Ginny Barahona (left) and Sarah Schores (right), both from Georgetown University, volunteered with the Afghan Women’s Network in 2004.

Each year, The Advocacy Project sends graduate students to volunteer with partner organizations. This is the only fellowship program that matches the passion and skills of graduates with the needs of community-based advocates. 264 Fellows from 61 university programs served between 2003 and 2014. All brought credit to themselves, their universities and AP. These pages tell their story.

The program began in 2003, when eight graduates signed up as Interns for Peace, as the program was called in the early years (photo below). Numbers grew quickly and by 2009 we were recruiting over 40 students. That was hard to manage, and we have since reduced numbers drastically.

From the start, we asked Fellows to profile the work of their hosts through blogs. In those days, blogging was young and innovative – so much so that our Fellows attracted a profile in Wired.com. In the years since, most of our field programs have begun as blogs. Our work on uterine prolapse was inspired by Nicole Farkouh’s powerful blogs from Nepal in 2007. Our campaign with GDPU to bring accessible toilets to northern Uganda began as a blog by Rebecca Scherpelz in 2011. We rely on our Fellows in many other ways. All of the advocacy quilts profiled in this site were launched by Peace Fellows.

Benedicta Nanyongo, from KIWOI in Kampala (right) with Scarlett Chidgey (center), the first Fellow to serve at KIWOI.

Our fellowship program has two intended beneficiaries. First, partner organizations. Fellows provide our community-based partners with resources that they will not get elsewhere – friendship; IT skills; international connections; English; and fundraising proposals. All of this comes free of charge to the partner.

In the second category of beneficiary are the Fellows themselves. They gain valuable field experience, learn human rights from experts, acquire new skills, understand new cultures and grow in confidence. Being a Peace Fellow is sure to build character. Some have have faced real adversity, like Matt Becker who suffered a ruptured appendix in Bangladesh and went straight back to work after leaving hospital. Others arrived with visions of glamorous field travel only to find themselves marooned in a capital, amidst heat and traffic. Somehow they smile through it all and emerge empowered.

Day in the Life of a Fellow: 2010 Fellow Josanna Lewin is one of many Fellows who have described their experience in video.

It is empowering and educational to complete an AP fellowship, and this is born out by our alumni. Former Peace Fellows are high achievers. They have earned PHDs and worked in agencies, development banks and even the White House.

Our fellowship program has produced dazzling intercultural connections. In 2011 Chantal Uwizera, a former refugee from the Rwandan genocide who was studying in Washington, teamed up with Maelanny Purwaningrum, an Indonesian student at Oslo University, to work on child labor in Nepal. In 2013, our first-ever fellows from Saudi Arabia and Syria worked with weavers at the Ain Leuh Weavers Cooperative in Morocco. The world looks less divisive when seen through the eyes of these remarkable young professionals.

Trail-blazers: The first cohort of summer interns in 2003, with Maria Carland from Georgetown University (far left) and Jeff Bernstein from the One Small Step Foundation. Jeff generously funded two of the internships.

It is never easy to find funding for short-term fellowships, and among those who have given generously to AP or Fellows we would single out NGO partners like Vital Voices, Survivor Corps, and IANSA;  benefactors like Cristy West, Herb Parsons, Pamela Omidyar and the Bliss family; AP Board members; university programs like Tufts, SIPA and Georgetown’s MSFS; and foundations like the Jessica Jennifer Cohen Foundation (JJCF). All have believed in our brand and helped to make it a success.

Our thanks to AP staff members who have managed the program since 2003 – Richard Blane; Adriana Boscov; Evelina Hodgson; Stacy Kosko; Amy Burrows; Tassos Coulaloglou; Erin Lapham; and Karin Orr. We also thank the interns who have worked at AP and provided support to Fellows in the field from Washington. This has been a collaborative program from the start. Long may it last!

This information will be updated in late January, 2015.

In 2014, AP asked Peace Fellows to perform three tasks. First, help their host to identify the goals of a long-term program that will produce change. Second, offer their hosts one or more of the services listed below. Third,  produce a number of deliverables: weekly blogs; material for AP  bulletins; and material for a partner page. Long-term Fellows who stayed for longer than 10 weeks were assigned additional duties.

Fellows were also asked to complete a final evaluation on the fellowship. This has been a feature of the program since 2003. It allows Fellows to list the deliverables they have produced and assess their success in meeting goals.

Past Fellows have been remarkably effective at meeting AP’s requirements. Of the 253 Fellows deployed between 2003 and 2014 we consider less than 5 to have been outright failures. AP also asks the host organizations to evaluate the work of their fellows.

Five by Ten Services – Strengthening the Advocacy of AP Partners

AP offers partners five services to help partners tell their story and take action for human rights and social change. These services have been designed by AP on the basis of our experience through the years, feedback from partners, and clear evidence that the skills acquired will strengthen community-based advocacy.

These services are provided by Peace fellows during their 10-week deployment – hence the name of Five by Ten. AP provides training in Washington to all Fellows before they leave the US. The Fellows then explain the benefits to their hosts and ask them to select the two services that are most relevant to their needs. Long-term Fellows, who are deployed for longer than ten weeks, may offer more services.

#1. Creative use of IT

Fellows will develop or upgrade websites, and train staff from their host organizations to: a) use a basic Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal; b) Attract web visitors and measure visits, using Analytics; c) Design and produce website content and promotional materials such as banners, event flyers, brochures.

a) A functioning website; b) Staff trained in IT; c) An increase in web traffic by end-2014; d) Uses-of-IT manual; and e) password manual.

#2. Development & Fundraising:

Fellows will help hosts to: a) Build relationships with institutional funders; b) Research new and online funding opportunities; c) Write applications; d) Comply with grant requirements and reporting; and e) Report to donors.

Outputs/outcomes: a) One or more staff members will have a proposal-writing capacity, to include M and E and grant reporting b) At least one proposal is drafted by the Fellow and organization and submitted to donors; c) A database of donor contacts.

#3. Media & Communications:

Fellows will help hosts to: a) Expand the partner’s visibility through the media; b) Develop and update social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Skype, mobile phone Apps, and blogs); c) Organize press events; d) draft press releases; write op-eds and letters to editors, etc.

Outputs/outcomes: a) A media plan; b) Interactive Facebook and/or other social media page, with increased Likes by end summer; c) Staff are trained in social media; d) Staff are using Skype by end summer.

#4. Videography & Photography:

Fellows will help hosts to produce promotional videos and photographs. They may also want to develop a grant proposal to raise funds for software and media equipment.

Outputs/outcomes: a) A promotional video on the host organization; b) A Flickr page; c) Youtube/Vimeo channel; d) A proposal; e) Staff understand video and video editing (using the organization’s existing resources, including mobile phones).

#5. Non-profit Management:

Fellows will train their hosts in: strategic planning; setting goals; fundraising; report-writing; accounting, book-keeping; working with a Board; ensuring and maintaining a database.

Outputs/outcomes: a) Regular collection and filing of receipts; b) Working knowledge of Excel; c) Bank account, with regular statements; d) Template for annual reports; e) draft annual report; f) NGO status documents; g) personnel files, secured.

2015 fellowships will be advertised in late January. There are no geographic or nationality restrictions to being a Peace Fellow. In order to be considered for a fellowship you must:

  • Be a current or recent graduate student studying for a Masters degree.
  • Possess experience of working abroad; IT skills and interests; a commitment to human rights and advocacy; and an ability to adapt in a challenging environment.
  • Be reasonably proficient in the language of the country, if you deploy to Latin America, the Middle East or west Africa.
  • Attend training in Washington, DC at the end of May.
  • The fellowship timeline is tentatively as follows:

    • January 21: Fellowship job descriptions are posted on AP’s website
    • March 3: Applications close at 11:59pm EST
    • March 5- April 5: Applications are reviewed and applicants are selected for interviews.
    • April 15th: Fellows are selected.
    • April to May: Fellows raise funds for their fellowships
    • May (TBA): Five day fellowship training takes place in Washington, DC
    • June to August: Fellows are deployed to the field
    • End August, early September: Fellows return from their host countries and submit their final evaluations.

    Check out the blogs of former Peace Fellows to learn more.


    How did the Fellowship program begin?

    The program was launched as Interns Without Borders in 2003, when AP recruited eight graduate students to work with AP partners as an experiment. The program grew steadily and was renamed Fellows for Peace in 2006. More than 253 fellows have served since 2003.

    What work will I do?

    AP’s mission is to help community-based advocates to tell their story, take action, and produce social change. Peace Fellows help us jump-start the process. The fellowship begins when someone is accepted into the program, in the spring. The fellow will then contact his or her host organization and discuss the logistics and work plan. Together, they will select at least two of the “Five by Ten” services that AP provides. Fellows will help hosts to produce information, develop IT tools, and build a constituency of supporters – which can all be done within the three month period. All fellows will develop a written work plan within two weeks of arriving.

    Will my work be evaluated?

    Yes. Setting goals and measuring results is an important feature of the fellowship. All fellows will be asked to evaluate the AP training and complete a simple questionnaire within two weeks of their return. These help us to update and improve the program. They also help fellows to meet their own personal goals.


    What type of recruits is AP seeking?

    This program is targeted at graduate students who have professional experience and are mid-way through a Masters program. This allows AP to take advantage of their skills and enthusiasm, while giving fellows the chance to use their summer experience during their second year of study. Most young professionals have a natural flair for IT, which is central to AP’s model and highly valued by community advocates.  Given the challenging nature of the fellowships, we do not generally recruit undergraduates. But rare exceptions may be made, and we encourage undergraduates to apply if they have an appropriate skill or interest.

    What are the key personal qualities in an AP Peace Fellow?

    The key to a successful fellowship is an ability to adapt – because assignments always yield surprises. In addition, fellows should be self-reliant, curious, flexible, and possess sound judgment; be able to improvise; set clear goals and be organized; be excellent team players; and be willing to both learn and teach. You should be confident in your abilities! You will be challenged, but you will also be expected to contribute meaningfully.

    What are the ideal qualifications for a Peace fellowship?

    While specific fellowships have different requirements, fellows are expected to have an understanding of human rights, social justice, conflict, and development; writing, editing, and research skills; and at least one year of graduate-level study in a relevant field.  ICT skills are a plus. Unless indicated otherwise, fellows will only need to know the host language if they are deployed to the 2014 fellowships in Mali, Morocco, Palestine and Peru.

    I want to apply for a fellowship right away but don’t see any openings listed. Can I send you my resume to keep on file?

    No. Because each position has very different qualifications and requirements, we ask that you please not send us your application until the openings are posted. At this time, you will be asked to specify the positions that interest you. Any materials received prior to the open recruitment period will not be reviewed.

    What is the timetable for recruitment?

    Recruitment for the summer of 2015 will begin with the posting of fellowships in mid January. The deadline for applications is 11:59 EST on March 3, 2015. You may read more about the timeline by clicking the How To Apply tab above. 

    What if I am not selected for my first choice? Will I be considered for other placements?

    Yes. If you have more than one choice, please list them in order on your application and explain in your cover letter. You may also be considered for placements that you have not listed if you selected that option in the online application form. 

    Does AP have fellowship opportunities in its Washington, DC, office?

    AP offers a limited number of internships in the DC office. Check our website, call or email your resume and cover letter to dcoffice@advocacynet.org. We accept applications on a rolling basis.

    Why does AP ask for a cover letter? Can I just send you my resume or CV?

    We need a cover letter because competition for fellowships is intense (we’ve received up to 500 applications in past years). Also, we need to understand your preferences and experience. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Some positions may also require a writing sample.

    Do I have to be a US citizen or attend a US university to apply?

    No. We encourage applications from outside the US. But please note that positions carry requirements, including a fluency in English. You will also be asked to attend a week-long training course in Washington DC before deployment. AP does not cover this cost.


    Does AP charge a fee?

    No. AP does not ask partners or fellows for a fee. We do however require all fellows to participate in a group insurance policy. This is mandatory and provides comprehensive insurance during the fellowship. You may select to have the insurance deducted from your stipend. Upon hire, we do request a check of $250 to hold your fellowship once you have accepted. The purpose of this is to avoid last-minute cancellations – something that can be demoralizing for community-based organizations. This will be refunded to you at training, if you opt to have the insurance be deducted from your stipend.

    Will fellows be compensated financially by AP or the host? If not, how do fellows fund their trips?

    Long-term fellows (6 months) will receive a monthly stipend of $1000 to $1200 a month and AP will cover travel costs. As for short-term fellows (3 months), AP will provide a stipend of $1,500, but fellows are expected to cover the remaining costs. The average fellowship costs between $3,000 and $4,500. Fellows are encouraged to approach their university career centers for funds, since many universities offer a grant for fellowships. Other fellows have raised funds by appealing to family, friends, religious groups and community organizations either directly or through email and social media campaigns. AP will also work with each fellow to put up a fundraising page online. In general, fellows are able to raise sufficient funds. On occasions, they raise more than they need- one fellow was able to make a $5,000 donation to her host organization.

    What is the difference between a long-term and a short-term fellowship?

    Long term fellowships are 6 months and begin in June, 2014. Short term fellowships are 10-12 weeks and begin in June, 2014. In addition to the Five by Ten programs, long-term fellows will be working to help their partner implement a long term program.

     What kind of non-financial support can fellows expect from AP during deployment?

    Throughout your deployment, you will be “back-stopped” 24/7 by the Deputy Director, Peace Fellow Assistant and other staff. Someone will also be available to answer tech questions. All fellows are required to be contactable by phone at all times. AP places a high premium on security, which is dealt with at length during training.


    Does AP deploy fellows in the fall, winter, or spring?

    No. We have in the past but not for 2014.

    Will I sign a written agreement?

    Yes. All fellows will receive an offer in writing and sign a written contract. Any Fellow who breaks the agreement during their fellowship will be asked to leave the program immediately, after consultation with the AP Board. Their school will also be notified.

    What kind of organization will I work with?

    Our mission is to support advocates who represent marginalized communities. These advocates usually emerge from the group and share their problems. AP does not initiate partnerships but we receive many inquiries, and try to take on between three and four new partners in any given year. Partnerships are open-ended. For more details, visit the partnership page.

    What is the relationship between AP and the host organizations?

    Close and often based on personal friendship. But communications are often difficult. Fellows play a key role in building and cementing the partnership with AP.

    Is training mandatory?

    Yes. All fellows will be required to attend a week-long training session in late-May in Washington, DC. The purpose of training is to introduce fellows to the work of their hosts, provide relevant skills training, and cover practical issues (eg security). A training manual will be posted online by the end of March. Training builds teamwork, and provides a basic grounding in the skills that will be needed to implement the AP model and work plan.


    What kind of follow-up will be expected of fellows after our return from the field?

    Fellows are encouraged to continue promoting the work of their host on return. Many past fellows have organized outreach events for their hosts at their university, and stay in touch long after their fellowships have ended. While this is not required, it is strongly encouraged and we will do what we can to support such outreach.

    What type of skills does this program develop and how will it benefit my career and me personally?

    An AP fellowship is expected to produce four specific benefits. First, the fellow will learn new skills (photography, video-editing, fundraising etc). Second, the fellowship will build character. Third, it will enhance academic learning and help fellows in their final year of graduate study. Finally, serving as a Peace Fellow can help your future career. This program is one of the few to offer a substantial time abroad, and the only one that gives volunteers direct exposure to grassroots human rights advocacy. This is valuable if you plan to work in a nonprofit, government, or a foundation. Personally, you will also be challenged, stretched, and tested. You will meet extraordinary people and often help them achieve extraordinary things. You will be inspired and you will inspire. In addition, Fellows for Peace fosters responsible global citizenship. You will build cultural bridges, and gain a first-hand understanding of human rights in a cross-cultural context. These important outcomes are all measured in the final evaluation.  Please consult the Peace Fellow Feedback page to see what others had to say. 

    What type of skills does this program develop and how will it benefit my career and me personally?

    You will become part of the AP family! More than 240 remarkable young men and women have served abroad as fellows. You too can tap into the experience and connections of this growing network of young, dedicated professionals working for social justice. AP also offers help with professional contacts, including references.


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