YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship 2015 Cohort Video Report – West Africa

YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship 2015 Cohort Video Report – West Africa

[Music Playing] Eric Besong: Hello, I’m
Eric Besong from Cameroon. Victorine Kambe Sarr: Hi, I’m
Victorine Sarr from Senegal and I’m the WARAB chair. Fombah Kanneh: Hi, my name
is Fombah Kanneh from Liberia and I’m of the MAE committee. [Music Playing] [Overlapping Speakers] Abosede Lewu: I will say that the
Leadership Development Plan has helped me to find focus. When I came back from the
Fellowship, I had a lot of lofty ideas of what I wanted to do and
what I wanted to achieve and the first Leadership Development Plan
I built, some of my colleagues from other African countries critiqued
it and said it was fine, I had lofty ideas but I had not centered,
I had not found what I wanted to do exactly and how I wanted to do it. Fombah Kanneh: Because the
leadership development aspect helps Fellows to put a dream on paper
and to implement their dreams. Grace Jerry So far, my focus and
my target to ensure that women with disabilities vie for elected
positions, women with disabilities add their voice to peacebuilding
process, and women and girls with disabilities drive a campaign that
will bring about an end to hate speech and end to gender based
violence and end to any form of violence in Plateau and
in Nigeria as a whole. Ejiro Okotie: In networking with
the African Disability Alliance, which helped me to be a part of
the disability rights monitors in Africa, and through that I want
to be able to train about 15 disability rights monitors in
Nigeria, which is also a form of empowerment for people
with disabilities. [Music Playing] Olakunle Adewale: I think it’s
very, very important to look at the impacts that Fellows have been
able to effect in their various communities through this Mandela
Washington Fellowship program. And looking at the criteria used,
I think it’s key that those four criteria are put into place to
help Fellows to maximize their post-Fellowship experience to
continue to do the great work they are doing back in Africa. Grace Sanches: And I think that
it is very innovative because they use technology to
interfere in the community. So for me, it was a good experience
and a good practice that we can most use in other countries
in Africa especially. Edith Greene: It shows that
it’s very important for you to participate in all of the aspect of
YALI as a Fellow because if you do that, at the end of the day you kind of
see that change that it creates. If you participate in the
practicum, you participate in the — you have a mentor, make sure you
have a mentor, and then make sure you do your Leadership Development Plan. Those three things, if you combine
them, it kind of shows that change, that effective change, you can
actually see it after going through all the programs. [Music Playing] Koulodiomo Outtara: We learned
from them, we learned from what they have been doing in
the different countries and communities. [Music Playing] Eric Besong: Hello, everyone. It’s been an exciting one week
working on the one internal evaluation of YALI African based
activities implemented by IREX, and by so, I mean the practicum,
the mentorship program, the Speaker Travel Grant and
the Leadership Development Plan. So we listened to over 21 stories
of Fellows to get insights about these particular activities. Marilyn Chime: And this
evaluation exercise has demonstrated one key thing would be
that in fact, Fellows did not learn new skills because they already
had the skills to do their work, but they needed a structure to focus,
to tell themselves where am I going to be in the next five years, what
am I going to focus on, and all the tools that the Fellowship makes
available they use it effectively whenever possible to make sure that
they have clarity on their goals, clarity on their activity they were
going to implement, and you can see that it increased the number of
initiatives, the number of new initiatives that were initiated
by Fellows has increased. And we think is really due to the
fact that they had a better focus, clearer focus, and a clearer path
to implement those activities after using the tools that the
Fellowship made available. [Music Playing]

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