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Mandela Fellows: six weeks at UGA

Katie Cowart

The University of Georgia recently hosted 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging civic engagement leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement.

YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa. The cohort of Fellows hosted by the University of Georgia is part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.

At UGA, the program’s focus was civic engagement. The Fellows are all active in civil society organizations in their communities and countries, and during their time at UGA, they were exposed to key American civic engagement and leadership concepts to adapt for potential application in their home countries. During their six weeks in Georgia, they participated in meetings and events that followed weekly themes such as food security, social justice, advocacy and public health. They also traveled to Atlanta to visit the Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Human Trafficking Task Force and visited Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the American civil rights movement.

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Image: Mandela Washington Fellows Arlindo Caiombe, Yohane Banda and Kimmerling Razafindrina pose for a photo while volunteering at UGArden. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)


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