YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship 2015 Cohort Video Report – Southern Africa

YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship 2015 Cohort Video Report – Southern Africa

[Music Playing] Thato Mochone: My name is Thato
Mochone, I’m a Mandela Washington Fellow 2015. Christian Tomarielson: My name
is Christian, I’m from Madagascar, the biggest island in Africa. Chisanga Mwamba: Hi, I’m
Chi-Chi, I’m from Zambia. Promise Muleya: My name is Promise. I am from [Zimbabwe]. [Music Playing] [Overlapping Speakers] Brian B’Flow Kasoka: The most
significant change that has occurred in me as an individual
since I came back from the U.S. has been that I have developed this
self-esteem that I can achieve much more than what I thought before
I attended the Fellowship because I used to look at myself as just
an entertainer, but now I look at myself as a leader. Dorothy Okatch: Since I got back
from the Fellowship and I engaged in the Africa based opportunities
that were there for me, I’ve seen so many significant changes in
my life where I’ve started giving counseling to people who are addicted
to alcohol within the country. And this consultancy, it’s
not an NGO, its for-profit. Seeing as I was in business and
entrepreneurship, I realized I am a social entrepreneur and I do
not need to go the NGO route to be able to help people. Yvonne Jila: We can change the
narrative, we can deconstruct the fact that all men
should behave this way. It’s possible to have men who
realize the importance of being there for their families, the
importance of not beating up their women, the importance
of not being violent. So I would say my knowledge level
was increased and now I am prepared to advocate more on those
issues when I get back home. Thato Mochone: So I can say, all
in all, the RAB has not only helped me as an individual, it has
also helped my community. I got external validation. I will be on the cover of Finite
Magazine, which is a woman’s magazine in Lesotho, and this was
by the votes of people who said we recognize the work that this
woman is doing in her community. [Music Playing] Speaker: We started out with
randomly picking the person we think made the most impact and
started giving reasons why and then from the reasons we came up with
criteria and then used the criteria to go back and vote again on
who we think made the most impact by using the experience. Speaker: So the basic criteria
we spoke about were community engagements, skills application,
inspiration, changing mindsets, skills application, sustainability,
change, and then again community engagement, collaboration and mentoring. These are the things
we used as criteria. Speaker: He has managed to become
an agent of change in the sense that initially he was focusing on
gender issues and domestic violence and so forth, but what he’s managed
to do now is managed to become relevant to almost anything
that depicts positive social or political change. Rita Tavares: Well, I found the
process very democratic actually, because each and every person
on the group had to give their opinion on what they think, not
only about each person but we had to give specific reasons on why
we’re voting for this person, why we think this story has actually
great impact or why we think that this program has influenced
this person’s life effectively. And apart from that, we had to find
criteria just to support our reasons. Jessy Chisi: But this process
actually shows you that in a short video, you can get the broader,
bigger picture actually how impactful this project is. And I think, imagine if 1,000 of
those Fellows did this small exercise you’d actually quantify it,
is it worth while doing it in the next five years. Kenny Tonga: A lot of issues
were brought out, some of which personally I did not even think
about and I’m thinking okay, I think they do have a point. So it was very qualitative and
very informative at the same time so it’s a great experience. [Music Playing] Thato Mochone: From what we
learned from the analysis of the stories, what came out was the
fact that more Fellows came up, came back committed to do
more in their communities. They are volunteering, they’re
inspiring local communities and they are actually
selfless in their acts. They’re actually going out there
to do more for their communities without wanting any money for it. Christian Tomarielson: And
then we have been working on the changes, the enablers, and the
blockers over here and then we realized that the LDP was really
tremendous to the Fellows because it was a kind of — the linear
plots to all of these changes and these blockers we had already. Speaker: For me, it’s projects in
a new environment other than the one that you’re used to is really
important to bring out certain qualities because it helps you
to focus, it helps you to focus in your work, it also helps you to
see, to look at your community from a different perspective. Thato Mochone: Many Fellows
acquired skills because of their Africa-based activities and because
of the acquisition of such skills, they were able to get promotions
in their work, to start their own companies, to get into new
ventures, like new collaborations with other Fellows and
other organizations. [Music Playing]

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