Facebook has unveiled the 12 African community leaders who have been selected to join its Community Accelerator. Among them two Kenyans that is Bright Shitemi from Mental 360 and Esther Mwikali from Mettā.
The Community Accelerator is a programme which is meant to train leaders of communities on the platform grow their groups. It is a six-month program that will provide training, funding and mentorship to selected community leaders. Participants will spend three months learning from experts and coaches under a customized curriculum to learn how to create goals and expand their communities. They will then spend another three months executing their plan with funding and continued support from their network. Facebook will award up to $3 million with selected community leaders receiving up to $30,000 in funding..
After a call for entries, 77 community leaders from around the world were chosen, with 12 selected from sub-Saharan Africa. In our region, the programme is available in 3 countries that is Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.
Here are the 12 participants;
- Esther Mwikalii, Metta NBO (Kenya) – founded in 2015 as an entrepreneurs’ network with the goal of bringing together founders, policy makers and investors to collaborate
- Bright Shiitemii, Mental360 (Kenya) – Mental 360 was started in 2016 to give youth a safe platform to learn about mental health and illness and to access affordable holistic solutions. It is a non-partisan non-discriminatory space where youth can grow their emotional wellness, grow their network and get peer support.
- Hauwa Ojeifo, She Writes Woman (Nigeria) – In 2016, Hauwa created “Safe Place Nigeria” to provide a stigma and judgment-free space for young people to talk about mental health related issues. It has become a community for young people to learn, feel connected, get support and feel a sense of belonging
- Lauren Dallas, Future Females (South Africa) – founded in 2017 with a mission to increase the number of female entrepreneurs and support their success. They have become the go-to destination for aspiring and early stage female entrepreneurs to receive the inspiration, education and support needed to build profitable businesses online
- Tony Onuk, The Root Hub (Nigeria) – Roothub was started in 2014 to provide a safe space for youths to build their ideas, grow their businesses, and access support
- Refilwe Nkomo, Visual Arts Network (South Africa) – established in 2007 as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in South Africa. It aspires to be a dynamic and resilient network-based organisation contributing to growth, innovation and opportunities in the arts
- Eyitayo Ogunmola, Utiva (Nigeria) – Utiva is a decentralized ecosystem that helps Nigerians access technology skills and trainings regardless of their location and internet barrier
- Naadiya Moosajee, WomEng (South Africa) – a social enterprise aimed at attracting, developing and nurturing the next generation of women engineering leaders
- Abiodun Adereni, Helpmum (Nigeria) – started in 2017, HelpMum tackles maternal and infant mortality in remote rural areas in Nigeria, and provides Clean Birth Kits for hygienic delivery to pregnant women, immunization reminders and health information to nursing mothers
- Dillion Phiri, Creative Nestlings (South Africa)- Launched in February 2011, Dillion Phiri founded Creative Nestlings to connect young African creatives to each other, to opportunities and to resources, democratizing how young African creatives connect, get paid, learn and grow
- Rufaro Mudimu, Enke (South Africa) – “enke”, meaning ‘ink’ in SeTswana, was started in 2009 to bridge socioeconomic inequality by bringing young people together and equipping them with the skills and experiences to improve their lives. “enke” connects, equips and inspires young people to make their mark, authoring a positive future for themselves and their communities
- Tariro Bure, MINDS (South Africa) – MINDS was founded in 2010 as a platform rooted in cultural heritage and knowledge systems for youth to reclaim their African identities and transform the continent. It has become a movement of youth and crucial stakeholders which aspires to shape policy, foster economic development, and enhance evolution of African institutions
Kezia Anim-Addo, Head of Communications for sub-Saharan Africa said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming 12 African community leaders to Facebook’s first Community Accelerator. We’ve seen time and again the power of communities in bringing people closer together and feeling more connected. We know community leaders can do amazing things when they have adequate support from others, tools to get the job done, funding to grow and belief in themselves. The Facebook Community Accelerator will enable these great communities to make an even greater positive impact in the world, and we hope that through the support of the programme these communities will have extraordinary impact, even in extraordinary times.”