Fellowship Alumni Convene at United Nations General Assembly
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) convened on September 13, 2022, and ran through September 26, 2022. This year’s theme “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” acknowledges the need for cross-cutting solutions that build global sustainability and resilience.
Alongside the UN General Assembly, Fellowship Alumni and members of the Fellowship Network hosted and attended events to connect and accelerate progress toward pressing global issues.
One of my best takeaways [from the Fellowship] was giving back to the community. With the Fellowship, I came to realize that, while business is essential, there are other community issues that I can also address with my skills.”Haoua Ango Sawadogo, 2016 Fellowship Alumna, Burkina Faso
Advancing goals as changemakers
2017 Fellowship Alumnus Sougourounoma Henri Kabore and 2016 Fellowship Alumna Haoua Ango Sawadogo from Burkina Faso, were nominated by the Fellowship to attend the two-day Goal Keepers Forum by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the sidelines of the 77th UNGA in New York.
Goalkeepers is dedicated to accelerating progress toward the Global Sustainable Development Goals: using powerful stories, data, and partnerships to highlight progress achieved, and bring together a diverse range of leaders to address the world’s major challenges. The Goalkeepers are a community of changemakers who are advancing Global Goals in diverse ways.
Sougourounoma founded the “Burkina Faso Youth Interfaith Network” to counter terrorism by fostering interfaith and intercultural dialogue. He is also a medical doctoral student currently writing a dissertation on the contribution of GIS and Geodesign in achieving health-related SDGs. Haoua is the founding member of ADEJ, a nonprofit organization aimed at assisting children and youth, and promoting gender equality, environmental education, youth reproductive health, and schooling. She is also a manager and founder of is the manager of WIZ Translation-Interpretation Services.
Engaging with the Fellowship Network
[The Fellowship] made me more confident to do something on my own. It changed my way of leading and the experience doesn’t have a price. When I walk into a room, I’m confident to talk to anybody.”Victorine Sarr, 2015 Fellowship Alumna, Senegal
On the sidelines of the General Assembly and on the second day of the Opportunities in Africa event hosted by 2016 Fellowship Alumnus Kémo Touré from Senegal, the Mandela Washington Fellowship held an informal conversation with Fellowship Alumni at Pace University. The session connected Alumni attending the Opportunities in Africa event and Alumni in New York for UNGA-related engagements.
The discussion centered around Alumni’s professional journeys after the Fellowship. 2014 Fellowship Alumna Mariem Kane said, “[The Fellowship] made me more confident to do something on my own,” to which 2015 Alumna Victorine Sarr added, “It changed my way of leading and the experience doesn’t have a price. When I walk into a room, I’m confident to talk to anybody.”
Haoua Ango Sawadogo said, “One of my best takeaways [from the Fellowship] was giving back to the community. With the Fellowship, I came to realize that, while business is essential, there are other community issues that I can also address with my skills.”
The Alumni reiterated that they are indebted to the Fellowship for providing the tools to pursue different career paths and shared their engagement with the larger Alumni network.
2014 Alumnus Vincent Kalimba, said, “I can never have enough time to talk about the impact of the Fellowship in my life.”
Written by Sarah Kuruswo and Abbie Wade.