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  • Wednesday, August 09, 2023 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    On this week’s IVLP Alumni Spotlight Series, we are so excited to reconnect with Anthonia Onda! Anthonia is a 2019 alumna from the IVL project of “The Will of the People
    Elections in Democracies”. She is from Nigeria and is currently a Senior Program Officer for Elections at Yiaga Africa.

    Anthonia Onda sitting on park bench

    During her time here in NH, Anthonia was so grateful to have the opportunity to engage in a multiple of political activities – ranging from meeting with NH state legislators, The New Hampshire Institute of Politics to attending local town hall meetings. Anthonia was amazed that citizens had the opportunity to voice their concerns directly with candidates running for local elections. In her plans as she returned home, she was eager to showcase citizen engagement and ways that this can be incorporate in her local government.

    If you’d like to read more about Onda’s impactful work, please enjoy reading a few articles she has shared with us below. 

    Matters Arising As Ekiti Goes To Poll

    Antonia Onda at the beach with two fellow visitors

  • Monday, July 10, 2023 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s IVLP Alumni Spotlight, we'd like to share Fernando Rojas Traverso's testimonial about his time here in NH and the U.S. Fernando was a participant in a 2022 in-person IVLP on the topic of "Global and Regional Economic Corporation". This particular delegation was the first in-person IVLP since the start of the pandemic, and everyone was so excited to be able to meet in person after such a long time programming virtual!

    "My experience at IVLP has had an impact on many aspects, both personal and professional. On a personal level, the experience in the USA has been magnificent and has allowed me to get to know a country like the United States in detail, both socially and economically. On a professional level, the meetings we had on the trip have made me grow a lot, in addition to the colleagues and professionals I have met.

    The first meeting with Government members was great, because it allowed us to know what New Hampshire is like from an economic and financial point of view, what it produces, what its population is like and what its government is like. All this made us discover a state not so well known in the world and transfer this vision to our colleagues in Spain.

    I also have fond memories of Anise and Danielle, who were wonderful in their company and the experience with the family, Home Hospitality, in New Hampshire. All this made my experience in general improve significantly. I was so fortunate to experience a home hospitality dinner. The experience was wonderful, as it allowed us to see first-hand a unique life and lifestyle in NH, which is very different from the big cities in the United States. I really liked the time, I enjoyed the company and the stories they told us about their life.

    Fernando Rojas at Home Hospitality with Carola Gouse
    Home Hospitality Meal with Carola Gouse

    Clearly I have changed my point of view about the United States, since I had never been there and this has been a unique opportunity to get to know them. We have a vision of the United States very much from movies, from what we hear or see in them, even from the press. But it's clearly different. In fact, a state like New Hampshire is the antithesis of what we think about the United States, where there are friendly, educated people, and far from the large crowds of big cities. My experience in all areas was wonderful, I recommend that anyone who can go do it without hesitation, and it is an experience that I will never forget.

    My fondest IVLP memories and experience are incredible. My memories range from the cities, institutions and places I met, to the people who were with me throughout the trip, whom I consider friends and part of my life. It is an experience that I will remember throughout my life, as well as the people I met, my learning about culture, food, society and the economy of the United States, and my own personal experience, which has made me a better person and a better professional. When I talk about this experience with my friends, I always get a smile on my face, since it is impossible to describe it without remembering the best moments I had. It has been wonderful!

    My experience with IVLP exceeded my expectations, a lot. It was a great time, unique experience along my life, and something that I will tell to my grandchildren. I think is once in life, so I have a great time and I have a lot of memories about the experience. I will never forget it."

    IVLP Group with WACNH IVLP Team
    Photo of group with liaisons and IVLP team before parting ways. Until next time!

  • Friday, June 23, 2023 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    On this week’s IVLP Alumni Spotlight, we would like to showcase Haya Rawi and all of her great work! Rawi was so grateful to be a participant in a virtual 2022 IVLP on the topic of "Advancing Disability in Inclusive Democracy". She and five other participants from Lebanon were able to virtually connect with diverse NH professional resources to share best practices and learn more about how these organizations navigate creating an inclusive environment for all individuals' needs.

    We hope you all enjoy learning more from Haya's own words below:

    "I work as a Disability Inclusion Advisor with the International Committee of the Red Cross Lebanon in the Physical Rehabilitation Program. My role is to ensure the inclusion and full participation of Persons with Disability through access to societal integration program including disability sports, socio economic project, and disability awareness.

    Since I was born, my impairment (upper limb amputation) was my motivation to be strong enough and to challenge myself and society. My Architecture background has enhanced my skills related to Physical Accessibility for Persons with Disability in the WASH and Shelter sectors.

    I have been working in the field of inclusion for People with Disabilities (PwD) since 2016. I worked with Humanity & Inclusion (Handicap International) for two and a half years, and then I joined the ICRC as a Disability Inclusion Adviser starting in March of 2019. Working in the Humanitarian field helped me in challenging life circumstances, accept my impairment and take it as a motivation to support others especially persons with disabilities.

    I am grateful for being part of the IVLP program. It was a great opportunity to learn from US experiences and participants’/Colleagues' experiences. The best moment was learning about the disability field in US and mainly related to inclusive diplomacy. For instance, how several states are applying inclusive practices to ensure the participation of Persons with Disability in the election. I learned something new that in the USA the organizations are the key actors in all humanitarian work. It is not only the role of the government. They implement projects and monitor the work of the government/policies. We worked on a project about drafting new law for the Rights of Persons with Disability in Lebanon, in partnership with two Organizations of Persons with Disability (OPD) following the United Nation Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD). So, after the IVLP program, we emphasized the article related to inclusive democracy. We added more details about accessibility for Persons with Disability during the election.

    Last year I started with creating a content on Instagram about my daily life as a person with Disability to raise awareness. I share reels/pictures about doing things with one hand as a person with upper limb amputation for example: cooking, driving, typing, and dressing…etc. Now I have around 4700 followers, and I am looking forward to having more followers and influence people.

    My personal Instagram Account: hayarawi"

    Thank you so much for all you do with advocacy efforts to ensure everyone has their needs heard and met effectively! We cannot wait to see all of the great work you continue to dedicate countless hours to, you truly are a role model!

    If readers would like to learn more, please follow a few additional links that Haya has shared with us below:

    The I Can't Stand Podcast - Haya Rawi: Living With A Disability In Lebanon

    MCID Country of the Month Spotlight

    Direct Link to Haya's Instagram Page

  • Tuesday, June 06, 2023 2:51 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Gordon Humphrey, a former U.S. Senator, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Global Leadership Award by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. This prestigious award, established in 2014 to mark the Council's 60th anniversary, acknowledges individuals or organizations based in New Hampshire that have made significant contributions to global understanding, engagement, and connections for the local community. Senator Humphrey will be honored with the award during the Global Forum on June 13th, hosted by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. More details about the event can be found at

    During his tenure in the Senate, Humphrey played a vital role in shaping U.S. policy on international matters by serving on committees focused on foreign relations, armed services, and Afghanistan. However, his recent work in promoting public diplomacy has the potential to shape the future of U.S. relations with the rest of the world. At a time when both political parties are prioritizing engagement with China, both economically and militarily, voices like Senator Humphrey's advocating for the crucial role of diplomatic efforts in advancing global progress are significant.

    In a recent co-authored Wall Street Journal article with Senator Joseph Lieberman, Humphrey emphasized the importance of advocacy in persuading foreign audiences and highlighted that the United States must utilize every tool of national power to prevail in competition against authoritarian governments. He lamented the decline of advocacy as a powerful and cost-effective weapon over the past two decades, emphasizing the need to marshal truth and facts to sway international opinion.

    Over the past several months, Senator Humphrey has diligently worked behind the scenes on various issues related to U.S. diplomatic efforts. He has raised awareness about the challenges faced by the Office of Public Diplomacy, which has operated without a Senate-confirmed Undersecretary for more than five years. Additionally, Humphrey has aided Russian men seeking asylum due to Russia's brutal war in Ukraine, shedding light on critical issues and benefiting U.S. global interests.

    Tim Horgan, the executive director of the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, expressed his admiration for Senator Humphrey's accomplishments in international affairs, highlighting the ability of individuals to make positive changes in the world. Horgan emphasized the Council's honor in raising awareness of these important issues and recognizing Senator Humphrey's exceptional work.

    For more information on how to participate in the celebration of New Hampshire's global connections and the impact of the world on local lives, please visit

  • Friday, May 05, 2023 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    On this week’s IVLP Alumni Spotlight, we would like to share reflections from one of our 2022 alumni, Dana Zubari. Dana participated in a July 2022 in-person IVLP on the topic of “U.S. Social Media Engagement”. She is a social media influencer from Bahrain and she holds many diverse professional roles. Zubari is the co-founder of two businesses: Tru Active, a sportswear brand; and Lettuce Run, an all women’s running group, and co-captain of Cycling Bees. She is dedicated to creating spaces where Bahraini women are able to participate in various sports and prioritize their personal health and well-being.

    Dana shares how much she enjoyed her IVLP experience, specifically emphasizing her time spent here in New Hampshire. She highlighted how much she enjoyed the diverse meetings with NH counterparts to share best practices. The meeting that she benefited from the most was a last minute-add on meeting with Social HQ. Social HQ is an innovative marketing team that focuses their energies on multiple social media platforms. Visitors were able to discuss which marketing tools may work best within their organizations and country, while the Social HQ team could also share their findings for organizations here in NH. It was truly a brainstorming session for the social media influencers and the marketing team to collaborate.

    Photo above: Meeting with The Social HQ

    Another meeting that Dana speaks highly of was the opportunity to meet with the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism. She was so intrigued by how NH markets tourism to individuals from out of state, and how they create useful tools to make traveling easier for tourists. Although this meeting did not align directly to her specific line of work, she shared the skills learned with Bahrain’s Ministry of Tourism department so that they can also utilize different approaches in their marketing strategies.

    Photo above: Meeting with NH Division of Travel and Tourism

    Dana beams with gratitude for her IVLP journey and expresses how much she loved her time here in NH. “Overall, my experience was really pleasant. Really, the people were extremely welcoming and very kind. I absolutely loved visiting New Hampshire. I definitely want to come back socially. Maybe to go skiing with my family!” Thank you so much, Dana, for your kind words and feedback. We are so grateful to have met you, and we cannot wait to see how you continue to make impactful changes both in Bahrain and internationally! We also hope to see you again in future travels to New Hampshire!

    To learn more about Dana and her work, please explore the resources below!

    A True Athletic Life, Interview with Dana Zubari

    Tru Active Website
    Lettuce Run Instagram Page
    Cycling Bees Instagram Page

    Follow Dana's Journey on Instagram 

    Photo above: Meeting with Spring Ledge Farm

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Santosh Thakur participated in an October 2019 in-person IVLP focused on “Pluralism in U.S. Society”. He is from India, and he currently serves as the Deputy Editor #journalist for the Navbharat newspaper. In this role, he covers the ministries for External Affairs, Home Affairs, Petroleum, Telecommunication, Tourism, and Urban Development. Additionally, Mr. Kumar writes on international relations regarding Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United States.

    Santosh shares his opinion that all youth around the world should receive the opportunity to visit the United States under the IVLP program. It is an eye-opening experience to truly see how the world is progressing, and also a chance to further support one’s personal self-growth at the same time. 

    During his time in NH, Santosh and other IVLP participants had the opportunity to volunteer with Families in Transition / New Horizons, partake in a community-focused Citizen Exchange Circle, meet with the International Institute of New England, as well as B.R.I.N.G.I.T. (Bringing Refugees, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow) after-school program, the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL), the Manchester Police Department and NH State Police. 

    Photo above: Meeting with Manchester Athletic Police League (MPAL)

    Photo above: Meeting with B.R.I.N.G.I.T. Afterschool Program 

    Thank you, Santosh, for sharing your personal IVLP story! We look forward to future collaborations with you!

    If you'd like to learn more about Santosh or connect virtually, please follow the link that Santosh has shared with us below. 

    Santosh works to fight for the rights of India's Freedom of the Press

  • Thursday, April 06, 2023 3:22 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Recently, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosted a discussion entitled “Taking African Agency Seriously.” I know this is not where you expected me to start, but bear with me. In that conversation, Dr. Taiwo, a professor from Cornell University, mentioned that the way the global community approaches aid to the many countries in Africa actually disempowers communities and does not support their own decision-making. This got me thinking about other ways that we talk about what is going on in the world that ignores how decisions are made.

    So, how does this all relate to the idea that Putin may be a puppet of the west? It all starts with how many people, including Putin himself, have talked about the invasion of Ukraine. The story goes that Russia was forced to invade Ukraine because of Western actions, specifically NATO’s expansion. Regardless of if you accept this perspective, let us take the claim at face value. If Russia had no choice, that tells us that NATO is in control of Russia, and therefore Putin. He apparently has no control over when and why his country goes to war. He cannot utilize his and his country’s agency in making decisions, because the United States and its allies are all powerful and can dictate his moves.

    This line of thinking holds true for ending the war. Many of these same people blame the West for prolonging the war through their support of Ukraine. Untold thousands of lives could be saved if NATO and others would just step back. Again, this takes any power that Putin has and entirely shifts it to the West.

    These discussions also minimize the agency of the most important actor in this war, Ukraine. NATO is not providing this support to Ukraine in spite of what the Ukrainian government wants, rather in support of the many requests they have made for help. Ukraine does not want to be dominated by Russia, as shown time and again since before the fall of the Soviet Union. They want to expel the Russian occupiers of their lands and have the ability to make decisions for their own future.

    Therefore, if we are to look at this clearly, if Russia and its supporters want to claim that NATO caused this war to occur, we must also accept that Putin is simply a puppet of the West. I cannot imagine this is a claim that the Russian president would accept, meaning that the decision to go to war lies solely with him and his military. Everyone, especially leaders of large countries, has agency in this world. It may be constrained by the realities of the world, but in the end, everyone has a choice and it was Putin’s choice to initiate this devastating and illegal invasion.

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 1:36 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The relationship between the United States and Brazil has historically been characterized by periods of cooperation and tension, with issues ranging from trade, to democracy, and human rights. In the 20th century, the United States supported the military dictatorship in Brazil, but after the fall of this regime, the United States worked with Brazil as the country transitioned to democracy. In recent years, climate change and environmental concerns have emerged as key areas of focus for both countries. With the election of President Joe Biden in the United States and the return of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, the two countries face new opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of their relationship for years to come.

    The official position of the US State Department is that the United States and Brazil enjoy a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values and economic interests. The two countries have strong trade and investment ties, with Brazil being the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States, and the U.S. being the second-largest trading partner of Brazil. In 2019, the United States made an agreement to suspend Brazil’s designation as a developing country in the World Trade Organization, citing concerns about its trade practices, but also simultaneously backed Brazil for a chance to join OECD. The State Department also notes that the United States supports Brazil’s economic reform efforts and recognizes its role as a regional leader. However, recent events have strained the relationship between the two countries. The presidency of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, marked by controversial statements and policies, was met with criticism from the United States and other countries.  Additionally, the Bolsonaro administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the environment, specifically the increase in deforestation of the Amazon, were other major points of contention between Brazil and the international community.

    The return of Lula da Silva to the presidency in Brazil presents a new dynamic in US-Brazil relations. Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, is a popular figure in Brazil and has a track record of promoting social welfare policies and environmental protection. After Lula met with Biden in Washington, D.C., they released a Joint Statement making it known that the United States plans to work with Brazil on shared priorities such as climate change and democracy. Lula has also spoken about the need to strengthen Brazil’s democratic institutions and promote social justice, which could align with the Biden administration’s priorities.

    Climate change in particular will be a topic of focus in the US-Brazil relationship in the coming years. The protection of the Amazon rainforest, which is crucial to global climate stability and biodiversity, has been a source of tension between the two countries. The Bolsonaro administration’s policies were criticized by Biden during his presidential campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the NGO Greenpeace, for contributing to deforestation and environmental degradation in the Amazon. When tensions were at a high point Germany and Norway suspended funding for projects to curb deforestation in Brazil. In April 2021, President Biden hosted a virtual climate summit in which he called on countries to work together to address climate change. Breaking from his earlier hardline positions, Bolsonaro agreed during the Climate Leaders Summit to end deforestation by 2030 and committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. This was an important step for Brazil in relation to climate change prevention, but the promises made by Bolsonaro must be kept by the Lula administration.

    In an article for Reuters, Natalie Unterstell, President of Talanoa Institute and also coordinator of the Brazilian Climate & Development initiative, and Karen Marie Oseland, a Climate Policy Associate at Climate Advisers, argue that the private sector will play a critical role in addressing environmental challenges in Brazil. Unterstell and Oseland note that companies such as Nestle and Unilever have made commitments to reduce deforestation in their supply chains, but that more needs to be done. They argue that the Biden administration and the Lula administration could encourage more private-sector action by providing incentives and promoting transparency. However, they note that there are also risks associated with relying on the private sector, such as the potential for companies to attempt to make token environmental gestures to hide their environmentally unsustainable practices. There is also the possibility that companies may prioritize their bottom line over environmental protection, unless there are clear consequences in the forms of fines or lawsuits.

    Overall, the election of Lula da Silva presents the United States with a great opportunity to cooperate with Brazil on climate change and make meaningful contributions to the preservation of the Amazon. When the United States and Brazil are aligned in climate policy, it means that the world can expect more substantial action. Brazil plays an important role in the world as a protector of the Amazon, and must carefully balance economic interests with those of the environment. Through cooperation and active dialogue, the United States and Brazil have the unique opportunity to ensure that there will be a future that preserves the Amazon and combats factors contributing to climate change. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire encourages active participation in discussions about the environment and the role that the United States should play in collaborating with other countries on this matter.

    - Ben Duffy-Howard, WACNH Intern

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    Lilian Namagembe participated in a 2019 in-person IVLP on the topic of “Mental and Physical Disabilities” She is from Uganda, and at the time of her IVLP she was a journalist for the Daily Monitor.

    During her time in NH, she is grateful for the professional resources that she and her IVLP colleagues were able to meet with and exchange ideas. Two of these resources include the UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. and the Rhythm Tree. Namagembe was amazed by the innovative ways that both organizations run to support individuals that have a diverse range of physical and/or mental disabilities. She hopes to bring many of these initiatives back to Uganda so that individuals in her country will also have access to these opportunities to have a more fulfilled, supportive lifestyle.

    Lilian is a journalist by profession, however, her IVLP experience was so impactful that she changed her professional career path after returning home to dedicate her work in communications to support international humanitarian organizations. She is currently the Communications Officer at Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Uganda. Lilian has also created her own organization, Charity Productions Ltd, in Uganda where she is able to offer services to organizations to help raise funds to donate to charities.  Many of these charities are in place to support individuals needing medical financial assistance. She is actively working to help raise funds for charities throughout Uganda. Lilian tirelessly advocates that all voices are heard and respected in her community, regardless of physical or mental ability.

    Another initiative that Lilian has started is a registered club, Stop Tetanus Investment club. This is a support group for people affected and infected with Tetanus to pool funds and use them to create awareness against the lethal disease. 

    IVLP has opened Lilian’s eyes to see that she truly can make a positive difference in her community. One individual, a small group of people, or a large organization can all create positive change that will have a lasting impact for the communities they serve. Lilian expresses how much her IVLP experience has changed her to focus on how she can contribute to initiatives to help her community. Lilian is so grateful for this opportunity, and she is excited to continue to lead the way in making positive change.

    A few additional documents from Lilian’s awareness campaigns and crowdfunding:

    Report on 9 Year Old Suffering from Tetanus in Uganda - Lilian's nephew

    Crowdfunding Campaign for Lilian's Nephew

    "Tetanus is a cruel killer""

    Thank you so much, Lilian for taking the time to reconnect with us here at WACNH and for all you do to support all people's rights to be met! 

  • Monday, February 27, 2023 3:59 PM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to have recently been able to re-connect with Eman Borg, an IVLP alumnus from one of our 2020 virtual programs. Eman has since had the opportunity to participate in an in-person IVLP on the topic of “Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders III”. Although we did not have the opportunity to host Eman here in NH during his time in the U.S., we were eager to check in after he returned home to hear about his IVLP experience and how in-person may have differed in comparison to his virtual experience.

    Eman expresses how he has always wanted to participate in an in-person IVLP, and that he was so grateful for the opportunity to travel in the United States for 3 weeks as a second time IVLP participant. Although he found meaning in his virtual IVLP, the in-person opportunity has truly made a lasting impact on Eman’s personal and professional life. The ability to converse with professional counterparts from different communities and countries in person was an extremely meaningful opportunity for Borg. Networking and building new connections cannot always be replicated exactly the same in a virtual environment.

    He is looking forward to taking his newly gained knowledge, skillsets, and professional relations with him as he implements new and improved initiatives in his small island of Malta. We are so happy to hear that Eman’s in-person IVLP has made such a positive impact on his life. We cannot wait to see all of the great work Eman continues to dedicate his time towards in Malta!

    Thank you so much, Eman! We appreciate you for taking the time to virtually meet with us and for all that you do as an activist in Malta. 

    A few photos that Eman would like to share from his travels:

    Picture above: IVLP delegation at Capitol Hill

    Picture above: Eman at State Department

    If anyone would like to learn more about Eman and his virtual IVLP experience, please refer back to his first interview post here

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