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  • Writer's pictureGrayson Kilburn

Nuravni Sallons and Life After IVLP Exchange

Nuravni Sallons is an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alum from Suriname who traveled to eastern Iowa for her program entitled “Climate and Energy Innovation in the Caribbean” in August 2022. Social Media and Storytelling intern Grayson Kilburn met with Nuravni to learn more about her experience and the impact it had on her after the completion of the program.

Nuravni’s educational background is in environmental science and environmental management. She is currently working on a master’s in science degree in business administration to further her knowledge and skills. Nuravni has taken her specialized background and applied it to her career as a scientific staff member at Suriname’s Parliament where she advises and assists parliamentarians on different climate and environmental issues. Along with her role in Parliament, she started her own non-governmental organization, Aurae Opus Foundation. This organization is focusing on raising environmental awareness and executing projects in the communities in Suriname.

Nuravni at a farm during her visit to eastern Iowa.

Nuravni’s IVLP program was focused on climate and energy innovation and ways to help the climate crisis that is currently happening all over the world. This program taught Nuravni about the different aspects that play into this crisis and how they can be applied to Suriname specifically. Learning about how different cities in the United States are dealing with these issues was especially beneficial because she was able to adapt and change those solutions and technology and bring it back to Suriname.

Nuravni saw a lot of similarities between eastern Iowa and Suriname with both being relatively quiet and serene, which made her feel more at home in Iowa. She also loved the cultural activities that Global Ties Iowa arranged, especially her visit to the Kalona Historical Village because it not only taught her about their culture, but she was able to experience it for herself, too.

She enjoyed her professional meetings, highlighting the visit to the Iowa Flood Center and learning about the flooding walls and the protection they give to our community, and the meeting with the Tippie College of Business to learn about social entrepreneurship and its impact. Nuravni especially liked these meetings because they met her learning objectives and she was able to translate them into her current and future endeavors.

Her IVLP program has inspired her to become more outspoken and bold so that she can make change happen in Suriname. By learning these skills, she can sharpen her work on her projects on climate change, environmental problems, and sustainable development so that she can have a bigger influence on these issues. Nuravni also learned a lot from her fellow participants in the program and was able to grow her skills of networking and adaptability, which she applies to her professional roles in Suriname.

Nuravni at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington D.C.

As a result of this program, Nuravni plans to take action on her ongoing interest in climate change and sustainable development, as well as on solar and renewable energy, which was rekindled by her involvement in this program. She is currently studying and planning programs regarding these topics for Suriname based on what she has learned through the IVLP program. Overall, the program helped her tremendously with her motivation to continue her work into the future.

Nuravni is actively looking for ways to increase and evolve her skills so that she can do more for the environment, and she is already making a great impact on Suriname and the solution to the climate crisis. We at Global Ties Iowa are so thankful that Nuravni was able to participate in the IVLP program and loved hosting this delegation.


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