Consul General Frances Chisholm hosted a luncheon for 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows from the province of KwaZulu Natal on September 15. These dynamic young leaders recently completed an eight-week exchange visit to the United States under the auspices of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
The 2014 Fellows were also on hand to share their experiences and insights. Topics discussed during lunch included youth unemployment and job creation, as well as health issues such as teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. To date, YALI alumni have worked closely with the Consulate in areas of mutual concern, such as economic development, education, and women’s empowerment.
Applications for the next group of Fellows open on October 1. The Mandela Washington Fellowship For Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
The Fellowship provides 500 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution, with support for professional development after they return home. The Fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.