International Fellowship Program (IFP)

Program Summary


Bishoy Mikhail from Egypt earned his Masters in Participation, Power and Social Change from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He traveled to Waw in Southern Sudan for a field visit to elementary schools. "Through my MA, I linked the theories of development studies and social change to the field starting by Sudan … [A]fter finishing my MA [I] will start feeding my organization in Egypt with what I have learned."

The International Fellowships Program (IFP), an initiative of the Ford Foundation, invested in the education of a generation of new leaders committed to achieving social justice in their societies. Between 2011 and 2013, the IFP was active in 22 countries worldwide. In Egypt and Palestine, it partnered with AMIDEAST to make it possible for over 300 outstanding men and women from socioeconomic groups and communities lacking systematic access to higher education to pursue graduate study at any college or university in the world. Today, these men and women represent a cadre of leaders equipped with the skills and knowledge to improve social and economic conditions within their communities

Main Goals

  • Promote social justice, community development, and access to higher education

  • Support talented individuals from marginalized social groups

  • Encourage these individuals to use their leadership skills and knowledge to work toward positive social change in their home communities and countries

Palestinian Mohammed Abuhashem earned a master's in International Human Rights Law and Practice from the University of York in the United Kingdom through the IFP. Afterwards, he became a researcher and trainer at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza and a lecturer at the University of Palestine. "For me, 'human rights' is not just an academic major or a career. My people dream of a future with good governance, justice and equality. I am now intensely involved in the change I always wanted to be part of."

Program Results

  • A total of 321 men and women — 172 in Egypt and 149 in Palestine — were selected as IFP Fellows, including women activists, village council members, and representatives of charitable organizations, Palestinian refugee camp committees, and grassroot NGOs.

  • Four out of five IFP fellows received funding for master's degree programs, the remainder for PhD programs at universities around the world.

  • Following the completion of their studies, nearly all IFP fellows have returned home, where many are helping to continue the IFP legacy through alumni activities.