Category Archives: Advancing Leaders Fellowship

2014 Advancing Leaders Fellows eager to begin social innovation projects

World Learning awarded the second Advancing Leaders Fellowship to five young social innovators on April 3.   Amira Ali Bouaouina Fellowship Project: MALI (My Africa Learns To Inspire) World Learning Program: English in the Leadership Context 2013 (a project of the Algeria University Linkages Program) “You are all winners,” listening to this that blessed evening in New York, I realized, “definitely, we are!”  I won a universal family. I secured a haven of ever-lasting enlightenment and a unique key to developing expertise in social innovation. The whole experience reinforced the value of cross-culture interaction and mutual trust. Success, for me, is learning from 2013 Fellow Sneha Shrestha’s project; cooperating with 2014 finalists Elena Haro Lima, Choon Sian Choo, and the others; and inspiring future World Learning fellows. Thelma Boamah Fellowship Project: JuniorCamp Internship Program in Ghana World Learning Program: SIT … Continue reading

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Pushing forward to empower persons with disabilities in Ghana

As her Advancing Leaders Fellowship comes to a close, 2013 fellow and SIT Graduate Institute alumna Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie reflects on her nine-month partnership with World Learning. Thanks to EEPD AFRICA, Umaru no longer crawls to school. “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” — Henri Frederic Amiel World Learning has accomplished a great and noble task by helping Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities in Africa (EEPD AFRICA) to accomplish our small tasks. We have gone very far in this journey and celebrate our little victories. We are very thankful to World Learning for investing in us. Soon, our nine-month partnership through World Learning’s Advancing Leaders Fellowship will end, but we will continue our projects and show our gratitude through our future accomplishments. As … Continue reading

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Modernity means inclusion: Advocating for children with disabilities in Ghana

By Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 “Modernity means inclusion and inclusion means giving rights to all citizens.” – Patricia Chaves, Espaco Feminista This six-year-old girl was denied admission to her local public school because she has a physical disability. I know you probably won’t believe it, but there are some Ghanaians that believe that if you have one physical disability, it affects the rest of your body, especially your brain. In the last nine months of my Advancing Leaders Fellowship, Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities Africa (EEPD Africa) has campaigned for equal access to education for persons with disabilities throughout the country, and we have met teachers and headmasters. You would hope that these main stakeholders in education would have detailed knowledge of the government’s policies on inclusive education, but we find them actively … Continue reading

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Growing up in rural Tanzania

Linda Arot (Bottom Left) and Judith Mbache(Bottom Center), Female Hygiene Program Facilitators with mothers of program participants By Max Perel-Slater, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Study Abroad: Tanzania 2009 Over the past eight months, Maji Safi has been in the process of developing programs that provide disease prevention education for vulnerable groups in the rural community of Shirati, Tanzania. Since July 2013, the Female Hygiene Program has been successfully working with young women in the Rorya District. This week, the program is engaging the young women’s mothers in the group with a Dining for Female Hygiene event. Mothers and female Maji Safi community health workers came together to celebrate female empowerment, discuss program topics and approaches, and introduce AFRIPads’ reusable pad design. These pads were generously donated by Lunapads’ One4Her program. After the proven popularity of the Female Hygiene Program, … Continue reading

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Money Matters

By Ellen Dizzia, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2011 When I was in my 20s I firmly believed that money was the evil destroying society. I didn’t need it, and I didn’t want it. I fantasized about living in the olden times when trade was the way and my chicken was worth a wool blanket. Those were nice daydreams. I even moved off the grid, to a small island of 150 residents in the Caribbean, where the only commerce was around tourism. As for me, I lived simply.  I fished often and bought very little. And I passed the days (five years of them) gardening, making jewelry and other crafts, climbing the hills and chatting with tourists over bottomless glasses of rum.  They would say to me, “You’ve really got it figured out, living down here in paradise, … Continue reading

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My First Day at School in a Wheelchair

By Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 Owusu’s first day in his new wheelchair. In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee wrote, “You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” but today, I want to do my best to help understand the world from the perspective of a disabled child. Owusu is a small brilliant boy who stopped schooling because of lack of a mobility aid (a wheelchair) and because his school is inaccessible. He wants to be cared for as all children cared for in his society, and he does not believe his disability should prevent him from getting an education. Owusu’s disability is a result of having polio as a young child. When he reached the … Continue reading

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The Advancing Leaders Fellowship: Meet the 2014 Finalists

We are excited to announce the finalists for the second Advancing Leaders Fellows pitch competition. Nearly 50 alumni applied to be named a 2014 Advancing Leaders Fellow and 10 finalists have been chosen to present their proposals to an audience and panel of judges at a pitch competition and reception to be held at the Center for Social Innovation in New York City on Thursday, April 3, 2014. That evening , after the presentations and judges’ deliberations, the five new Advancing Leaders Fellows will be announced. This year’s finalists represent a diverse group of individuals from nine different countries on four continents. Their proposed projects address a variety of topics including arts and financial education; science journalism; career, business, and language training; and youth civic engagement. The finalists and their proposed project are: Marko Bankovic—Career Ninja: Gamified Career Guidance Amira Ali … Continue reading

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Join SIT Graduate Alumna in Building an Inclusive Africa

By Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 Inclusion must begin with education and that is exactly what Empowering and Enlightening People with Disabilities—Africa (EEPD AFRICA) is fighting for by using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). When we started our campaign, we never expected to make such a huge impact so early. We used media outlets to let Ghanaians know, that if they want persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, the government and other stakeholders must take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access to all facilities and services provided to the public. In the last few months, our campaign has won the hearts of Ghanaians. It’s very exciting that people are now contacting us directly to learn more about our … Continue reading

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SIT Alum Starts Movement to Educate Communities and Prevent Disease

By Max Perel-Slater, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Study Abroad: Tanzania 2009 The Maji Safi team has been working to shore up support for the Community Resource Center and to expand its reach through collaborative disease prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion events. To ensure the sustainability of the center, and to expand the reach of our vision, we have created the Maji Safi Movement (MSM). The MSM mission strives to bring global awareness to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) crisis that humans face, while simultaneously working at a grassroots level to educate local families and communities on how to prevent disease. In early 2013, both Maji Safi Group (MSG), a 501(c)3 nonprofit in the US, and Maji Safi Organization, a registered NGO in Tanzania, were created to promote health and disease prevention in under-served and impoverished communities. These two … Continue reading

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Meet Rodrigo Castro, the New In-Country Administrative Director at Access Inglés

Rodrigo Castro By Ellen Dizzia, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2011 At Access Inglés, we work extensively with native English speakers—or foreigners—within Santiago schools, but we know that for sustainable success it’s essential to involve the Chilean community. It is they, after all, who truly understand the nature of the problems and the most effective style in which they can be solved. We are pleased to announce the formal, long-term commitment of Rodrigo Castro, Access Ingles’ new in-country administrative director. (*Interview has been translated from Spanish) Q: How long have you been working on the project improving English programs in Santiago primary and secondary schools? Formally for two months, but I have been helping with the project since its inception. Q: What was it like at the beginning, when you first heard about the project? I first heard … Continue reading

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