In line with its focus on bringing people together and supporting the development of connected communities, Facebook has announced the names of 116 people worldwide who have been selected to join the Facebook Community Leadership Program. Around a dozen African community leaders have been selected to become programme residents and fellows.
“Many community leaders worldwide and in Africa turn to Facebook to create connections through Facebook groups, WhatsApp or Messenger,”says Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director for Facebook Africa. “This programme is all about empowering them with the tools, support and funding they need to advance their causes and build their communities.”
(TOP: The cover photo of Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals, the Facebook group formed by Pamela Oduor and one of the 5 online community groups selected to receive Kshs 5 million from Facebook as part of the firm’s Community Leadership Program).
Since announcing the programme in February, Facebook received more than 6,000 applications from all over the world. A selection committee, which included employees as well as community experts from outside of Facebook, reviewed each application to identify leaders with a strong, clear and committed vision for their community.
Five participants have been selected globally as community Leaders in Residence, each will be awarded up to $1 million to fund their community initiative. The final amount received will be determined based on final budget proposal created and submitted by each resident as part of their program training.
Kenya’s Noah Nasiali, the selected leader in residence for Africa, has brought together more than 100,000 farmers across Africa through a Facebook group in less than a year. Farming is one of Africa’s most important industries, and Noah’s community helps farmers obtain and share critical information.
“Africa Farmers Club was formed to help farmers come together to access credible, reliable and applicable farming information that will help them develop their skills and most importantly help them to get a market for their produce and in the end get returns for their hard work. I invite group members to share their stories both positive and negative through pictures so that we can learn together. Whenever possible I personally visit members face-to-face to see for myself their challenges and we discuss how they can overcome and at the same time and improve. Our community aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal which is to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” said Nasiali
The programme will also host more than 100 fellows and youth participants who will receive up to $50,000 (Kshs 5 million) each to be used for their community initiative. Fellows from Africa include:
- Felista Wangari, 52-Week Savings Challenge (Kenya)
- Pamellah Oduor, Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals (Kenya)
- Asha Mweru, #WomenWorkKE (Kenya)
- Caroline Wanjiru Kihusa, Still A Mum (Kenya)
- Truphosah Monah, Women And Realities of Disability Society (Kenya)
- Anike Lawal, Mamalette (Nigeria)
- Mamadou Sy, Docteur Nakamou (Senegal)
- Gabriel Hoosain Khan, LGBTI community, Human Rights (South Africa)
- Lusanda Magwape, Dream Factory Foundation (South Africa)
- Nadine Maselle, Salt River High Tutoring (South Africa)
- Savio Lule Mark, The Youth Hub Uganda (Uganda)
“Our group of African fellows and our resident represent diverse perspectives from different parts of the continent, but they share a common goal of helping their communities thrive. We know they will do great things over the next year and we’re excited to get them started,” says Ime Archibong, Vice President, Product Partnerships at Facebook.
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