Category Archives: International Development

In Memoriam: Three Outstanding Former Staff

By Alvino Fantini During the past few weeks, we have learned of the passing of three outstanding former staff, who were well known and held in high regard by many at World Learning: Georg Steinmeyer, Alice Atwood, and Don Batchelder. All three of these colleagues played important roles at various points during our organization’s history. Georg came originally to World Learning to teach German in our intensive pre-departure language courses for Outbound Experimenters, and later joined the staff as assistant director of the Foreign Language Office. He supervised the construction of the Undergraduate Building, SIT’s first classroom building, now the Sandanona Graduate Center. Alice was an indefatigable woman who worked for many years in the institution’s Accounting Department, at the time located on the third floor of the Boyce Building. Alice worked in Accounts Payable until she was well into … Continue reading

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Seeing People As People: Supporting Marginalized Communities in Jamaica

Each day, Ruth Jankee goes to work on behalf of some of Jamaica’s most marginalized and hidden communities, among them men who have sex with men (MSM) and HIV-positive young women. In this State of Play podcast, Vice President of Communications Kimberly Abbott speaks to Ruth about the unique challenges these communities face and how World Learning is serving them. Ruth Jankee is World Learning’s project director for Jamaica and the Bahamas. With a professional career that started in the private sector with experience and expertise in administration, marketing, and management, and an MA from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, Ruth has been involved in development work for the past fifteen years. Development of individuals and organizations has been a common thread throughout Ruth’s professional career with a number of her positions being based on establishing or … Continue reading

Posted in HIV/AIDS, International Development, Jamaica, NGOs, Podcast | Leave a comment

English Language for Economic Opportunities in El Salvador

In El Salvador, higher education and English language competency can be the key to economic opportunity. Vice President of Communications Kimberly Abbott speaks to Paola Gonzalez Angulo about World Learning’s work in El Salvador, training teachers to improve university instruction [full transcript below]. Paola Gonzalez Angulo, World Learning’s language coordinator in El Salvador, is a national educationist with 19 years’ experience working on English language programs and a teacher training specialist in El Salvador and Central America. Gonzalez was awarded her bachelor’s degree in education from the Francisco Gavidia University in El Salvador. She started working with World Learning for the USAID Project of Productivity through Higher Education last year. ​​ Read more about World Learning’s higher education work in El Salvador: Transcript Kimberly Abbott: Today I’m speaking with Paola Gonzales director of World Learning Education program in El … Continue reading

Posted in Central America, El Salvador, English language education, International Development, Podcast, Youth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Sustainable Global Impact

What does it take to have a sustainable global impact? World Learning President and CEO Donald Steinberg posed that question to nearly 100 people at the organization’s Global Advisory Council dinner held at the S&R Foundation’s Halcyon House in Washington, DC. The event brought together members of the council, World Learning trustees and staff, social entrepreneurs from S&R’s Halcyon Incubator program, and other organizational partners. The evening featured lively table conversations on issues of sustainability and a panel discussion with Sanam Anderlini, co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network; Betty Bigombe, senior Director for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence the World Bank; Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service;  and Ken Wollack, president of the National Democratic Institute. In his welcome speech Steinberg said that while many people are pessimistic about the state of the world given the … Continue reading

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Teaching for the Future: STEM Education in Egypt

In Egypt, World Learning is working to harness the potential of the country’s youth through innovative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Vice President of Communications Kimberly Abbott speaks to Donald Steinberg, World Learning president & CEO, and Rebecca Spotts, senior education specialist, about the experiential and problem-oriented curriculum World Learning is developing for Egypt’s pilot STEM schools. Donald Steinberg is president and CEO of World Learning. Prior to World Learning, Steinberg served as deputy administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In his previous work with the United States government, Steinberg served as director of the U.S. Department of State’s Joint Policy Council, White House deputy press secretary, National Security Council senior director for African Affairs, special Haiti coordinator, U.S. Ambassador to Angola, and the president’s special representative for Humanitarian Demining. He was also deputy … Continue reading

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Propelling Pakistani Women Forward in Modern Agriculture

When you think of a farmer in Pakistan, you don’t immediately think of a woman. Rabia Sultan is rapidly changing that perception. As an educated Pakistani entrepreneur who has been working in agriculture for the last twenty years, she is doing more than just breaking stereotypes – she is farming better than her peers. She credits this to training funded by the U.S. government which has added to her skill set and knowledge. At the ten-day “On-Farm Water Management Training” arranged by the USAID Training for Pakistan Project, she learned about an essential part of farming – how to use water economically and effectively. Training on this topic imparted modern irrigation techniques to a group of 32 progressive farmers and public sector representatives “The training challenged traditional ways of thinking about water management and helped to determine solutions that work in our … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Development, Pakistan, USAID | Leave a comment

Sharing development stories with the Pakistani people

World Learning’s Training for Pakistan Program helps fill gaps in training for Pakistani partners of USAID development projects. Aisha Sarwari, the program’s communications officer, speaks to Kimberly Abbott, Vice President of Communications, about spreading the message of USAID’s work in the context of Pakistan’s active and growing media environment. Aisha Sarwari, communications officer for World Learning’s Training for Pakistan Program, has 12 years of experience working in the private to government sectors in the US and Pakistan. She was recognized as a development innovator by the Pakistan Innovation Foundation in 2014 for spearheading an organization for development sector professionals and has worked on project focused on issues including business, agriculture, and women’s empowerment. Sarwari has written on women’s issues for the past 10 years in her columns in Daily Times and Express Tribune (affiliated with International Herald Tribune). Her opinions … Continue reading

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Building a Culture of Literacy in Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. In this interview with Vice President of Communications Kimberly Abbott, Dr. Meredith McCormac explains how World Learning is working on the ground to help build a culture of literacy in Pakistan. Dr. Meredith McCormac, World Learning’s country representative in Pakistan, is an international educationist with 10 years’ experience working globally on programs to improve educational access and quality. Meredith was awarded her Ph.D. in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012, after completing her dissertation work in Ethiopia on a U.S. Department of State Fulbright research grant. Meredith has worked with World Learning since 2010 in various capacities and countries including Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Liberia, Burma, Algeria, Peru, and the U.S.

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Pakistani Grower Follows Training in Holland, Builds His Own Greenhouse

Naeem Qazi participated in this course as part of World Learning’s Training for Pakistan Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. This post was originally published on It was republished here with permission. Read the original post. Controlled environment agriculture might not be the first thing that you will associate with Pakistani farmers, but nothing less is true. Grower Naeem Qazi was one of the first to build a greenhouse with a steerable climate. In order to learn the ins and outs of greenhouse cultivation he went all the way to Holland to follow a training course at GreenQ in The Hague.  “Greenhouse growing is not something completely new to Pakistan”, Naeem told us. “But greenhouse growing with the help of heating systems is something that has not had much practise yet. I was interested … Continue reading

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New Technologies: Cisco and World Learning

Cisco Systems plays a vital role in helping World Learning empower the next generation of global citizens. In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Cisco, and World Learning have established technology training programs to improve economic opportunities for young people in Mexico and Burma. This year Cisco also donated equipment with a market value of more than $92,000 to help World Learning upgrade its infrastructure. “World Learning is proud to partner with Cisco on programs that improve youth employment opportunities and strengthen communities,” said President and CEO Donald Steinberg. “We’re also grateful for Cisco’s generous donation of equipment. Having high-quality technology enables us to continue our work implementing education, exchange, and development programs around the globe.” In Northern Mexico, Cisco, World Learning, and USAID are collaborating to create Cisco Networking Academies that provide Information Communications Technology and … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Burma, International Development, Mexico, Myanmar | Leave a comment