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. We do this by placing Americans in volunteer positions in the Muslim World and helping them share their experiences upon their return.
By volunteering on issues like education, the environment, and human rights, that cut across borders, we choose to create a better future while learning more about each other. Unlike other international volunteer programs, America’s Unofficial Ambassadors is the only initiative that mobilizes volunteers to build better relations between Americans and the people of the Muslim World, specifically. The people-to-people partnerships that we create through volunteer service enable citizens to transcend hurtful stereotypes. And by sharing stories of success, we can increase the number of citizens who will make a difference, both in the United States and in communities throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Our model is based around the concept of short-term service and long-lasting partnerships. AUA programs operate on the premise that each of us can make a difference if placed into an environment where our expertise, goodwill, and resources are maximized by leaders and citizens who are driven to create change within their communities. We count on Americans of all backgrounds volunteering for a week to a year in support of ongoing projects in schools and non-governmental organizations from Amman to Zanzibar. For example, unofficial ambassadors volunteer as English teachers, proposal writers, and website designers or they build homes with families, teach photography to children, or help raise awareness for HIV prevention. Each AUA program is based around people-to-people interaction, giving unofficial ambassadors the opportunity to dispel stereotypes and to gather first-hand experience to share with their home communities upon their return.
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- Increase the number of Americans who volunteer in schools and with NGOs in Muslim World countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and
- Increase the number of Americans who share their volunteer experiences in the Muslim World within their home communities.
- By December 2013, at least 40 Unofficial Ambassadors have volunteered in AUA programs throughout the Muslim World, building mutual understanding through community enhancing work, and then sharing their stories of impactful service within their home communities.
- By December 2014, at least 80 Unofficial Ambassadors will have volunteered in AUA programs throughout the Muslim World and shared their stories of impactful service within their home communities.
- By December 2015, at least 130 Unofficial Ambassadors will have volunteered in AUA programs throughout the Muslim World and shared their stories of impactful service within their home communities.
Our programs include Summer Service Internships, School-2-School, the AUA Network, the Mosaic Grant Program, and the AUA Directory of Recommended Organizations. Through these programs we have supported volunteers in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Senegal and Tanzania. To learn more, visit www.unofficialambassadors.org.