Facebook has announced the winners of the 2021 Facebook Community Accelerator Program, highlighting the 13 Facebook community leaders from Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya who will receive training, mentorship and up to $50,000 USD in funds to invest in an initiative that extends their community’s positive impact. The 13 winners emerged out of over 13,000 applicants who entered the competition.
The Community Accelerator is part of Facebook’s Community Leadership Program, a global initiative that invests in people building communities. Leaders will learn how to harness the power of their community to turn impactful ideas into action. This year’s cohort features a diverse spectrum of communities engaged in interesting social impact activities ranging from combating child sexual abuse to helping moms and sharing stories of ordinary and extraordinary Nigerians from around the world.
“We are excited to announce the 13 Facebook community leaders in Africa who have been helping to resolve social challenges, empowering their audiences with knowledge while connecting with others that share their interests or passion for a cause. At Facebook, we are committed to helping people realise their full potential through initiatives like this. We want these community leaders to use the Facebook platform to drive change and provide support and encouragement for thousands of people. We are impressed with the outcome of this year’s Community Accelerator and we look forward to helping our 2021 community Accelerator winners amplify their influence for greater work.”Kiran Yoliswa, Partner Management Lead, Middle East and Africa Community Partnerships at Facebook
Community leaders from across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa as part of the Facebook Community Accelerator include:
- Achimugu Elizabeth, Protect The Child Foundation (Nigeria) – Protect The Child Foundation is committed to protecting and defending the innocence of children against all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Our vision is to have a world that is safe for children to live in. A world free from child sexual abuse and all forms of abuse.
- Godwin Juliet, Naija Graphic Designers (Nigeria) – Established in 2008, this creative community connects the graphic design industry in Nigeria and beyond with the aim of supporting, up-skilling and offering opportunities for graphic designers to raise industry standards. The community connects employers with freelancers, as well as supporting women creatives.
- Izevbokun Osamakue, Mothers, Kids And More (MKM) (Nigeria) – Impactful community empowering Nigerian and African women (and their children) to help each other to progress in their personal and professional lives. The community’s aim is to extract and recognise the potential within and without, and empower women to reach out to other women when they need help. Their long-term mission is to have the opportunity to have a centre where women can come in and get empowered.
- Michael Louisa, Natural Hair Babes (Nigeria) – Large community focused on natural hair, sisterhood and cultural and economic empowerment for Nigerian women and girls. They created an entrepreneurial sales network in November 2020 when we launched our flagship product, a natural hair herb which is very effective in the maintenance of natural hair, so far, 160 women have been empowered as distributors.
- Mwaniki Sam, Teachers’ Notice Board Kenya (Kenya) – This group is geared towards national cohesion and integration by bringing together teachers, trainees and tutors from all Teacher Training Colleges in Kenya to build relationships, share job vacancies and promote businesses.
- Nworah Martin, Tales of Nigerians (Nigeria) – Tales of Nigerians is an emotional support and mental wellness community where members have a safe space to share their real life experiences. Through community events, trainings’ and on-ground outreach, we have directly impacted around 20,000 members. Our positive impact for the long-term is to continue equipping our growing members with the right tools to grow their emotional intelligence, mental wellness and synergy with other members.
- Ogudoro Peter, Nigerian Teachers (Nigeria) – This community for Nigerian teachers has the big ambition of changing the country’s education system one teacher at a time. Community is made up primarily of teachers who are not receiving good training services from their employers for the very important jobs they do. The community is focused on helping them to acquire the skills they need to make Nigeria’s education system globally competitive.
- Olisa Enoch, Prepare for JAMB UTME (Nigeria) – Prepare for JAMB UTME helps students prepare for Nigeria’s university admission exam with learning resources and news. Their long-term mission is to have all the learning resources (exam syllabus, quizzes, study notes, videos, question and answer forum) all in one place, which members should be able to access freely or through a subscription service.
- Philip Udeochu, Portfolio 9 (Community) (Nigeria) – is a Digital Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Platform (DEEP) with a mandate to bring entrepreneurship and vocational education to people at the bottom of the pyramid in Africa using social media. P9’s mission is to make entrepreneurship accessible by ‘simplifying’ and ‘innovatively’ delivering it to everyone’s doorstep through collective and interactive learning and support, using social media systems and tools. P9 has supported the learning needs of a growing community of over 500k members (currently).
- Ramuada Tshililo, South African Arts & Culture Youth Forum (South Africa) – SAACYF is a community that trains and empowers underprivileged artists from township and rural areas in South Africa through partnership with other organisations, businesses and governments. Their aim is to make Arts, Culture & Heritage opportunities accessible to poor disadvantaged artists through job creation.
- Splinters Lucretia, The Official Ocean View/Slangkop Group (South Africa) – Ocean View (originally named Slangkop) was established in 1968 by the apartheid government as a township for forcibly removed coloured people. The community is historically disadvantaged, poverty-stricken and affected by a wide range of social ills. The FB group fosters safety and security, as well as delivering education, hospital care, feeding and community upliftment programmes to empower the local population.
- Urhefe Ofejiro, Naija Nurses Forum (Nigeria) – Established in 2012, this is a community for nurses across Nigeria who collaborate in providing quality and accessible healthcare services to individuals, whilst supporting each other and sharing best practices in their profession.
- Wala Amakove, Wanderlust Diaries Ltd (Kenya) – brings together a community of travellers to share stories. Founded during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, this mega community of African travellers promotes eco-tourism in Kenya and other African countries as a driver for community development.
To develop their community, all of the selected leaders spent five months learning from experts, coaches, and a customized curriculum. They learned community identity foundations, leading action-oriented programmes and sustainability. They also had early access to new Facebook products aimed at helping communities better manage and activate their members.