Open Society Foundations Announce Puerto Rico Youth Fellowships Program
Hurricane Maria, which first made landfall about a year ago, took a devastating toll on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc from which the island is still recovering. But the storm had a silver lining, too: stirring in Puerto Ricans an outpouring of community activism aimed at repairing the damage and building the island back stronger than before.
To support that activism, and help build a pipeline to develop the leaders of Puerto Rico’s future, the Open Society Foundations are pleased to announce the Puerto Rico Youth Fellowships program, open to Puerto Rican youths age 18–27 with proposed projects focusing on human rights and anchored in underserved communities on the island.
“After the hurricane hit, we saw a surge of civic participation and engagement, particularly among young people eager to step up and help rebuild their homes, their neighborhoods and their communities,” said Karina Claudio Betancourt, program officer for the Puerto Rico Project at the Open Society Foundations. “Be it through comedores sociales, sustainable agriculture projects, or arts and photography projects, youth have been at the forefront of the community-led rebuilding and reimagining process. With this program, we hope to help encourage activists to reimagine the future of the island through economic, social, and cultural change projects that can help create more resilient and self-sustaining communities all across the island.”
The program, which will accept applications through September 30, 2018, will award successful candidates with support of up to $35,000 for full-time projects of 12 months’ duration (applicants may also be awarded prorated financial support for part-time projects). Projects addressing a wide range of human rights challenges—such as those regarding health, housing, education, immigration, workers’ rights, LGBTQI rights, criminal justice, food justice, and environmental justice, among other subject areas—are welcome.