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Kenya’s Mental Health Activist Bright Shitemi Among 12 African Leaders Selected To Join Facebook’s Community Programme

Mental360 Founder Bright Shitemi [Photo/Courtesy]

Facebook has selected 12 African Community Leaders who will join its community accelerator programme. The six-months programme aims to equip communities with the training, mentorship and funding they need to grow.

The Community Accelerator Programme is a part of the global Facebook Community Leadership initiative launched in 2018. It invests in people building communities around the world, including bringing people together, offering encouragement while driving change.

With awards of up to $3 million, the selected community leaders will receive funds of up to $30,000. The first three months of the programme will see the leaders learns from experts and coaches as they develop customized curricula which they will use to grow their own communities.

The leaders will use the next three months after that to execute their plans, with funding and continued support from their network and a dedicated programme team.  The Community Accelerator will then organize an event where the community leaders can showcase their communities and progress to external funders and partners.

Read: Facebook Reaps Big As 75% More Spend Time On Social Media Since Coronavirus Outbreak

Below is a list of community leaders selected from across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa as part of the Facebook Community Accelerator

  • 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
  • Bright Shitemi, 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
  • 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
  • Esther Mwikalii, Metta NBO (Kenya) – founded in 2015 as an entrepreneurs’ network with the goal of bringing together founders, policymakers and investors to collaborate
  • Refilwe Nkomo, Visual Arts Network South Africa (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 s. 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, 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 the evolution of African institutions

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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