This is the Belgium of today – and tomorrow – told through individual stories of people who inspire us. Their vision for their country embraces diverse ideas, opinions, cultures, races, genders, languages, and religions. They also share a common experience: participating in a U.S. Embassy-sponsored exchange or grant program.
As an entrepreneur, Mehdi Benallal dedicates himself to teaching audiences about cultural diversity through promoting live music performances. He has collaborated with the U.S. Embassy in Belgium on cultural outreach programs.
Alexandra Smarandescu’s passion for politics and leadership is based in her belief that communities benefit from dialogue and a diversity of ideas. She met like-minded young leaders as a participant of the Women to Women Leadership Program (W2W) through the U.S. Embassy in Belgium.
Fatena Al Ghorra is a poet who believes in building networks that provide support and inspiration to a global community of writers. In 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Belgium nominated her to participate in the “International Writing Residency Program” at the University of Iowa.
In a March 2019 interview, Sihame El Kaouakibi discussed social entrepreneurship and education as tools for social change. She participated in the 2014 “International Visitors Leadership Program ” (IVLP) sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Belgium.
Coralie Bonnet is an activist and government leader who has collaborated with the U.S. Embassy in Belgium on promoting remembrance of WWII history. She participated in the 2017 International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
Hannah Leyns believes dedicated teaching and mentoring prepares young people for fulfilling professional lives. Through a partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Belgium, her students learned valuable skills that empowered them to serve as inspiring role models in their communities.
Melat Niguisse believes that the arts can empower activists to bring about broad social changes. She participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program through the US Embassy in Belgium.
Hans Maes is a young politician who believes that inspired leadership can help build communities where all members are valued. He participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) through the U.S. Embassy in Belgium.
The Global Sports Mentoring Program provides one-month mentorship experiences. The experiences focus on empowering emerging leaders to serve their local communities by increasing access to sports and opportunities for sports participation.
KARAMAH’s Law and Leadership Summer Program (taking place in Washington DC) brings together a select group of Muslim women from around the world to learn from each other and from distinguished professors.
The Fulbright Program is the leading international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to better mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. In addition to exchange programs, competitive, merit-based grants are also awarded annually in most fields of study.
Make it your own story!
Are you someone making a difference in Belgium, just like these people? Then we would love to hear from you! Take a look at our U.S. Embassy programs and see which ones will help you do extraordinary things.