Type of Funding

Partially funded




Youths from least developed and developing countries are invited to apply for The Kectil (Knowles Educational and Charitable Trust for International Leadership) Program for 2020, which is a 1-year Developing Countries Youth Leadership program meant for nurturing and mentoring highly talented youths with the potential to make a positive difference in their communities and countries.

The Kectil Program starts on 15 January 2020 and is composed of 4 parts:

  • A 1-year Web-based Mentoring Program: Monthly Kectil Talks with leaders in science, business, innovation, entrepreneurship, and public service;
  • Assignments & Sharing: Connect with other students on social media (Facebook & Twitter) with facilitated web-based group discussions;
  • The Developing Countries Youth Leadership Conference, which will take place in in Atlanta, Georgia, and which provides intensive leadership training, innovation and entrepreneurship workshops, meetings with successful leaders, and creation of network of youth peers in developing countries; and
  • Alumni Web Portal: which will continue to support Kectil participants after the 1-year web-based curriculum is over. This is a network of youth peers in developing countries, which provides for mentorship and interaction with new youth participants.


The Kectil Web-based One Year Developing Country Leadership Program is run free of charge for selected participants.

Due to logistics and cost, more applicants can be accepted for the Web-based Program than the Developing Youth Leadership Conference in Atlanta. The Conference will be held on the campus of Emory University and participants will be accommodated in University dormitory rooms and will eat in a cafeteria serviced by the University dining program. If an applicant is accepted for the Web-based Program but not the Developing Youth Leadership Conference, the applicant can apply the next year to attend the Conference.

There will also be a special award for 15 of the most active participants in the Web-based Program. These participants will have attended all of the Sessions and completed the online pre- and post assignments. Those selected will be given a personal introduction to a leadership mentor in a developed country in the participant’s general area of interest. The names of all those selected will also be highlighted on the Kectil Website to honor them.

Four kinds of certificates are awarded:  1) Youth Leadership Council Certificate, 2) Certificate of Excellent Performance, 3) Certificate of Superior Performance and 4) Certificate of Participation.


Applicants must be high potential youths aged 17 to 26, from least developed and developing countries, who have demonstrated a talent and passion for leadership, scholarship or innovation. They have to be proficient in English and have access to a computer and the internet.

As the aim is to reach young people at that critical time when they are deciding what to do with their lives and to connect them with global thought leaders and a guided support network of their peers in developing countries, selection of the right participants will be based on academic grades, community service and past leadership roles, written submissions and recommendations. Life factors, such as significant economic, social or family challenges, are also taken into account.


Applications are to be done online by 31 October 2019.

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