CDAF 2024 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF) competition. The 2024 competition featured hundreds of applications and 43 winners reflecting a diverse range of exchange programs.

CDAF was launched in 2019 to address key foreign policy goals by empowering U.S. alumni of U.S. government sponsored exchange programs (ExchangeAlumni) to support their communities through policy-inspired projects. To date, 277 teams of U.S. ExchangeAlumni have been granted over $2.5 million to build on skills gained during their exchange programs, advance U.S. foreign policy priorities, and address the needs of their communities. CDAF showcases the unique skills and abilities of ExchangeAlumni by providing them the tools and resources needed to tackle challenges around the world. 

Interactive map of 2024 CDAF project teams.

Meet the 2024 CDAF Teams

BarrioBloom empowers young people ages 18-30 in Bogota, Colombia, to challenge stigma and raise awareness about addiction. Through a co-designed workshop, 15 participants with firsthand experience of illicit substance issues will share their personal stories, producing images and testimonials that will be memorialized in a street mural painted in collaboration with members of the public. A culminating event celebrating the mural will bring together decision-makers to discuss drug use treatment and prevention.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 
Location: Bogota, Colombia 

Bees, Trees, and Climate-Smart Communities will support a small community in Nepal through butter tree conservation, planting, and expert trainings. Butter trees provide benefits and livelihoods for local beekeepers who can make a special type of honey; for families who can use the wood for cooking, tree fruits for making butter, and leaves for ceremonies; and for the environment by providing habitats for animals, reducing soil erosion, and sequestering carbon. 
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar and Hubert Humphrey Fellowship programs 
Location: Nepal

Bengo will empower Mozambican youth to explore local and global climate change impacts and environmental sustainability. The week-long project will connect local youth, many for the first time, to the local ecotourism industry and marine biology station on the small biodiverse island of Inhaca, and equip them with the skills needed to improve local conservation and explore related career paths.
Alumni from the Peace Corps and Fulbright Student Program 
Location: Mozambique

Book Free Friday will inspire a new generation of eco-conscious leaders who are committed to preserving and protecting our planet for future generations. The project is modeled after the Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s initiative ‘textbook-free Friday,’ which addresses a lack of non-formal and extracurricular opportunities for students in Kathmandu, and it will equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become environmental stewards. 
Alumni from the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) and Climate Action Champions Network Programs
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Bridging the Communication Gap will equip youth leaders disproportionally affected by the legacy of Colombia’s armed conflict with transformative tools crucial for peacebuilding efforts. Effective communication is not merely a means of expression, but an imperative for empowerment, community building, and social change. Through intensive training and mentorship in social innovation methodologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital language resources, this project will democratize access to resources that enable effective communication across diverse contexts. 
Alumni from the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program and MLK (Martin Luther King) Fellows Program
Location: Colombia

Building Institutional Resiliency in Ethiopia’s Newly Formed National Emergency Medical Services System will provide training for local healthcare educators using advanced educational technologies. The project builds from the team’s 2023 initiative, “Healthcare Simulation Educational Exchange—Training Ethiopian Nurses to be Emergency First Responders Utilizing Scenario-based Learning,” and will train the trainers of Ethiopia’s first designated Emergency Medical Services educators.
Alumni from the Mandela Washington Reciprocal Exchange and Mandela Washington Fellowship
Location: Ethiopia 

Các Em Cố Lên: Promoting Positive Futures for At-Risk Vietnamese Youth is a summer enrichment program that will build upon the support network of the SOS Children’s Village and provide an immersive curriculum for 60+ participants aged 12-17. The SOS Children’s Village is home to Vietnamese children who are at risk of losing, or have already lost, stable parental care. While these youth have access to basic needs, including housing and adult supervision, they lack access to educational enrichment or mentorship. To address this gap, bilingual university-student volunteers will teach English, life skills, and cultural exchange activities and help these youth to thrive.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program 
Location: Vietnam 

Central Asia Media Literacy Project will engage 50 young people from Central Asia in a three-month journalism and media literacy program, providing them with the tools to conduct research, identify credible sources, and produce their own media content. Participants will spend a month attending weekly workshops on topics ranging from fact-checking and identifying bias to concise writing. They will then put this learning into action, producing an original piece of media content and giving presentations in their communities during the second and third months of the program.
Alumni from the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Program 
Location: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan

Climate Conversations for English Language Learners will bring together approximately 100 students from Guillabert Middle School and Charles de Gaulle High School, the two largest public schools in Saint-Louis, Senegal, in an immersive summer language camp aimed at addressing the climate crisis. Campers will leave with an increased knowledge of English vocabulary related to the environment, and local language teachers will leave with a deeper understanding of student-centered teaching approaches. 
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Saint-Louis, Senegal  

Construyendo Vidas Saludables: Transforming Communities Through Health Education will aim to improve health literacy by delivering ten weeks of educational and community-building workshops to underserved families in Barrio El Futuro Bajo in Pereira, Colombia. The project will culminate in the creation of a digital community health handbook and a curriculum that can be repeated in the future, either with the same community or with others.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Pereira, Colombia

Cosmos Photo Story Camp will engage educationally underserved semi-nomadic youth in the remote mountain pastures of Kyrgyzstan. The summer camp will use astronomy to spark youth interest in science and photography to build confidence and resilience, and culminate in a community exhibition. By merging storytelling activities related to cosmos science and photography, participants can become advocates for the environment and their own futures. 
Alumni from the Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship and National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Program
Location: Kyrgyzstan 

Dancing to Connect Pakistan is a collaboration with Battery Dance in New York and Pakistani leaders, teachers, and students from the arts and education sectors of Islamabad and Lahore. The project will share techniques, styles of movement, and pedagogical philosophy and methodologies to bridge the cultural gap and establishing trust and solidarity between participants. Programming will include film screenings of the American Film Showcase-selected documentary Moving Stories, practical training workshops, and a combination of round-table and one-on-one discussions to connect the arts and education communities in both cities.
Alumni from the Arts Envoy and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) 
Location: Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan 

Digital Storytelling and UN Advocacy will bring together Nepali citizens to create a documentary that can be used for local and international advocacy against gender-based violence. The project is a collaboration with Voices for Women Media (VOW) and the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), and also builds upon connections to the United Nations and International Planned Parenthood Federation. The finished documentary will be used by VOW and FPAN, and showcased at a UN side event to provide international legislators information to help make human rights resolutions part of long-lasting policy reforms.
Alumni from the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program
Location: Nepal

Disaster Risk Reduction Through Education & Capacity Building in Kazakhstan will implement earthquake safety measures in southern Kazakhstan. This project will implement free-of-charge and accessible practical earthquake drills and prevention curricula in local schools, focusing on elementary and high school educational institutions, which can be incorporated into the courses already required by the Kazakh Educational System, to help create a sense of agency in the face of earthquake risk.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program and Fulbright Student Program
Location: Kazakhstan

Dream()ing for a Brighter Future will give STEM-related career readiness and exploration for elementary and middle school girls aged 8-14 living at Samsungwon Children’s Home in Gumi, South Korea. This summer camp will consist of visits to South Korea’s top STEM facilities, engaging experiments, and advice from role-model women in the industry, all of which will provide the girls at Samsungwon Children’s Home the opportunity to explore new career options, foster a community of support, and empower them to dream bigger.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: South Korea 

EcoEnglish: Training Generation Plastic Warriors and English Language Teachers is a project in climate sustainability and English education for youth and educators at the Centro Colombo Americano in Manizales, Colombia. The project will train 20 English educators and 30 students (aka Generation Plastic Warriors) to address the environmental damage from plastic production and consumption, and help them to devise and implement projects for climate change sustainability in their communities.
Alumni from the English Language Specialist Program
Location: Manizales, Colombia

Empowering Nigerian Street Girls Through Mental Health Support & Food Business is a comprehensive program that will provide training and support systems for a vulnerable group of girls in Kano, Nigeria—those engaged in hawking activities on the streets. The project will provide 40 participants aged 15-20 with training in food and pastry classes, digital marketing, and mental health support facilitated by a local therapist to help break the cycle of vulnerability and create opportunities for economic independence.
Alumni from the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad Program and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program 
Location: Kano, Nigeria

Entre río y bosque: Science Education Outreach in Madre de Dios, Peru, will improve science education in the southeastern Peruvian rainforests and connect a region where student-centered educational outreach is limited. By collaborating with schools to develop a methodological handbook and by training local educators to engage primary to secondary students in immersive learning experiences, this project will develop a sustainable curriculum for educational outreach in the Amazon. 
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program 
Location: Madre de Dios, Peru  

Equipping and Educating: Building Fire Safety and First Aid Resilience in Slums of Kathmandu, Nepal, will educate 125+ slum community members in fire safety, burn prevention, and first aid treatment through comprehensive training sessions and practical demonstrations. Led by burn injury experts from Kirtipur Hospital in Nepal and the University of Washington in Seattle, this collaborative training program will empower slum communities to respond effectively to burn injuries and mitigate risks associated with fire hazards.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Global Language Cafes: Creating Inclusive Communities is a place where people of many different nationalities come together, get to know each other, and learn various languages in a fun way. Programming will take place in various immigrant coffee shops to create a welcoming, inclusive environment where participants can learn more about the immigrant community and their language, and have a safe space to gather as they learn to speak it in person.
Alumni from the Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Kentucky 

Growing Global Citizenship Education in the Garden will address critical issues such as poverty, food insecurity, and health that disproportionally affect Black and Brown residents of the San Fernando Valley, California. This project will implement an educational curriculum in one East San Fernando Valley high school, and include a community garden program. Students will learn about the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the concept of global citizenship to help create a healthy and safe place for San Fernando families.
Alumni from the EXPO Youth Ambassadors
Location: San Fernando Valley, California

Harmundi International Music Summit will virtually connect 85+ diverse young people, ages 13-18, representing six continents, for immersive musical training, collaboration, and cultural exchange. Concerts will be open for free public streaming, so thousands more students, families, and audiences around the world can tune in. This experience will be facilitated by 15 professional artists, producers, and songwriters who will serve as mentors for the students.
Alumni from the Peace Corps and American Music Abroad
Location: Virtual

Kel Chai Ich will help young women in Kyrgyzstan pursue their academic and personal goals. Through comprehensive workshops designed by local youth leaders and experts, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue their dreams. The project provides academic programming that supports students with the technical aspects of applications and funding while also addressing personal and cultural challenges that go along with the process.
Alumni from the Peace Corps
Location: Kyrgyzstan 

Learning English Application Program (LEAP) Innovation Labs will narrow the educational gap among K-12 and university students in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, by providing equitable access to high-quality English education and fostering cultural exchange opportunities for all students. The initiative will comprise weekend “Content and Language-integrated Learning (CLIL)” Workshops, which will leverage augmented reality and virtual reality software applications to create immersive English-learning environments; 1:1 Tutoring; field excursions; and a tandem English-Chinese language partnership for weekly virtual English conversation practice and cultural exchange.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

MakeHERSpace Philippines will empower girls in the province of Batangas to shape the future STEM landscape by providing hands-on learning activities that fuse arts and design with STEM. Participants will learn and experience coding, 3D printing prototypes, building and manipulating robots, and more. The program will provide a safe place to embrace design thinking strategies, ask questions, honor differences, challenge the status quo, and innovate.
Alumni from the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange and YSEALI Professional Fellows
Location: Philippines 

Mama4Planet will empower mothers to influence their children in adopting zero-waste habits in Sleman Regency in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where a state of waste emergency has been declared following the closure of the only landfill in the province. The project will be integrated into local schools and include a training of trainers (ToT) program to promote zero food waste habits, digitizing ToT modules for hybrid and remote learning, and raising awareness through gamification activities integrated with local elementary schools. 
Alumni from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and YSEALI Regional Workshop
Location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia 

Pathways to Global Leadership Youth Summit builds on the success of the 2023 Denver Youth Summit and seeks to inspire and prepare underrepresented high school students from Washington, DC, including Black, Hispanic/Latinx and other people of color and students from low-income communities, to participate in international exchange opportunities and consider careers in international affairs. Programming will equip attendees to network, discover international exchange opportunities available to them, and discuss how young people can tackle the major international challenges facing the United States.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Washington, D.C.

Phool Nagar & Kahror Pakka: Voices of the Land strives to bolster community resilience and advocacy by amplifying rural voices in Pakistan. Rural communities in Pakistan grapple with isolation and limited representation, often fostering low self-confidence among students and residents.  Our initiative, conducted at the Free Village School in Kahror Pakka and a school in Phool Nagar, Punjab, Pakistan, empowers 50 student participants to showcase their narratives through storytelling in its broadest forms to illuminate the vibrancy of rural life in Pakistan. Stories and artifacts produced from the workshops will be exhibited at the schools and in an exhibition at Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore, Pakistan. 
Alumni from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program and Study of the U.S. Institutes 
Location: Pakistan

Qusar Youth Leadership Camp is an eight-day summer English immersion day camp for 10 to 14-year-olds in the town of Qusar in the Caucasus mountains of northern Azerbaijan. The region is home to the Lezgin people, an ethnic and linguistic minority. The project will build community through creative activities, sports, games, nature activities, and workshops focused on leadership and environmental education, and provide participants with new skills, experiences, and conceptual tools. 
Alumni from the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 
Location: Qusar, Azerbaijan 

River Resilience: Youth at the Heart of Dominican Sustainability will cultivate stewards of the environment, enhance community resilience against climate challenges, and foster sustainability through bilingual English and Spanish workshops, river cleanups, and native tree planting. By collaborating with local teachers, community groups, agricultural ecology experts, and the mayor’s office, the project plans to educate over 200+ student volunteers, aged 14-18, on river conservation and emergency preparedness for natural disasters in the Dominican Republic, focusing on the Joba River and its rural communities.
Alumni from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Dominican Republic 

Scientific English Immersion with Hands-on Experimentation on Microbial Plastic Degradation in Vietnam is an opportunity for participants to learn science in a research-oriented workshop and learn how to write manuscripts in English. This project will serve as a template to merge science and English, and to raise awareness among participants and the community about the environmental impact of plastic pollution. 
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and Fulbright Study of the U.S.
Location: Vietnam 

Self Portraits: Strengthening Community Ties and Elevating Refugee and Migrant Voices in New Jersey is a collaborative documentary photo project that seeks to strengthen community bonds among refugees, migrants, and native-born U.S. citizens in northern New Jersey. Participants will first attend a photography workshop and then spend the next two weeks photographing aspects of their lives and/or communities. The project will conclude with a curated presentation of photos and stories at a community center that will be open to the public.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: New Jersey, U.S. 

Soccer Girls will build capacity for gender equality through sports. Working in seven middle schools with multicultural girls aged 11-14, the project will provide training for participants and local coaches, to develop team spirit, healthy lifestyle, and conclude with an 8v8 soccer tournament among schools at the end of the program. The goal is to create opportunities for girls to play soccer in a male-dominated sport in Marseille, France, and to bring lessons of leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork to the participants.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and Peace Corps 
Location: Marseille, France 

Supporting Long-Term Stream Biomonitoring in Costa Rica will provide students and educators with the tools and information necessary to protect their local rivers and streams. Stream-health monitoring is crucial for supporting human well-being and environmental sustainability. This project will equip participants with training to implement long-term monitoring of macroinvertebrate communities, which are an inexpensive, yet crucial method for assessing aquatic ecosystem quality.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Student and Fulbright Student programs 
Location: Costa Rica 

Taiwan SDG Youth Action Project will empower young individuals to become proactive advocates for environmental sustainability, cultural preservation, and community resilience, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This project will combine teach-in workshops led by experts in the field, community engagement events, and youth leadership projects, to harness the passion and creativity of youth to address social and environmental challenges, build cross-cultural collaborations, and promote change in their communities.
Alumni from the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Location: Taiwan 

TEAMBeats Colombia will instruct local beat makers, youth leaders, and community organizers in the Therapeutic Beat Making (TBM) model to support the economic development and diversification of career pathways for participants of all ages in music, education, and digital media. Programming builds on the international network that has expanded since launching in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, and will focus on deepening relationships and developing the partnerships that support the sustainability of the project.
Alumni from the Next Level Program 
Location: Colombia 

Towards a Different Earth will co-produce an accessible theatre series about mountains and climate change for new audiences, with a specific focus on blind and visually impaired and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Programming includes a webinar series and in-person mixed ability workshops on best practices for accessible theatres, and the co-creation of an intercultural mini-theatre series on mountains and climate change. The project will conclude with a public showing (with live-streaming) of the mini-theatre series and a webinar that showcases the “how-to” documentary short of the series to inspire more accessible eco-theatres projects.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar and Fulbright Student programs 
Location: India 

Uniendo Jóvenes con la Música is an after-school music program to help youth affected by violence develop positive coping strategies to protect them against negative mental health outcomes later in life. Music-based programming offers an opportunity for youth to engage with complex social and emotional issues in ways that are culturally relevant, engaging, and non-stigmatizing. The project will connect local Salvadoran youth with U.S. and Salvadoran musicians, producers, and psychologists to teach them songwriting and music production skills, while also fostering youth resilience by building self-esteem, confidence, and community.
Alumni from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 
Location: El Salvador  

United By Our Stories will unite two vibrant groups – local female university students and women in Mauritius’s Trou D’Eau Douce community – through an innovative series of storytelling and literacy workshops. Programming will include dynamic weekly sessions to introduce participants to various creative techniques through community building activities and formal lessons. By creating an inclusive environment where women are given the tools to write personal narratives about their experiences, this project seeks to reduce educational disparities and foster intergenerational collaboration for all involved.
Alumni from the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program
Location: Mauritius 

United States & Uruguay STEAM Team will bring together six elementary schools in the United States and Uruguay with high populations of students from a low socioeconomic status to provide equitable opportunities for students to engage with technology. Through virtual exchanges, students will tackle STEAM challenges and share stories from their school and communities; developing computer science and engineering design skills along with cultural competencies, global citizenship, and a cross-cultural learning community of STEAM innovators.
Alumni from the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms and Fulbright Student Program 
Location: Uruguay and West Virginia, U.S. 

Women Fisherfolk Leadership Corps is a holistic social-ecological initiative that aims to empower 50 women in the Barangay Decabobo Marine Protected Area in Palawan, Philippines, and address the urgent need for sustainable practices at the intersection of coastal habitat exploitation and community livelihoods. Participants will enhance their knowledge and skills through 45 hours of workshops and trainings, and learn how to actively shape and support conservation efforts.
Alumni from the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program and YSEALI Academic Fellows 
Location: Palawan, Philippines 

Young Eco-Stars Programme is an eight-week hybrid initiative that aims to bridge the knowledge gap on climate change among youth, cultivate environmental stewardship, and enable them to take meaningful action in their communities. The project will engage 60 high school and university students from Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United States in five weeks of virtual trainings on climate advocacy and leadership, a 30-day advocacy campaign, and a two-week capstone project. Participants will not only gain knowledge and skills about climate advocacy and leadership, but will also serve as catalysts for change in their communities.
Alumni from the Stevens Initiative and Study of the U.S. Institutes 
Location: Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United States 

Young Voices of Mongolia will empower marginalized and economically-disadvantaged girls aged 14-18 from rural areas in a western province of Mongolia through digital storytelling. Participants will author and affirm their identity by writing, editing, and recording narratives; develop technology skills by uploading images and videos; and gain self confidence and English language skills in the process. 
Alumni from the English Language Specialist Program and Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program 
Location: Mongolia