Move over, Cecil John Rhodes, Barack Obama is the new bestower of scholarly opportunity that we want to get in on.
However, unlike the Rhodes Scholarship, which is awarded to students to study at the University of Oxford, to become an Obama Fellow one needs to be an “outstanding civic innovator” from anywhere in the world.
And that won’t necessarily work for everyone.
But one person the requirements for acceptance did suit is Koketso Moeti [below] who, on Monday, became the first South African to be named as one, reports Business Insider.
Moeti got an in after she launched a civil engagement platform, called amandla.mobi, when her community in the North West faced possible eviction from their land:
It aims to connect activists to come together at critical moments to take targeted, co-ordinated and strategic action to make real change.
The amandla.mobi community today boasts more than 120,000 active users.
“Cellphones harnessed the power to connect people in numbers, coordinate action, secure legal expertise, and engage the community, the media and wider public on the latest developments,” Moeti told DestinyConnect about the evictions in her community.
“The ability to connect the community with a larger community of people, took us from being just another poor community, in a poor province, in an unequal country to being able to drive change with others.”
Now, Moeti will join 19 other people in the inaugural Obama Fellowship class:
“[The twenty fellows] understand that creating change often requires reaching out across the lines that divide us,” the Obama Foundation – founded by former US president Barack Obama – wrote in a statement.
“Their successes to date show how collaborative, community-driven work can lead to strong, imaginative, and long-lasting solutions – even on some of our most intractable and polarising problems.”
The fellows will take part in a two-year all-expenses-paid program which offers hands-on training, a personalised development plan, and four multi-day gatherings in the United States.
How flipping cool is that?
You can see a full list of the first Obama Fellows here, and below a quick look at where they are from:
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