We are thrilled to announce the 2022 class of the Youth In Development Fellows. The youth in development fellowship provides emerging civic leaders and social entrepreneurs with the skills and tools to lead social change initiatives effectively. Alumni of this program have gone ahead to create viable and highly impactful social ventures and lead programs that are transforming their communities’ social and economic landscapes. YID Fellows engage in a transformative learning experience, where they hone their leadership skills while learning to lead sustainable social change. This year’s YID fellows represent about 10% of the applications received. They are from twelve (12) countries and their social innovations are addressing seven (7) community development areas – education, agriculture, climate protection, health, gender equality, women empowerment and media. They were selected after successfully going through our three-stage rigorous selection process. The application process includes training on strategic planning, social entrepreneurship and developing a minimal viable product. Finalists were chosen based on the quality of their prototypes, pilot projects or minimal viable products and their implementation capability. Below are short descriptions of their qualifications and social change initiatives.
Founder and Lead Tutor at Smiley Educational Support Foundation
Smiley Foundation is working towards sustainable development goal 4 (Quality Education) through their flagship project – Operation Write Well. They go to schools across Nigeria to help students develop legible handwriting. They also provide educational materials, including pens, books, school bags and school uniforms, to disadvantaged school children in Nigeria. Adebisi and her team aim to reach 20,000 children through their diverse programs by 2023.
BIRNDZE BETE DZEKEWONG
Founder and CEO of AYOSA and Youth Connect Innovation Lab
BIRNDZE is building two high-impact ventures in Cameroon. AYOSA is a social enterprise that uses Innovative Solutions and Entrepreneurship to promote sustainable agriculture and create employment opportunities for young people across Africa. Youth Connect Innovation Lab is an entrepreneurship ecosystem that connects young leaders with creative and innovative ideas from marginalized and economically distressed communities across Africa to resources, skills, and opportunities to identify effective strategies to inspire system change in their local communities. In the next 10years, he aims to support 250 start-ups that will employ over 1000 youths.
MAWUSE CHRISTINA GYISUN
CEO & Founder, Sommalife Limited
Mawuse is the founder and CEO of Sommalife, a registered social enterprise in Ghana. Sommalife aims to become the first business responsible for 1 million smallholder rural women farmers in West Africa becoming successful entrepreneurs. Over the years, Sommalife has successfully trained 580 rural women to process and package their raw materials to add value to them. Sommalife connects the women to global customers who pay premium prices for their products. Additionally, in 2021, they have connected over 2,000 women to global markets earning 18% additional income above the local market.
Founder and CEO of Sparkle Agro brands limited
Sparkle Agro is a start-up that deals in transforming the would-be ‘spoiled’ milk into a fashionable and environmentally friendly mosquito-repellent skincare lotion that has passed scientific verification and validation to be used for human consumption and is already on the market. Jovia’s vision for Sparkle Agro is to become East Africa’s leading cosmetic brand manufacturing mosquito-repellent lotion and expand its operations to other countries.
Clean Energy and Circular Economy Researcher
Dalia Ahmed is a Ph.D. candidate from Sudan currently studying in Malaysia, researching circular economy. Her research interest is in methods that will help adopt a circular economic model for resource preservation and efficient utilization of energy. She hopes to leverage this research to provide solar solutions and energy-smart homes in underserved communities in developing countries. Dalia’s vision is to be an African woman leading global efforts toward poverty reduction and enabling agency for development through solidarity, protection, and empowerment.
Founder of Wasty Wealth
Wasty Wealth is poised to transform waste collection and disposal in Ibadan, Nigeria, through bicycle waste collectors and an innovative business model. Their modified bicycle called ‘Keke egbin dowo’ will offer a cost-effective means (for both the producers and the collectors) of waste collection and a more accessible means to reach hard-to-reach areas.
Founder of ‘Tumjenge Msichana Initiative
Brigid is developing an initiative that focuses on women and girls’ empowerment in Kenya. She currently works at the Jonathan Jackson Foundation, where she implements social and economic empowerment programs for women, youth, and people abled differently. The programs have impacted over 2000 people through training and provision of capital goods to establish business ventures. She plans to leverage her experiences through Tumjenge Msichana Initiative to work towards increasing the representation and participation, leadership, and decision-making power of women and girls by 2026.
Founder, Impact Farm Kenya
Impact Farm Kenya is a start-up using technology to reimagine Africa’s food supply chain. Charles and his team are developing a solution that allows smallholder farmers access to shared cold storage facilities and an e-commerce platform that will enable them to sell their vegetables and fruits in new markets using feature phones. Charles Oyamo is a student of Development Communication at The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Founder & CEO Ntapi
Chijioke is an artist and Edtech entrepreneur with a passion for leveraging tech solutions to solve education problems and creating inclusive socio-economic solutions for his immediate community. He is building Ntapi, a SaaS Edtech social network platform enabling educational content creators to develop content as courses and classes for digital and vocational skills in their preferred languages while acquiring highly engaged followers.
CYNTHIA WANJIKU MWANGI
Founder, Transform a Girl’s Life
Wanjiku’s remarkable passion and zeal for gender equality and youth empowerment birthed her organization Transform a Girl’s Life. This organization empowers a new generation of Kenyan girls and youth with a strong sense of self-belief. They hope to end the period-poverty while empowering girls to realize their dreams.
Product Manager and Innovations Lead at NITDA IT Hub and Cofounder CYBTRACY
Ifeoluwa designs and implements high-quality tech programs to identify, train and groom talent to launch successful start-ups in Nigeria. She is also a research assistant on the UKRI/GRCF-funded DITCh Plastic Project. She works with the principal investigators to identify research questions, design evaluations and surveys, and analyze data to make concise presentations and reports. Through CYBTRACY, she has trained over 100 children in underserved communities on essential computer literacy skills.
Leadership and Youth Development Program Coordinator
Binti is a final-year student at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She currently volunteers as an SDSN coordinator for Kwale County, Kenya, and is a Learning Planet Youth Council member. Through her initiative, Infinite Possibilities, she is developing a leadership and entrepreneurship training program for 600 youths from the coastal communities of Kenya.
Founder of FutureGRIN
Ayomide is building a multifunctional organization that intends to play a lead role in increasing access to higher education and reducing unemployment among the most marginalized in Nigeria through FutreGRIN’s education and job programs.
Secretary at One African Child Foundation
Kawthar’s passion for Quality Education led her to join OneAfricanChild, a foundation for qualitative learning, five years ago. She contributes to efforts to provide education for children and serves as the organization’s General Secretary. Kawthar currently provides educational and personal development training for the children in her community and has reaffirmed these children’s commitment to education. She hopes to deepen and scale her impact through the education of more children in underserved communities.
CEO, Trendy Media Production
Trendy Media is a movie production company focused on addressing social issues through film. Cynthia is passionate about making an impact and inspiring people, and she believes that the right stories can change the world. Her career slogan is “activism through filmmaking.” She is a seasoned content writer, a scriptwriter, and a filmmaker. Cynthia is also passionate about SDGs 3, 5, and 10 (Good health, gender equality and reduced inequalities). Most of the films she has produced highlights women and the challenges they face in society; such movies include “I said yes” and “keeping it 100,” which have been well received and recognized in the media.
Founder & Lead Strategist, The Green Stealth Network
The Green Stealth Network has transitioned from a farm to a community of agricultural projects/initiatives with a vision of building resilient food systems. The Stealth Network adopts green agriculture to mitigate climate change and the Igbo apprenticeship system (IAS) to generate venture capital for new green farms. Green farms to reduce emissions from the agriculture sectors and the IAS for socio-environmental impacts.
MIATTA PAULA THOMAS
Executive Director at Allies in Development
Allies in Development is a local Non-Governmental Organization in Sierra Leone, initiating programs targeting violence prevention and support for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). Miatta recently facilitated the establishment of the Allies in Development’s online Community of Practice for researchers, students, and NGO practitioners to collaborate to advance a violence-free society. Currently, this online Community of Practice has over 100 members and serves as a platform for peer interaction, learning and collaboration on projects, sharing resources and original content on SGBV.
Founder of Strength of a Young Mother (STAYM)
Monica has a bachelor’s in business management, and she is currently completing her master’s at the University of Botswana, studying an Executive Masters in Entrepreneurship. As a young mother, Monica realized that Motherhood is not easy, particularly as a young and, in some cases, single mother. This led her to start STAYM, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the socio-economic empowerment of young moms. Its mission is to motivate and actively elevate young mothers on a physical, intellectual, mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological level to make a positive and long-term impact on society.
SUCCESS YOLE AREEVESO
Storyteller and Co-founder, Church on the Street
Success is a creative storyteller currently developing a podcast focused on sharing the stories of young change-makers that drive social impact and encourage young people to become problem solvers, identify causes to advocate for and draw inspiration to solve critical challenges facing their community. In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, Success co-founded the Church on the Street, a nongovernmental organization that helps to provide meals and education to disadvantaged children in Nigeria.
TAKUDZWA IGNATIUS KUTOKA
Agribusiness Officer at Caritas Zimbabwe and Youth Mobilizer
Leveraging his academic accomplishments and Professional experiences in Agribusiness, Takudza is developing a youth development network that empowers and trains youth in disaster-affected areas to produce low-cost agrifood products for human development purposes. Takudzwa aspires to implement community-based food security projects which rely on qualified and competent youth who can work in profitable farming.
YOAL DOMAI DAR
Cofounder Gezira Young People Agribusiness Trust Company (GYPAT)
Yoal is a south Sudanese refugee residing in Kenya. Yoal is building an ecosystem that prevents the waste of agricultural produce while providing financial and credit access and financial management training to over 5000 South Sudanese rural farmers.
ESTHER OJONUGWA OGBOLE
Agricultural Officer at the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science
Esther has worked at the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science for the past three years as an Agricultural Officer. She engages farmers and other stakeholders in the protection and management of soil resources. She and her team have trained about 600 farmers, agro-dealers and extension agents in 2years. She is currently developing the Rugged Rural Woman Initiative to empower rural women in agriculture through training and promotional activities that help tell their stories, increase demand for their products and attract growth opportunities.
MANKA’AH MAFOR ANWASOM
COO at DGG Cameroon
Manka holds an LLM from the University of Uppsala in Sweden and currently serves as the chief operating officer of Dynamic Global Governance (DGG) Cameroon. Through DGG, she is leading the advocacy for protecting the sexual health and reproductive rights of female prisoners in Cameroon and creating a gender-sensitive health surveillance system in Cameroonian prisons. Beyond policy advocacy, she aims to develop projects that help promote and protect incarcerated women’s sexual and reproductive health in Cameroon.