Some beneficiaries of the Mandela Washington Fellowship (the Young African Leaders Initiative) have received US$46,000 grant from the US Embassy in Monrovia to help them implement projects they are currently undertaking.
The grant signing ceremony took place at the US Embassy on June 17, and beneficiaries include Yassah Lavelah, James Alben Greaves, Matthew Fred and James Mulbah.
Briefly commenting on the grant, US Ambassador Deborah Malac said they have helped Liberia and there is still more to be done so Liberians can develop their own country.
She said the beneficiaries, having attended the fellowship last year and beginning to engage in projects to make use of what they achieved, the embassy was providing the grant to augment their efforts in reaching out to other Liberians.
The US$46,000 grants will support health and education sectors in Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties.
It will be used to support immunization campaigns for children in Paynesville, develop mentorship programs for youth in Grand Bassa County and computer literacy skills training for 2,000 youth in Grand Bassa County, and provide information on the prevention of infectious diseases to five communities in Montserrado County.
One of the beneficiaries, James A. Greaves lauded the US Government for its contribution toward development of Africa, including Liberia and expressed confidence that both knowledge acquired at the fellowship and the grant provided will be fully utilized to impact others.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
President Obama launched the YALI program in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
The program was renamed Mandela Washington Fellowship last year to honor the late South African President and statesman, Nelson Mandela.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship sends 500 young African leaders to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training, and creates unique opportunities in Africa for the participants to network with other youth leaders on the continent and to put into practice their new skills by leading organizations, communities, and countries.