Meet our 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows cohort!

Abbas Mahmood - Kenya

Mahmood is co-founder of Wikimedia Kenya and initiated the "Wikipedia for Schools Project" aimed at providing Kenyan students and teachers with access to a rich source of knowledge by downloading offline versions of Wikipedia onto school computers. He enjoys working in mission-driven nonprofits, acting to achieve impact and increase public outreach for open knowledge in Kenya.

Alex Kagwe Waithaka - Kenya

Kagwe has been at the forefront of organizing a collaborative effort between civil society and government to advance transparency and accountability in the Kenyan government. He was the chair of the open government taskforce that saw Kenya among the first countries in Africa to join the Open Government Partnership launched by President Obama. He is passionate about helping people live freely, with information and useful connectedness.

Amadou Moctar Sidibe - Senegal

Sidibe dedicates his time to community groups and organizations working in various grassroots communities. With friends, he created a network called PIIS Senegal (Population Initiative and Impact on Society), which he leads to create a positive impact on society.

Amnah Feisal Amin Ibuni - Tanzania

Ibuni has been a longstanding and active member of Zanzibar Youth Forum over the past seven years, working in the community to empower the youth in Tanzania. As an enthusiastic advocate for Zanzibar Youth Forum, she knows that by including young people in everything from decision making and policy making to M&E, the position of youth in society can be improved and lift up the society as a whole.

Benjamin Freeman Jr. - Liberia

Benjamin has over four years of experience working directly with secondary schools focusing on designing school based programs across Liberia. As Program Associate of the iTeach, iLearn Liberia Fellowship, he engages a wide range of mentors and entrepreneurs in Liberia to inspire high performing students seeking admission to colleges in the United States. He believes that employing a data-driven approach to the design of educational policies across institutions in Liberia is the first step in overcoming the challenge of delivering quality education.

Bongiwe Ndakisa - South Africa

Ms. Ndakisa has more than three years of experience working in rural and disadvantaged communities to promote economic development and youth empowerment. In 2010, she started an organization called Kwenzekile Community Development Centre (KCDC) to empower rural youth. She aims to solve community challenges by helping young people gain the skills needed for employment and help them gain access to education.

Buhle Mabaso - South Africa

Mabaso is a communications professional with articles published in major South African newspapers and magazines. She has been working directly with Siyakhula, a local nonprofit organization, as a motivational speaker and peer helper. She is passionate about sustainable development, paying particular attention to gender equality and the sexual health and reproductive rights of girls and women.

Chisenga Muyoya - Zambia

Muyoya is passionate about creating social change and mentorship for young women and girls. In 2012 she co-founded Asikana Network, a youth-led technology organization that equips and empowers young women in Zambia. She aims to address employment opportunities by equipping women with the skills and tools that will give them confidence in their own technical and non-technical capabilities, empowering women to be entrepreneurs and job creators instead of just employment seekers.

Cristian Eteo Botau - Equatorial Guinea

Cristian is involved as a cultural coordinator and mentor at youth-oriented nonprofit Casa de Cultura de Rebola. The association aims to encourage secondary school students to complete their secondary education and pursue higher education. For the past five years he has been encouraging, training and identifying youth who can take over the project and continue the integral development of Rebola, Equatorial Guinea, through cultural and social education.

Cindy-Lee Cloete - South Africa

Cloete is an environmental education professional at Nature’s Valley Trust, a community-based conservation nonprofit organization, where she plans community education and outreach programs at Nature’s Valley, South Africa. She believes that with conservation education South Africa can develop eco-tourism and natural resource management skills to support youth.

Eunice Amboka Likoko - Kenya

Likoko is a social worker and development professional promoting women’s and gender rights in Nairobi, Kenya through the Tearfund UK Inspired Individual Program. In 2008, she began Full Circle Trust, a rehabilitation center for women who wanted to leave prostitution and find alternative sources for income.  She aims to cause a trickle-down effect that will increase infrastructural support to enhance development and reduce poverty, illiteracy and disease levels across the nation.

Franck Darnad Nguimbi Mbenze - Republic of Congo

Nguimbi Mbenze has been involved and committed to volunteering for community development activities, youth leadership and civic engagement. As a lawyer, he contributes his skills to the Young Congolese Leaders Association Network as the Public Relations and Communication Secretary to help train and mentor youth. 

Frank Akowuge Dugasseh - Ghana

Dugasseh started the Wechiau Community Library, which operates the first fixed and mobile library services in Northern Ghana, serving more than 800 children in five districts with an emphasis on girls and the visually and hearing impaired. He also worked with Nature Conservation Research Centre to train and support 32 rural communities in the Brong Ahafo Region to increase cocoa production with climate smart agriculture, and formed community resource management committees to protect the Bonsam Beposo Forest Reserve.

Kizita Mah Fitemi Forgwe - Cameroon 

Kizita works as a program officer for an international Developmental Eye Health promotion nongovernmental organization with a component on social inclusion for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).  Her work has exposed her both to the strategic and operational needs of PWDs in the economic, social and political sectors. She also aims to tackle child labor in Cameroon by addressing policy environment and social beliefs while empowering communities and families to protect child rights.

Laura Golakeh - Liberia

Golakeh works as Founder and Executive Director for Right to Read, a community-based organization making learning accessible to the under-privileged. She also serves as Communications Officer at the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment and as Gender Coordinator for the first empowerment center for young women in her community. She is a passionate human rights activist who believes in the power of education to change her country and the world.

Lois Auta - Nigeria

Auta is the founder and CEO of Cedar Seed Foundation, Nigeria, a nongovernmental organization aiming to mainstream the issues and concerns of women, girls and children with disabilities in Nigeria into the national development agenda based on the United Nations evaluation of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). She has more than five years of experience advocating for the betterment of persons with disabilities.

Martin Muganzi - Uganda

Mungazi is founder and chief executive officer of youth-led agency Youth At Work Initiative (YAWI), a collection of multi-talented youths that have a common objective of uplifting youth from their own communities through behavior change programs, recruiting them for skills development and helping them identify business ventures. As a laboratory officer, he has been involved in research on HIV/AIDs in Uganda, disease diagnostic activities, peer training on HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria among orphans and vulnerable children.

Mazin Mohammed Khalil Ali - Sudan

Khalil is a medical practitioner who currently works as founder and CEO of SudaMed for Integrated Solutions Co. Ltd., as well as manager of the Al Khalil Pediatric Centre, an instructor at Maharat Medical Training Centre, and as a medical officer at the Chinese Friendship Hospital. Through SudaMed, Dr. Khalil connects Sudanese citizens to reliable information about healthcare in their country. He aims to improve knowledge about available healthcare in Sudan and increase IT knowledge and access among Sudanese youth.

N’Sira Daraba - Guinea

Daraba works directly with local communities in rural Guinea (Africare Guinea, Trias Belgium, PNUD Guinea) focusing on local economic development for rural women. As a Senior Livelihoods Officer for mining company Simfer, shefocuses on promoting non-mining activities such as agriculture, market gardening, and a salt-mining program with larger benefits. N’Sira is also a member of Jeune Cellule pour le Development (JCD), promoting mining transparency in the Upper Guinea region to not only fight against poverty but share resources equitably.

Olushola Abiodun Akinyemi - Nigeria 

Akinyemi is a business development expert who guides entrepreneurs to explore, incubate, nurture, grow and translate raw business ideas into veritable business ventures that can power the Nigerian and African economies. He has also helped re-engineer existing business ventures by simplifying and managing complex business process through a company he launched in 2007 called Bigplus Int’l Concepts Ltd.

Olwethu Sipuka - South Africa

Sipuka is currently managing the skills development unit of the South African Disability Development Trust. He previously worked as a National Youth Commissioner in the Presidency, advising the government on youth development. He also worked as the International advocacy manager for Cheshire International and Provincial Field Officer for Disabled People South Africa.

Queen Baboloki Kgeresi - Botswana

Kgeresi is the founder of the Dream Hub Project, an initiative that supports youth and marginalized groups. She assists young girls from rural communities in Botswana to gain an education and work towards turning their dreams into reality by connecting them with sponsors and mentors from across the country, who educates and nurtures their dreams. Queen has received recognition for her active engagement on girls and women in science, engineering & technology, gender based violence issues, activism on HIV/AIDS, and empowerment of young people through counseling, mentoring and leadership training. She draws inspiration from volunteering, mentoring and counseling as demonstrated through her numerous volunteer roles with organizations such as National AIDS Coordinating Agency, Forum For Evened- Out Control of HIV/AIDS, Face the Nation and Global Changemakers. 

Tayson Mudarikiri - Zimbabwe

Currently working as a Program Manager for the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT), Mudarikiri spends his time mobilizing youth in both rural and urban communities of Zimbabwe to engage on important national political and socio-economic discourse. In recent years, Mudarikiri has devised and implemented programs that have reached thousands of young people in Zimbabwe and encouraged them to participate in electoral processes and other public policy processes, including the constitutional review.

Tinotenda Pasi - Zimbabwe

Pasi is an economist at Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre & Network, where she works with both local and national government stakeholders. She aims to empower women to actively participate in economic activities and advance themselves in terms of their education. 

Torki Hassan Osman Farhat - Sudan

To improve the future of Sudanese youth and their roles in the community, Farhat founded the Sudanese Assembly of Youth Foundation to recruit and spread the concept of positive youth development, positive thinking and positive attitude. He plans to create a platform that focuses youth from different backgrounds and offers them the proper support and the means for them to change their passive attitude to actions and their ideas to projects for the benefit of the community.