MENA-USA Empowering Resilient Girls Exchange (MERGE) 2022 for Young Women in MENA

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MENA-USA Empowering Resilient Girls Exchange (MERGE) 2022 for Young Women in MENA

When is Application Deadline?

16th September 2022

Tell Me About Award:

According to a 2012 American Psychological Association report, girls growing up in underserved populations face increased risk of mental illness, depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem – all of which can negatively affect girls’ success in the classroom, workforce, and relationships. The MENA-USA Empowering Resilient Girls Exchange (MERGE) inspires participants to learn about their own mental health and develop emotional resilience, and, in turn, share this knowledge with their communities through a public-facing website.

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MERGE is a series of eight-week open enrollment virtual exchanges for 15–19-year-old girls in the United States and the Middle East/North Africa. In the first week, participants explore, learn, and share practical approaches to building resilience within themselves and their communities. Participants are introduced to each other and their small group facilitator through a variety of cultural exchange activities. The next five weeks are devoted to introducing a range of stress-relief and coping techniques, which the participants experiment with individually and in small groups. Specific techniques include journaling, exercise, meditation, positive thoughts and affirmations, and nutrition. Participants will learn the science behind each strategy and why building these skills in themselves and their communities is beneficial. During the exchange’s final two weeks, participants will work in five-person teams, with the guidance of their facilitator, to showcase their newfound knowledge by creating an entry for the program’s culminating mental resilience strategies website.

What Type of Award is this?

Workshop

Who can apply?

MERGE participants must:

  • Reside in the United States or a MENA region country (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen);
  • Identify as a girl or young woman;
  • Be between the ages of 15 to 19 as of September 26, 2022;
  • Speak English at an intermediate level or higher;
  • Be available during the program dates listed above;
  • Have access to a reliable, internet-connected device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) that can be utilized for at least three (3) hours a week for the duration of the program;
  • Have an interest in mental health, community building, and international exchange.

MERGE facilitators must:

  • Reside in the United States or a MENA region country (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen);  
  • Identify as a woman;  
  • Be between the ages of 22 to 29 as of September 26, 2022;  
  • Speak English at an advanced level or higher;  
  • Be available during the training and program dates listed below; 
  • Have a reliable laptop or computer and internet connection that can be utilized for the duration of the program; 
  • Have experience with and a passion for mentoring young women, mental health, and international exchange;  
  • Have demonstrated experience in building virtual community or facilitating online events.  

Which Countries are Eligible?

Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen

How Many Positions will be Given?

Not specified

What is the Benefit of Award?

By participating in MERGE, you will receive a Certificate of Completion in leadership and mental health awareness, access to the U.S. Department of State’s International Exchange Alumni network, and eligibility for unique project funding opportunities of up $1,000 from the Stevens Initiative Alumni Small Grants program.

Facilitators will be compensated with a stipend of $1000 USD for their work at the end of the program. 

How Long is the Program?

8 weeks. Cohort III will take place from September 26 – November 18, 2022, while Cohort IV will start in February 2023.

How to Apply for Program?

Participant Application – Apply here

Facilitator Application – Apply here

Visit Award Webpage for Details