 education innovators in Turkmenistan now have the tools and training to teach and learn more effectively and cheaply in the digital age.

Liberian Community Groups Venture into Social Entrepreneurship

“We can provide the training and mentoring,” said Bill Burke, Chief of Party for the Civil Society and Media Leadership Program in Liberia (CSML), at IREX’s Social Enterprise Development competition last month. “What you do with it is what counts.”

In Liberia, 17 civil society organizations (CSOs) and community radio stations (CRSs) heeded Burke’s advice while competing for a chance to receive funding for their social enterprise businesses. In a country ravaged by civil war and its long-lasting repercussions, the organizations showcased innovative approaches to economic development ranging from farming to motorbikes. 

“We can provide the training and mentoring,” said Bill Burke, Chief of Party for the Civil Society and Media Leadership Program in Liberia (CSML), at IREX’s Social Enterprise Development competition last month. “What you do with it is what counts.”

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CSO & CRS members at IREX's Social Enterprise Development competition in Liberia

Youth Leader Bringing Change to Kosovo

College student Biljana is an active local community leader, motivated to effect change in Kosovo. Since returning from a year of study in the US, Biljana has organized various youth initiatives and served as a leader on her campus and within her community on projects promoting youth engagement, conflict resolution, and environmental management.

College student Biljana is an active local community leader, motivated to effect change in Kosovo. Since returning from a year of study in the US, Biljana has organized various youth initiatives and served as a leader on her campus and within her community on projects promoting youth engagement, conflict resolution, and environmental management. Biljana is a member of the U.S.
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Biljana facilitating a leadership workshop in Kosovo

From Unemployed to Employer – One Woman Creating Opportunities in Malawi

Rosebill Satha has a mind for business, an eye for opportunity and a passion for giving. So it is no wonder this 29-year-old Malawian business woman was named 2013’s Most Promising Young Entrepreneur by Under35CEO, an Africa-based organization that promotes youth entrepreneurship. But life hasn’t always been so easy.

Rosebill Satha has a mind for business, an eye for opportunity and a passion for giving. So it is no wonder this 29-year-old Malawian business woman was named 2013’s Most Promising Young Entrepreneur by Under35CEO, an Africa-based organization that promotes youth entrepreneurship. But life hasn’t always been so easy.

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Rosebill Satha at Dunia Marketplace in Boise, Idaho.

Azerbaijani Photographer Creates Compelling Multimedia Website

Despite the increasing penetration of the internet in Azerbaijan, there continues to be a paucity of websites and media outlets pursuing multimedia reporting. For a bright up-and-coming young photographer like Aziz Karimli, this was a problem. 

Despite the increasing penetration of the internet in Azerbaijan, there continues to be a paucity of websites and media outlets pursuing multimedia reporting. For a bright up-and-coming young photographer like Aziz Karimli, this was a problem.

“In Azerbaijan, there are a lot of websites that only use text,” Karimli said. “But people want to see, to watch. It’s hard to deliver people’s emotions just with text.” 

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