U.S. will sponsors exchange program to empower women

The University for Peace and the University of Connecticut have teamed up to establish and promote Empoderando Mujeres a través del Emprendedurismo Social, “Empowerment for women through social entrepreneurship,” a two-year program that will enable a cultural and educational exchange between both countries by 10 Ticas and 10 Americans.

The program begins early next year, but selection is this year. The leadership program has a focus to promote health, environmental sustainability and economic development.

“We are very excited for this program. This will provide all participants a knowledge of women empowerment through a social entrepreneurial model,” said Laurel Gaylor, representative for the University for Peace in Ciudad Colón.

The program for Costa Rican women consists of four
consecutive weeks in the United States, including a two-week internship with an organization based on their current employment. And when they return to Costa Rica, they will take an online six-week course and continue to work on an online effort between the exchange students for a team-based project enabling social change in an Afro-Costa Rican or native group. The 10 Americans will spend two weeks in Costa Rica in August.

The program is sponsored by the Professional Fellows Division of the U.S. State Department.

The selection criteria for the Costa Rican women requires the applicants to be female between the ages of 24 and 40, fluent in English, computer and internet literate, and with the desire to work with women empowerment. They must also have to be working for a government job, working in an area of health, working for a female-owned business, an educational institution, or with a non-profit organization.

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