Growing the Future: Youth Leadership in Food Security

Written by , posted on Thursday February 11 2016(2 years ago)

Are you between the ages of 18 and 30? Do you want to join the conversation about changing food systems around the world? Consider the Growing the Future fellowship opportunity.

The Youth, Prosperity, and Security Initiative and theGlobal Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) invite young agricultural entrepreneurs to submit applications for the Growing the Future fellowship project.

Selected applicants will travel to Washington, DC, USA to participate in a week long series of meetings and events to highlight the importance of youth leadership in global food security.

Fellows will have the opportunity to meet with senior level leaders in the U.S. Government, NGOs, international financial institutions, foundations, and others working on global food security. The program will foster relationships between young agricultural entrepreneurs from countries in which the U.S. has major agricultural programs and U.S. policymakers, private sector leaders, academics, and other stakeholders in agricultural development.

Both the role of youth in agricultural development and the role of agriculture in reducing youth unemployment are urgent issues facing countries. Young people lead the pack as innovators and problem-solvers; the importance of new and unique approaches to sustainable agriculture is imperative, particularly as the future of U.S. involvement in foreign assistance is in question.

CSIS, a foreign affairs think tank, is exploring how the U.S. Government has worked with young people, especially through Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative that aims to work hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agricultural sectors and break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.

Feed the Future works in 19 focus countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras.

The Growing the Future fellowship program targets agricultural entrepreneurs and innovators from Feed the Future focus countries. Youth may be generating employment, empowering women and girls, or adding to community and regional food security. Special attention will be paid to current and former Young African Leaders Initiative Network (YALI) fellows and International Youth Foundation YouthActionNet fellows.

Applicants will be recruited and selected in a transparent manner based on objective criteria. Interested applicants who meet the eligibility requirements should submit their answers, in brief essay form, to the following questions:

1. What is your personal story? What do you believe sets you apart from other applicants?

2. If relevant, tell us about your experience as an entrepreneur and what product, service, or platform you have developed. How does your work support food security in your community, country, and around the world?

3. Have you benefited from a Feed the Future-funded program in your country? If so, please describe your participation and how the program has helped you.

4. If you were to meet with U.S. policymakers, what would you convey to them about the Feed the Future program and U.S. foreign assistance efforts? Your responses should include suggestions for improvement as well as positive feedback.

Applications should not exceed 3 pages single spaced 12-point font. Please submit all application materials in .PDF form to FoodSecurity@csis.org by March 30, 2016.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be between 18 and 30 years of age.

· Must be able to travel to the United States of America for seven (7) consecutive days.

· Must be comfortable with public speaking, and be articulate in English, French, OR Spanish. (This fellowship is open to non-English speakers).

· Must have some experience, even if indirect, with Feed the Future programs.

CSIS will not authorize funding for dependents or others to accompany travel. CSIS will cover all travel costs, including visas, airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and daily expenses. Participants must return directly to their country of origin at the conclusion of the one-week program.

CSIS provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Read more from the Center for Strategic and International Studies