Barbadian Kemar Saffrey praises U.S. Government’s International Visitor Leadership Program

I benefited a lot and I definitely learned a lot.”

Chairman of the Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society Kemar Saffrey was full of praise for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program after returning recently from a three week tour of the United States as a Fellow of the program.

Kemar Saffrey helping out at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust

Saffrey, along with 14 other social activists from the Caribbean and Latin America went for a Multi-Regional Project entitled ‘Civil Society 2.0‘ which focused on new media, campaigning and social networking skills for NGOs.

The level of support which the NGO’s received from government and the level of respect which they had were intriguing for us to see. We also did a lot of networking with other agencies that have more experience than we do,” Saffrey related.

Over the three weeks, he travelled to five cities across the United States: Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Reno, Little Rock and Miami.

The group of activists explored the growing variety of new media and social networking outreach tools available to promote their causes and how new media is being used to promote transparency and accountability in government and the private sector.

They also looked at civic engagement and volunteerism efforts in the United States, and discussed how students and citizens can be educated to become discerning consumers of on-line content.

The International Visitor Leadership Program is the Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The program brings together emerging leaders in their respective professions to learn from how U.S. experts in this profession operate, and to share best practices with the other program fellows who hail from the same region and across the globe.

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