Applying to the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program (WPLP)

Please read the guidelines below before applying to WPLP online. The application deadline is 15 November 2015.

Who should apply to WPLP?

USAID Kenya and East Africa is offering eight scholarships to qualified Kenyan women from conflict-affected communities to attend the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in the USA. Those chosen for this program will study for a graduate certificate in peacebuilding leadership from EMU.

Courses in this program will teach peacebuilding and leadership theory alongside practical skills. Strong emphasis will be placed on content related to peacebuilding approaches to violent extremism. The program includes a strong mentoring component to assist students in enhancing their peacebuilding efforts within Kenya. The program is targeting women peacebuilding practitioners who are recognized in their community as possessing leadership potential and whose work is related to addressing root causes of violent extremism.

What are the requirements for admission?

Interested candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Must be a Kenyan citizen from a conflict-affected community.
  • A 4-year undergraduate degree, preferably in the social sciences. Candidates who do not meet these criteria but have undergraduate work of at least two years and have extensive peacebuilding experience may be considered.
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 (based on a four-point scale).
  • Proficient written and spoken English language skills.
  • At least two years of experience in peacebuilding or related work: conciliation, mediation, trauma healing, advocacy, restorative justice, community development, or relief work.
  • Demonstrated leadership or leadership potential.
  • Recommendations and support from a local organization and other peacebuilding actors.

What documents do I need in order to apply?

  • Three letters of recommendation:
    1. a professional recommendation attesting to your peacebuilding or related work;
    2. an academic recommendation attesting to your academic qualifications and writing skills;
    3. a recommendation from your employing organization, stating their support for you to participate fully in WPLP
  • Official university transcripts. Please note that you must submit transcripts for each year of secondary study (not just your final transcripts) and from all advanced degrees received
  • A current resume or CV
  • A copy of your passport, valid until December 2017
  • A four-page double-spaced essay responding to the following questions:
    1. What are the current conflicts in your country? How do these affect people’s everyday lives?
    2. What have been your life experiences related to the conflicts in your country?
    3. What are you doing now, and how do you see that connecting to these conflicts?
    4. What kind of peacebuilding leadership do you think is needed to address these conflicts? Who inspires you to develop as a peacebuilding leader?
    5. In some cases, participants from different sides of a conflict will be included in this program at the same time. How will you work and study with people from the “other side”?

What are the time commitments necessary to participate?

The program will include three courses in the US in May and June 2016, one course in Kenya in January 2017, and two courses in Kenya in June 2017. Both academic and practical peacebuilding work are required in the time between the courses. An online course will occur from February – November 2017, during which time participants will also implement an intervention plan. The coursework will be completed by December 2017, at which time the graduate certificates will be awarded.

Students accepted into this program must be available for five weeks during May and June 2016, for one week in January 2017, for two weeks in June 2017, and for three days in December 2017. Participants must also be able to commit time to intensive coursework from July – December 2016 and intensive intervention implementation from February – November 2017.

Why participate in WPLP?

The Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program (WPLP) is a program of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). CJP equips and sustains individuals, groups and communities to work for justice and peace through education, training, practice, and research in order to creatively work for long-term sustained, structural change, whether in an organization, community, or on a large-scale level. Through WPLP, participants will become more effective peacebuilding leaders and carry out positive change processes in their organizations, communities, and/or countries.

Ready to apply?

Apply to WPLP online today! The application deadline is 15 November 2015. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.