Welcome to our 2020 Impact Report. This year did not unfold in a way any of us could have predicted. It has tested us all in unexpected ways, big and small. We have had to overcome daunting challenges and make difficult choices, both as individuals and as an institution. However, these experiences have solidified my belief that this organization is needed now, more than ever, to foster the understanding, engagement, and cooperation that will see us through this crisis.
This spring, faced with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to pivot from our original plans and develop strategies to continue delivering our programs through adaptive new models, including global virtual learning—we had to make the best of difficult circumstances. Amidst these uncertain times, I have been heartened by the incredible dedication, generosity, and collaborative efforts of our network. Our staff, faculty, alumni, program participants, partners, and supporters are stepping up, doing their part to help their communities, their countries, and our world. I am sincerely grateful for all of your invaluable contributions.
Additionally, I am so proud of everything we have accomplished together this year, including safely repatriating 920 School for International Training (SIT) students, connecting over 900 young people through The Experiment Digital virtual exchange, providing more than 150,000 boxes of educational materials and resources to support Lebanese primary school students, and more. We have also partnered with Diversity Abroad to bolster our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensure our programs and internal operations truly uphold our core values, especially social inclusion and justice.
The strength of this organization lies in the diversity of our programs, people, and areas of expertise, which have enabled us to endure the pandemic and continue supporting individuals and communities worldwide. Since 1932, we have been fulfilling our mission to create a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world by training leaders at local, organizational, national, and global levels. Leaders with a sense of responsibility toward others, a commitment to collective action, and the skills to turn aspiration into action. In this report you’ll find stories about the everyday citizens who have become changemakers confronting the most critical global issues of our time, as well as our efforts to support their vital work.
The stories of our participants and alumni inspire me and give me hope for a better future. I sincerely believe that if we work together, we will continue navigating through this difficult time and emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side.
World Learning Inc. President & CEO