The IVLP Community and Volunteerism

September 14, 2021

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and Meridian International Center, a national program agency, hosted an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) virtual salon series titled, “Effective Volunteer Engagement during Uncertain Times.” 

This four-week digital salon series brought together a select group of IVLP alumni to explore how the IVLP community fosters volunteerism around the world. During the program, IVLP alumni networked with one another and discussed best practices in effective volunteer engagement and innovations in the field amid recent challenging circumstances around the world.

Alongside the salon series, ECA introduced the social media campaign, #IVLPVolunteers, which encouraged the IVLP network to share photos and videos of their volunteer experiences. This campaign also called for members of the IVLP network to complete a volunteer pledge, committing to volunteer a number of hours in their communities. By the end of the campaign, 181 people in 61 countries pledged to volunteer 30,000+ hours in their communities in 2021.

ECA recently published a video clip about this virtual salon series, featuring a special message from ECA’s Office of International Visitors Director Anne Grimes, in which she recognized the global efforts of the IVLP alumni, applauded the group's passion for volunteering, and highlighted recent examples of IVLP alumni making a difference in their communities. The video  also includes the reflections from IVLP alumni around the world on the impact of community service. The video is available below.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term exchanges, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts and develop greater familiarity and understanding of American values and communities.