Welcome to the 2021-22 AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship!
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP
We believe that cross-cultural partnerships give rise to innovation. The American India Foundation’s (AIF’s) Banyan Impact Fellowship is an interdisciplinary experiential learning program that places young professionals from India and the U.S. in service with development organizations in India. Through collaboration and capacity-building, Fellows and local communities exchange knowledge and skills to steer projects that advance social and economic development. Fellows learn about grassroots development and inclusive leadership. Since 2001, AIF has selected, trained, and supported 490 Fellows and 214 partner organizations to scale impact, catalyze change, and build the next generation of socially-minded change makers. AIF provides Fellows with a living stipend, health insurance, professional development, mentorship, and programmatic benefits to enable their service. Selection of Fellows includes a written application and an interview, followed by matching with potential partner organizations for projects.
November 1, 2021 – July 2, 2022.*
*AIF is planning for the program to be hosted in a hybrid model (i.e., a mix of in-person and virtual), however reserves the right to change it to an all-virtual model if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires it.
WHO ARE THE FELLOWS?
The Fellowship recruits consist of young professionals from India and the U.S., between 21 and 35 years of age, with remarkably diverse professional and personal backgrounds, who bring a passion for community based development. AIF selects, trains, and places these individuals directly with partnering implementation organizations across India. Fellows serve through contributing their efforts and skills to developing ongoing initiatives, as well as strategizing new projects for the host organizations. To review previous Fellow bios and placements, please check www.aif.org/fellowship/fellows.
AIF’s Selection Criteria for Fellows Include:
- Applicants must be either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, or Indian Citizens.
- Applicants must be young professionals between the age of 21-35 by the program start of November 1, 2021.
- Applicants must have completed at least a Bachelor's or other undergraduate degree before the program starts on November 1, 2021.
- Applicants must be willing and able to serve on the ground in India for the full duration of the program. As of April 6th, 2021, AIF is planning for the program to be hosted fully in person on the ground in India. Should the situation around COVID-19 drastically change by then, AIF may shift to a hybrid model.
- Applicants must be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the program.
- Applicants must bring both skills and experience, as well as an eagerness to learn with host communities on the ground.
- Applicants must be willing to learn a local language if required for the project.
- Applicants must be committed to enriching learning opportunities for the fellowship community and positively contribute to building U.S.-India bridges of understanding and partnership during their time of service and after.
WHO ARE THE HOST ORGANIZATIONS?
AIF has a network of existing partners who have hosted AIF Fellows in the past, and welcomes new partners to apply each cycle. Potential partner organizations must have a registered office in India in order to host an AIF Fellow, and may not have religious or political affiliation. All Host Organizations - existing and new - go through a rigorous selection process that includes a written application, an interview, and an evaluation visit (for new partners). Only strong applications that demonstrate a robust fellowship project with clear deliverables and goals, a solid local support structure, as well as a sound sustainability plan post-fellowship, will be given the opportunity to interview prospective AIF Fellows in the Summer of 2021.
AIF’s Selection Criteria for Host Organizations Include:*
- Organizations must have a registered office in India, maintain an active FCRA certification, and follow a non-political, non-religious mandate.
- Organizations must be implementation organizations working directly with communities and beneficiaries.
- Organizations must have non-discrimination, equal employment, anti-sexual harassment, and child safeguarding policies in place.
- Organizations must demonstrate that they are at a crucial moment of scalability, and are currently looking to either expand or deepen their impact and reach in the intended community.
- The proposed project must align with the mission and values of the organization, as well as the mission and values of the American India Foundation and the AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship.
- Since 2018, half of the fellowship placements are in rural areas. We are looking to expand our rural outreach in the coming year, and welcome applications from all regions of the country.
- Organizations must identify a member of the leadership of the organization who is willing and able to supervise the Fellow for the fellowship project. This individual must have demonstrated experience in the development field.
- The organization should demonstrate that there are the required resources necessary to sustain and replicate the project post the completion of the Fellowship.
*Organizations should consider proposing projects that can be completed in a virtual capacity if the ongoing situation in light of COVID-19 requires it.
The American India Foundation (AIF) is dedicated to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. AIF is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth. AIF does this through high impact interventions in education, health, and livelihoods, because poverty is multidimensional. AIF’s unique value proposition is its broad engagement between communities, civil society, and expertise thereby building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with non-government organizations (NGOs) to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 in the aftermath of the devastating Gujarat earthquake by the Indian diaspora in the U.S., AIF has impacted the lives of 6.7 million of India’s poor. With offices in New York and California, twelve chapters across the U.S., and India operations headquartered in Delhi NCR, AIF is transforming lives across 26 states of India while addressing these issues on a regional, country, and international scale. Learn more at www.AIF.org
Once you have completed the application, an AIF representative will be in touch for further evaluation and information after the deadline. If you require any support with the application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org directly. Given the volume of emails we receive, please be mindful that replies may take longer than usual.