America's Unofficial Ambassadors is a citizen diplomacy initiative, which builds mutual understanding and enhances people-to-people partnerships between America and the Muslim World. Through our Summer Service Internships, young people have the opportunity to serve as unofficial ambassadors and to teach in schools or volunteer in NGOs in Morocco, Indonesia, Tajikistan, and Tanzania. When they return home, they give presentations in their communities about their service.
Young people in the US and throughout the Muslim World grow up believing harmful stereotypes about "the other." Their stereotypes are born of ignorance and a lack of exposure, not maliciousness. We need more opportunities to build people-to-people partnerships that dispel stereotypes around the process of creating substantive accomplishments in areas like education, public health, and human rights.
Unofficial Ambassadors will form the type of people-to-people partnerships that are the future of international relations, and specifically America's relationship with the Muslim World. Through volunteer service, young Americans will support locally led initiatives in education, youth leadership, human rights, and protecting the environment. Upon returning home, they will give presentations in their respective communities that represent their experience and build mutual understanding.
Summer Service Internships develop a new cadre of global citizens and leaders. In 2015, we will send 40-50 unofficial ambassadors to four different countries. They will combine to write more than 150 blog posts and deliver more than 75 community presentations. More than 20 partner organizations and schools in Indonesia, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Tanzania will improve their capacity and make advances in their work through the service of these unofficial ambassadors.