Community Solutions: Creating Global Solutions One Idea at a Time

Posted by J. Adam Ereli
December 10, 2012
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ereli Listens to a Community Solutions Fellow

Solving the world's biggest problems starts with one idea, by one individual, in one community. And those leaders must be equipped with new knowledge, resources, and networks in order for their ideas to thrive.

The State Department's Community Solutions Program is in its second year and empowers community leaders with the tools and skills to change the world. For the past four months, 58 young professionals from 28 countries participated in a fellowship at U.S. community-based non-profits, government offices, or legislative bodies to see how American institutions address complex challenges.

Community Solutions Fellows worked with American community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address societal issues in their home communities. The Fellows work in the fields of tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, as well as environmental issues and women's issues.

One of the young leaders, Smrita Khadka, started Asha Nepal, a hostel for children of trafficking survivors that also educates young girls about human trafficking. After completing the Community Solutions Program, Khadka wants to break the cycle of discrimination, illiteracy, and poverty experienced by the children of human trafficking survivors through education.

Alex Lawoko from Uganda is another Community Solutions Fellows, and works as a chairperson with the Gulu Deaf Association. After two decades of war, persons with disabilities in Uganda are facing a grave economic environment, impacted by poverty and unemployment. Following the Community Solutions Program, Lawoko plans to economically empower deaf women and men for self reliance by providing seed capital in the form of materials and training.

As Secretary Clinton has said, "Societies move forward when the citizens that make up these groups are empowered to transform common interests into common actions that serve the common good." Community Solutions exists to teach the Fellows best practices, common challenges, and how to best serve their community in an increasingly globalized world.

Collectively, people who participate in programs like this always leave a truly remarkable impact. By forming personal networks with peers from all over the world these networks can -- and will -- create a better future, one idea and person at a time.

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James M.
December 12, 2012

James William M. in Uganda writes:

The cut off age for community solutions exchange programs 2013 is disabling a person like me.Sometime back I was identified and even seconded for a leadership program in USA that was way back in 2010.But I was dropped because of my age.I was 47 then when the age difference was 45.Now this program is talking about age 25-38.It worsens my situation who is now 49.For the last 8 years while working at CDC in a home based aids program in Tororo I was exposed to community problems.This had even prompted me to stand for a parliamentary seat to represent people.Twice I attempted 2006 and 2011 to get to Ugandan parliament but I failed.I need empowerment I am in touch with the communities.I have supported youth programs but nothing seems to work.Having worked with the US embassy I was exposed to transparency and accounting systems.To the extent that I have failed to get back into my corrupt system in the country after reduction in force by CDC Uganda.How can I be given opportunity to share with people of creating global solutions?

Ibrahim M.
December 12, 2012

Ibrahim M. in Uganda writes:

Thanks for the efforts, I am Ibrahim mbabaali heading a youth company under streamline Productions company in Uganda. I have a campaign of sensitizing the public in Uganda about domestic violence,human trafficking sexual network through my plays, May I know who I may address this issue for a greater campaign to Ugandans

bulime m.
December 20, 2012

Moses in Uganda writes:

iam moses from art and life skills its a best community best the vision is to build a vocation training school and we want to open up a project but we have no fund we are requsting u to stand with us so that we can open up this project or u can connect us to the people who can stand with us in this project so that we can make a change in this uganda we will be so happy if u stand with us and we are requsting u to come and visit us in bwaise and wee how u can stand with us we love u keep the worker u are doing GOD bless u

December 12, 2012

Mwine K. in Uganda writes:

I would like to thank you Lawoko Alex for representing us very well.. claps... As you are back, I am personally ready to join hands with you to see that what you learnt during your stay in the States is not wasted.

There are ideas we shared some two years back, I think they need to be revived since we seem to be equiped with the expertise we missed that time.


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