Bridges was honored to host its fourth Open World delegation from Tajikistan October 1-8, 2016.  These amazing young professionals were here to learn more about “Engaging Youth in Civil Society” and enjoy cultural activities and home stays. 
During their visit they enjoyed lunch with Chris Schueler, award winning documentary filmmaker, who visited Tajikistan in 2014 and 2015.  See an article about Chris’ next Tajik project on page ____.   They enjoyed a visit to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the sights and sounds in Santa Fe.  While in Santa Fe, they had a personal visit with State Auditor Tim Keller in the Capitol Rotunda.  Auditor Keller arranged a special visit to the Senate floor where many photos were taken.  Long time Bridges supporter, Nadine Scala, hosted them to a French dinner at Chez Axel complete with a jazz combo.
Professional visits included time with Working Classroom, Girls, Inc., the New Mexico Human Rights Project, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Global One to One, and Southwest Organizing Project, among others.  A special workshop on Service Learning was created for the delegates by Anna Rutins, award-winning teacher at Bosque School in Albuquerque.  Bill Woldman, Field Representative for U.S. Senator Tom Udall, gave the group an overview of the role of a local Senate office.
Our amazing home hosts provided many meals, transportation, cultural visits and lodging.  Special thanks to Ruth O’Keefe and Ed Studer, Cristyn Elder and Tyler Johnson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Ken Carpenter, Sharon Littrell and George Marsh, and Pat and John Stover.

Photos of the visit may be seen in our December 2016 Newsletter.  

The Open World Program enables Russian and Eurasian elected officials and emerging civic leaders to observe the American democratic system firsthand. The Open World Leadership Center believes that principles of accountability, governance, and the role of citizenry in government are most effectively illustrated through direct interaction between participants and their U.S. professional counterparts and through hosted community and cultural activities.

The program brings groups of five to six participants, accompanied by a facilitator, for theme- based visits to the United States. The visits usually begin with an orientation in Washington, D.C., followed by a program in a local community. Participants are placed in homestays and attend professional appointments during the day. Programs address the theme of federalism and representative government, as well as other topics such as rule of law, health, environment, economic development, education reform, and social services.  Home stays and professional programming is arranged by Bridges to Tajikistan.

In 2013, Bridges co-founders, Karen Schafer and Rikki Quintana, provided programming for a Tajikistan delegation studying “Youth Development and Civic Engagement.”  Bridges hosted a group focused on “NGO Development in 2014" and welcomed their third group in early March 2015 with a theme of “Youth Empowerment.” As noted above we hosted our fourth delegation in October 2016 with a theme on "Accountable Governance-Engaging Youth in Civil Society."

Additional information on the Open World program may be found at .




connection, education, opportunity

Open World Leadership Program

Bridges to Tajikistan has been selected by the Open World Leadership Center in Washington, D.C., to host Open World delegates from Tajikistan in Albuquerque, New Mexico on a variety of programs.