Twenty-five emerging leaders from across Africa are spending six weeks in Syracuse for the “Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders” at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Through rigorous coursework, they are learning everything from public policy to leadership development and volunteerism. NewsChannel 9’s Jennifer Sanders met with them at their community service project — as their program comes to an end.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Margaret Lole has been a journalist since 2009 in South Sudan.
“We have several journalists who have been killed, some have been detained and up to now we don’t know anything about it,” Lole said.
Ethnic conflict and tribalism in a war-torn country are commonplace. That’s why she is looking for knowledge to help improve her community and her country.
“I need to get the knowledge to advocate at home, to be an activist and to make policy changes,” Lole explained.
She came to Syracuse University six weeks ago to attain that knowledge at the Mandela Washington Fellowship. She joins 24 other emerging leaders from Africa for professional and leadership development.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that embodies the United States’ commitment to invest in the future of Africa. Syracuse University is one of 27 U.S. universities selected to host the 700 Mandela Washington Fellows, and one of nine universities hosting a Leadership in Public Management Institute.
The students at SU are learning about governance and public administration issues in the U.S. They are volunteering with local organizations to learn the value of community service. They’ll travel to Washington, D.C., at the end of July to meet with their colleagues who are studying at other universities across the country.
Inonge Hachoongo Malambo is a police officer from Zambia who is also a part of the Fellowship. She has dedicated her life to seeking justice for victims of gender-based violence.
“What I’ve learned is who I am, my capabilities and what I can do and how you can handle even corruption and handle certain issues and provide justice for people who are really in need of it,” Malambo said.
Both women will use the skills and knowledge attained in Syracuse to transform lives and improve their countries when they return home.
For more local news, follow Jennifer Sanders on Twitter @JSandersNC9