The Colorado Springs World Affairs Council is a proud facilitator of two international exchange programs, the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program and the Congressional Office of International Leadership's OpenWorld program. We are thrilled to share a snap shot of a year filled with innovation in virtual programming, resiliency while transitioning back to in-person visits, and a whole lot of enthusiasm as we exchange perspectives and cultures with our international community!
A Combatting Trafficking in Persons virtual meeting with Kelly Dore, Executive Director of the Sierra Cares Foundation. This foundation serves to repatriate, educate, and serve vulnerable women and children in the Makeni region of Sierra Leone! This multi-regional project brought visitors from 29 different countries virtually to Colorado Springs.
February: Delegates from across Africa meet with Co-Founder & Executive Director Jan Isaacs Henry of KidPower Colorado and Founder & Executive Director Irene van der Zande of KidPower International to learn about the two organizations and how they develop, organize, and present high-quality child protection, positive communication, advocacy, self-defense, and personal safety programs to put an end to gender-based violence.
U.S. European Security Issues, a single country project for Spain
Delegates pose in front of NORAD facilities after a meeting to learn about the U.S. / European security relationship.
Women Leaders Promoting Peace and Security, a project for Kyrgyzstan
Delegates and County Commissioner Cami Bremer, City Council member Yolanda Avila, Green Mountain Falls City Manager Becky Frank, and School District 11 Board Member Darleen Daniels at City Hall!
Visitors and Inside Out Youth Services staff celebrate inclusion and pride!
Mayor Suthers and Donna Nelson from the CS Sister Cities program share history and the long-standing relationship between Colorado Springs and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
In April, we had the pleasure of hosting six delegates from Kyrgyzstan focused on Women Leadership and Promoting Peace & Security. During thier week in Colorado Springs, these visitors stayed with host families to be fully immersed in local culture. Their professional appointments included a meeting with Mayor John Suthers and the Sisters City program, women leaders in government, The Place, Inside Out Youth Services, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Springs Police Department - Human Trafficking and Advocacy Unit and MORE!
21st Century ChangeMakers: Trend Leaders Promote Social Media Discernment - an interregional project for Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan
Delegates exploring the Pikes Peak Library District Library 21C!
Delegates visiting the Colorado Springs City Admin Building after meeting with the Office of Innovation gained insight into the impact of social media on the social, economic, and political fabric of the United States.
Disability Rights – Equal Access for All, a regional project for Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia
Delegates meet with representatives Deb Walker and Emily Rome at the Independence Center to learn about accessibility in the election process.
Visitors participate in activities that simulate various disabilities to gain insight into another's experience!
Not Too Young To Run: Engaging Youth in the Political Process a multi-regional project for Colombia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sri Lanka
Visitors pick out souvenirs at the Colorado Springs Democratic Party office!
Delegates meet with Mike Williams Executive Director of Citizen's Project to learn about the organization's role in educating the local community on the political process and ballot issues.
Delegates posing at City Hall!
Disability Rights: Equal Access for All, a project for Kyrgyzstan
Visitors engage in a workshop at UCCS exploring assistive technology, accessibility, and universal design.
Science Technology & Entrepreneurship a multi-regional project for Angola, Croatia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, and United Arab Emirates
Visitors pose in aerospace technician uniforms after completing a simulation at the Challenger Learning Center of Colorado.
Founder and CEO of Blue Star Recyclers, Bill Morris shares his story and organizational mission of creating job opportunities for adults with disabilities through recycling.
Delegates pose with the UCCS Mountain Lion and Exponential Impact staff Executive Director Vance Brown and Program Manager Aaron Bellot.
Social Media Influencers and Civic Engagement, a project for Tajikistan
Delegates and thier host families savoring one last evening together at the Manitou Arts Center for the Closing Reception.
A delegate's first time carving a pumpkin to celebrate the fall season in Colorado Springs, USA!
Delegates and thier home hosts enjoying a walk through Garden of the Gods park!
Local Government Management, a project for Hungary
After observing the November city council meeting and meeting with Mayor John Suthers, delegates pose outside of City Hall!
Delegates get a tour of Mayor John Suthers' office!
Delegates in a professional meeting with the Independence Center.
Community, Libraries, & Youth Engagement Centers, a regional project for Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Palestinian Territories and Saudi Arabia
Visitors pose outside of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum after a fantastic meeting with the museum's Becoming Your Personal Best Program learning about youth engagement through sports - and a tour guided by 4X Olympian Hunter Kemper!
A delegate analyzes art work from students with developmental disabilities at Skills Academy!
The Pikes Peak Library District representatives give the visitors a tour of the library!
Promoting Social Change through the Arts, a multi-regional project for Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, Liberia, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Uganda
Artists at the Manitou Arts Center and international delegates exchange their artwork with each other.
David Seigel, Executive Director of the UCCS Ent Center for Performing Arts, Caitlin Lowans, Artistic Director at TheaterWorks, and Kevin Mitchell, local musician and Board Member at the Bee Vradenburg Foundation pose with delegates after a successful meeting learning about the art scene and programming in Colorado Springs.
A visitor hand-stitching during a workshop at the Manitou Arts Center.
Special thanks to the Committee for International Visitors, Home Hospitality Hosts, and Community Resources for helping make this year possible - we truly could not do this without you!