Facebook has announced the winners of the 2021 Facebook Community Accelerator Program, highlighting the 13 Facebook community leaders from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The winners will receive training, mentorship and up to Ksh. 5.5 million ($50,000) in funds to invest in an initiative that extends their community’s positive impact.

The 13 winners were chosen from a pool of over 13,000 applicants who entered the competition, 2 of them from Kenya. These are Mwaniki Sam of the Teachers’ Notice Board Kenya and Wala Amakove of Wanderlust Diaries.

The Community Accelerator is part of Facebook’s Community Leadership Program, a global initiative that invests in people building communities. This year’s cohort features a diverse spectrum of communities engaged in interesting social impact activities ranging from combating child sexual abuse to helping moms and sharing stories of ordinary and extraordinary Nigerians from around the world.

“We are excited to announce the 13 Facebook community leaders in Africa who have been helping to resolve social challenges, empowering their audiences with knowledge while connecting with others that share their interests or passion for a cause. We want these community leaders to use the Facebook platform to drive change and provide support and encouragement for thousands of people,” Kiran Yoliswa, Partner Management Lead, Middle East and Africa Community Partnerships at Facebook said.

Community leaders from across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as part of the Facebook Community Accelerator include the following.

1. Mwaniki Sam, Teachers’ Notice Board Kenya (Kenya) – This group is geared towards national cohesion and integration by bringing together teachers, trainees and tutors from all Teacher Training Colleges in Kenya to build relationships, share job vacancies and promote businesses.
2. Wala Amakove, Wanderlust Diaries (Kenya) – brings together a community of travellers to share stories. Founded during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, this mega community of African travellers promotes eco-tourism in Kenya and other African countries as a driver for community development.
3. Achimugu Elizabeth, Protect The Child Foundation (Nigeria)
4. Godwin Juliet, Naija Graphic Designers (Nigeria)
5. Izevbokun Osamakue, Mothers, Kids And More (MKM) (Nigeria)
6. Michael Louisa, Natural Hair Babes (Nigeria)
7. Nworah Martin, Tales of Nigerians (Nigeria)
8. Ogudoro Peter, Nigerian Teachers (Nigeria)
9. Olisa Enoch, Prepare for JAMB UTME (Nigeria)
10. Philip Udeochu, Portfolio 9 (Community) (Nigeria)
11. Ramuada Tshililo, South African Arts & Culture Youth Forum (South Africa)
12. Splinters Lucretia, The Official Ocean View/Slangkop Group (South Africa)
13. Urhefe Ofejiro, Naija Nurses Forum (Nigeria)

To develop their community, all of the selected leaders spent five months learning from experts, coaches, and a customized curriculum.

They learned about community identity foundations and how to lead action-oriented programmes. They also had early access to new Facebook products aimed at helping communities better manage and activate their members.