The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to expand access to virtual exchange in order to build global competence for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa.
Educational institutions and non-profit organizations in the US and the MENA are invited to apply for funds to administer virtual exchange programs between youth from both regions.
The competition comprises of two stages. First, the Stevens Initiative invites letters of interest, which are due on November 30 for organizations based in the United States and December 21 for organizations based in the Middle East and North Africa. Second, organizations with letters of interest selected as finalists will be invited in early 2017 to submit full award applications.
Organizations may request between $20,000 and $700,000. The award amount requested may not be more than 40% of the applying organization’s FY 2015 annual operating budget. In all cases, organizations should demonstrate their capacity to plan, implement, and evaluate programs of the scale they propose.
The Initiative defines virtual exchange as programs that: use online technology to connect individuals and small groups between countries, are based on a curriculum and involves qualified facilitators (such as educators or others), and involve sustained communication and collaboration in real-time or asynchronously over a period of time. Virtual exchange can facilitate a cross-cultural experience that builds marketable global competencies – including communication, collaboration, empathy, language, and problem-solving – and deepens understanding of and ability to engage with people from other backgrounds.