Gender and Youth Empowerment

The Mombasa Plastics Prize Competitors Celebrate the Program Launch!

DOI-ITAP believes sustainable natural and cultural resource management begins with the fair and equitable inclusion of diverse stakeholders. Below are some selected examples of our recent work engaging women and youth around the world!


Engaging Youth to Reduce Marine Plastic Pollution (Kenya)

DOI-ITAP is helping to protect Kenya’s delicate, coastal ecosystems through the Mombasa Plastics Prize – a competition inspiring young innovators from Mombasa to take action to reduce and prevent harmful marine plastic pollution.

In collaboration with implementing partner Challenge Works, DOI-ITAP will provide 60 youth participants with professional skills training and organize several in-person events focused on helping them design creative plastic waste solutions. After several months of testing and development, the teams pitched their solutions to the panel of local experts.  

Thanks to support from USAID Kenya and East Africa, the top three teams have received up to $30,000.00 in seed funding to help bring their ideas to life!

For more information, check out the YouTube video produced by Challenge Works ( or the USAID Mombasa Plastics Prize factsheet: Mombasa Plastics Prize Factsheet

Learn more about phase two of the program, the Mombasa Plastics Prize Incubator, here: Mombasa Plastics Prize Incubator Factsheet

Supporting Future Southeast Asian Scientists (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam) 

DOI-ITAP manages the NexGen Young Scientists Program, promoting transboundary cooperation and interdisciplinary approaches to the natural resource management challenges faced by the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB).   

The program targets early-career scientists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and provides three main avenues of support:  

  • Short-term fellowships with U.S.- or Mekong-based research institutions 
  • Funded professional development programming at LMB regional events and trainings 
  • Global networking opportunities at international conferences and meetings 

This project is funded by the Department of State - Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). 


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