Applications for the CSC’s Alumni Community Engagement Fund (ACEF) are now open!

ACEF is an annual fund which seeks to support Commonwealth Alumni in raising awareness of key development issues at the community level through the organisation of an engagement activity.

Small Changes for Big Impact

Small changes implemented at the community level can lead to big impact over time. ACEF supports Commonwealth Alumni in delivering engaging activities designed to raise awareness and support individuals in implementing small changes at the community level with the aim of achieving long-term positive impact.

Each year the CSC selects for ACEF activities to address. This year, four themes are available:

  • Building resilient societies through Talanoa
  • Youth for sustainable development
  • Save our oceans
  • Disability inclusion in institutions

To find out more about this year’s theme and how to apply, keep reading. The deadline for applications is 23:59 (BST) on Tuesday 4 June 2024.

Themes for 2024-25

Building resilient societies through Talanoa

Open to: engaged alumni resident in Commonwealth Large Ocean States (previously referred to as Small Island Developing States)

The 27th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be held in Samoa in October 2024. This will be the first time a Large Ocean State (LOS) will host CHOGM, uniting Commonwealth nations in their pursuit of resilience, sustainability, and a shared future. The theme for CHOGM is, One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Common Wealth.

The landmark Pacific CHOGM aims to deliver concrete solutions to global challenges through the principle of Talanoa. Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. Talanoa is a concept deeply rooted in Pacific culture and regarded as key to resolving conflicts, building relationships, and promoting a sense of community.

Activities developed and delivered under this theme will seek to support the aims of Samoa CHOGM in building resilient societies using the principles of Talanoa.

Activity proposals can address a wide range of challenges faced by LOS, such as protecting the rights of indigenous communities, economic stability and sustainability, climate change, and gender justice.

Proposed activities may include: collaborative discussions with local community members; developing local capacity and skills to adapt and/or mitigate the impact of challenges; engagements with local leaders and stakeholders on key issues; use of creative mediums such as storytelling, radio talk shows, and panel discussions to raise awareness and promote discussion and knowledge sharing.

Youth for sustainable development

Open to: all engaged Commonwealth Alumni

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022, leaders declared 2023-2024 as the Year of the Youth, dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development.

Across the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries, 60% of the total population are under 30 years of age. Youth have shown their potential to address global challenges such as quality education, climate change, gender equality, and unemployment, when provided with necessary skills and opportunities.

Activities developed and delivered under this theme will seek to recognise youth as rights-holders, future leaders, change agents, critical thinkers, and innovators to drive sustainable and inclusive development across the Commonwealth.

Proposed activities may include: promoting youth participation in health, social care, and governance; discussion on policies required to protect an ageing youth population; youth leadership in tackling key challenges, such as climate change; and skills development and training workshops.

Save our oceans

Open to: all engaged Commonwealth Alumni

In April 2024, the first ever Commonwealth Ocean Ministries Meeting (COMM) was held in Cyprus. Of the 56 Commonwealth members, 49 are coastal states and yet all countries depend on the ocean for trade, transportation, security, and access to resources. The inaugural COMM established a voice for Commonwealth countries to take forward discussions on ocean protection and management through the Commonwealth Blue Charter and propose the Commonwealth Ocean Declaration ahead of the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa.

Activities developed and delivered under this theme will seek to support and highlight the aims of the Commonwealth Blue Charter and its commitment towards collective action to tackle shared ocean issues and safeguard the oceans for future generations.

Activity proposals may address a wide range of ocean related challenges such as, marine pollution and plastic waste, degradation of coral reefs, threats to marine biodiversity, and effects of overtourism.

Proposed activities may include: awareness campaigns to avoid ocean-harming products; community led initiatives to restore mangroves; and engaging with educational institutes and ocean related governing bodies.

Disability inclusion in institutions

Open to: all engaged Commonwealth Alumni

3 December marks the annual UN International Day for persons with disabilities (PWDs), observed to promote equality for PWDs in all spheres of society. Due to stigma and discrimination, PWDs face severe human rights violation preventing them from fulfilling their potential and participating in society as an individual. Barriers to seeking equal opportunities to access education and employment include lack of accessible services and facilities such as transport, infrastructure, lack of alternative accessible materials and resources, and lack of policies specific to PWDs.  

Activities developed and delivered under this theme will seek to promote the rights of PWDs, meaningful participation and leadership of PWDs, and greater visibility at institutions such as schools, higher education, workplace and beyond.  

Activities proposals may address this theme through a wide range of topics such as disability inclusion; meaningful participation, representation and leadership of PWDs in institutions; awareness on policies for PWDs; and rights and protection for PWDs.  

Proposed activities may include: workshops on inclusive practices, such as using braille, assistive technology, and sign language; training session at the workplace to promote awareness of inclusive HR policies or national policies on disability inclusion; bridging the gap between PWDs and relevant service providers; training on disability and neurodivergence equity.

Why take part?

This is an exciting opportunity for Commonwealth Alumni to develop and deliver a community-focused activity designed to raise awareness on a range of challenges related to one of the above themes. Activities may include skills-based training, lectures, seminars, workshops, public service projects, and events which invite discussion and problem-solving.

Successful applicants will be awarded a grant of £1,200 to support their activity delivery.

How to apply

Alumni may apply as individuals, as a CSC Alumni Association, or as a group of Commonwealth Alumni (not part of an existing association).

You should only submit one application.

To apply, you must read the 2024-25 CSC Alumni Community Engagement Fund- Terms and conditions and complete the online application form. To view application questions before completing the online form, you can read a PDF copy first via this link.

The deadline for applications is 23:59 (BST) on Tuesday 4 June 2024. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Please note that the CSC is not able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

Looking for inspiration?

Get inspired by previous ACEF activities organised by Commonwealth Alumni by visiting the ACEF webpage to read articles and stories on the impact they have achieved (and continue to grow) through ACEF.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email the CSC Alumni Team at