My Top Proudest Moments with Global Ties ABQ

Hi! My name is Lye and I was a citizen diplomat in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program focused on Refugee and Migration Issues, which came to Albuquerque in May 2018. I currently work as Portfolio Manager for the One Foundation in Dublin of which I oversee the strategic responses to the refugee crisis in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Colombia and at home in Ireland. The focus is youth, education and economic independence. An example of such are the links below of our ONExUNICEF Program in Jordan, which will restore a lot to a forgotten generation in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan. The reason that I have been interested in refugee and migration issues is that as a migrant, and now an EU citizen, I always felt it a duty to apply all I have had the opportunity to learn as a professional and as a student to contribute to solving the world’s biggest problems; one step at a time, once city at a time, one town at a time, one camp at a time.
Over the past years, I have begun tackling these global problems by starting up Ireland’s first social enterprise lifestyle brand, whose focus was to support migrant women caught up in the migration crisis as well as to educate students and the general public on what they can do to make a difference and effect change. A small step that has continued to support and highlight the important debate of practical economic independence of resettled migrants and refugees. My belief in such practical solutions is the reason why I have continued to work within the sector.
The opportunities to learn new perspectives to solve issues with refugee and migration and share experiences with other diplomats gave me motivation to participate in the IVLP program. While participating in the program, I had a goal to establish relationships with diverse cities’ program partners. Surprisingly, every part of this program was relevant to me and I could capitalize on all the possibilities the meetings presented.
The experiences in New Mexico gave me inspiration about diverse ways to solve refugee and migration issues. Through all the meetings, I could get the key insights in the overview of the American federal system of government, the US State department process of resettling refugees in the United States and most importantly, the effective methods applied to successfully carrying out refugee employment and civic participation programs. Especially, Cooking with the migrants was a memorable activity, reminded me of home! The Afghan cooking class gave me a good overview of what is necessary to execute a successful refugee food experience and now I’m working to support them in scaling their initiative in New Mexico as well as replicate the model.
Being selected to participate in the IVLP Refugee and Migration program is one of my top “proudest moments” and the program will hopefully help me to achieve many professional goals in solving the refugee crisis.

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