Meet the 2023 Mandela Day Service Grant Recipients!

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is pleased to announce that six Fellowship Alumni and Alumni Teams have been selected to receive funding for the inaugural Mandela Day Service Grants (MDSG).

A woman paints the courtyard of a school as a man looks on.
Fellowship Alumni engage in community service during the 2023 Alumni Symposium in Boksburg, South Africa.

Mandela International Day of Service has been officially recognized since July 18, 2009; however, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the custodian of his legacy, has advocated for “Making Every Day a Mandela Day” to encourage volunteerism throughout the year.  The MDSG will support community service and volunteer projects where Fellowship Alumni design, implement, and actively engage in short-term volunteer-driven community campaigns that contribute to sustainable community development.  The selected grantees will implement their projects from April to May 2023 and will submit videos to showcase the impact of their work.

Learn more about the MDSG.

The 2023 MDSG recipients and projects include:

  • Alain Irankunda (2019 Alumnus, Burundi) and Kamugisha Blond (2021 Alumnus, Burundi) will hold a training, in collaboration with the Continental Plus Company (of which Alain is the CEO), to train volunteer interpreters in Sign Language journalism to cover news programs on the National Television of Burundi to enable people who are Deaf or hard of hearing have greater access to information. Currently, only two interpreters cover the station’s news programs.
  • Abigail Aruna and Benjamin Akinkang (2021 Alumni, Ghana) will hold a youth mentorship event to provide reusable sanitary pads, menstrual hygiene education on effective use of reusable pads and other products, and career mentorship to girls at the Bole Girls Model School.
  • Enelless Matandalizwe Phiri (2017 Alumna, Malawi) and Yohane Banda (2022 Alumnus, Malawi) are organizing an environmental clean-up campaign in which they will lead participants in a project to transform trash into art, a dialogue and walk on peace, and mural painting at a school.
  • Jennifer Batamuliza (2019 Alumna, Rwanda) is organizing a professional development workshop that will train girls, aged 12 to 19, in basic coding, provide mentoring, and inspire them to pursue a STEM career.
  • Emmanuel Lekundayo (2021 Alumnus, Tanzania) and Shubert Mwarabu (2017 Alumnus, Tanzania) are planning an environmental clean-up in collaboration with Tanzania Parks Authority, which will mobilize community groups to collect garbage along polluted Kibaoni-Mpanda highway that cuts through Katavi National Park. The team will also plant 500 trees at 10 schools to commemorate Mandela Day.
  • Harricannies Raymond Porto Kaima and Doreen Chaza Zimba (2019 Alumni, Zambia) will lead a community beautification project that will engage community volunteers in cleaning up and painting four community schools in Mumbwa District, which are primarily attended by children from marginalized neighborhoods. The team will also donate 100 desks to the schools. 

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!