Ambassador Mosbacher Recognizes Two Winners of 2019 AEIF Competition

Ambassador Mosbacher receives AEIF Alumnae Winners at her residence in Warsaw

On February 20 at her residence in Warsaw, Ambassador Mosbacher hosted the two Polish winners of the U.S. Department of State’s highly contested Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) competition.   This fund holds an annual competition for active U.S. Government exchange program alumni from around the world who propose innovative projects that address important U.S. foreign policy themes.  The Polish winners of the 2019 competition are Joanna Garnier from LaStrada Foundation and Natalia Kertyczak from the Education for Democracy Foundation.  Both are alumnae of the Department of State’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program.  Ms. Garnier won the award for her proposal of a nationwide project to educate and protect socially excluded girls from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.  Called Learn, Think and Be Safe! the project will use an innovative board game and app devised by La Strada to increase girls’ awareness of methods and tactics used by human traffickers both in person and online.  Ms. Kertyczak won for her equally engaging project – a board game called Democracy Cake builds youth’s understanding of democracy and citizens’ role in protecting it.   Ms. Kertyczak and her team will translate the game into Polish and Ukrainian, and distribute 1,000 copies among 250 active institutions and organizations in each country, reaching a total of 50,000 beneficiaries in both countries.  During their meeting, Ambassador Mosbacher praised both alumnae on their innovative and engaging ideas, and congratulated them with their victory in such a competitive global competition.  She expressed gratitude for their initiatives that “get people involved in thinking about very difficult issues” and told them their achievements and work were “incredibly inspiring.”