Nigeria’s Anike Lawal, Others Announced Winners of Facebook’s $10 Million Community Leadership Programme

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Monday September 24, 2018: Facebook has announced the names of winners of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme (FCLP) made up of community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participants. The programme will support more than 100 individuals from 46 countries representing communities of varying topics and goals from civic engagement to health and wellness.

The FCLP is designed to give participants from around the world the support, tools, funding and the belief in themselves that they need to best lead their communities.

Among the winners is Nigeria’s Anike Lawal, an FLCP Fellow who set up an online health and wellness community known as Mamalette.

“Community leaders play a critical role in bringing people closer together. Many of these leaders turn to Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger to create these connections, and often tell us that they could have more impact with additional support, better tools and access to funding. We created the Facebook Community Leadership Program to empower these leaders who are building communities around the world. Today, we’re announcing the 115 people who have been selected into the program as community leaders in residence, fellows or youth participants,” Ime Archibong, Vice President, Product Partnerships said.

Commenting on her Community Group, Anike said: “When I got pregnant for the first time, I looked for online communities for mothers in Nigeria and didn’t find any at the time. Initially I had no clue on how to start an online community. The most important thing I learnt before I started was that Facebook was a good tool to build and grow communities. So, I set up a Facebook page over five years ago and later a group, to help pregnant women and new mothers connect with each other and have their numerous questions answered. Since then we have evolved to helping to reduce the preventable deaths of mothers and children. Of the 830 mothers who die every day giving birth, 550 of them are in Africa. I am now training and equipping mothers recruited through Facebook as health champions to provide women with support and crucial health information.”

Since announcing the programme in February, Facebook received more than 6,000 applications from all over the world. A selection committee, which included employees as well as community experts from outside of Facebook, reviewed each application to identify leaders with a strong, clear and committed vision for their community.

Five participants were selected as community leaders in residence, who will each be awarded up to $1,000,000 to fund their community initiative. The final amount received will be determined based on final budget proposal created and submitted by each resident as part of their program training.

The five who were selected are Noah Nasiali (Kenya) who has brought more than 100,000 farmers across Africa together online in less than a year; Adhunika Prakash (India) who built a community of more than 80,000 people in India who can offer and receive support throughout their various stages of the breastfeeding journey; Christian Delachet (France) co-founder of the Wanted Community, a place for people to offer daily support and mutual help to their neighbors both online and in real life; Latasha Morrison (USA) who equips the next generation to lead the way to racial reconciliation in the US as well as Paula Pfeifer (BRAZIL), who is involved in breaking the social isolation caused by hearing loss by creating a community with others who share her experience.

The programme will also include more than 100 fellows and youth participants who will receive up to $50,000 each to be used for their community initiative. This group includes leaders with diverse perspectives from different parts of the world, but they share a common goal of helping their communities thrive.

You can learn more about them at communities.fb.com. We know they will do great things over the next year and we’re excited to get started.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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