Acumen Blog

1395768_10101695222622239_983621172_n

Announcing the East Africa Fellows Class of 2014

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our third cohort of East Africa Fellows. After a competitive selection process, we’ve chosen are a diverse group of 20 inspiring individuals who are fighting poverty and changing lives of people all over East Africa. Each Fellow is driving an innovative social change initiative addressing a variety of development issues, such as using mobile technology to support smallholder farmers, increasing access to financial services for Muslim women in Kenya, empowering urban refugees in Tanzania, and working with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of South Sudan. See below for photos and bios of everyone in the incoming class of East Africa Fellows:

 

billow

Billow is from Northern Kenya and is the Founder of The Mandera Times, a bi-monthly newsletter that seeks to provide access to information and current events to communities living in Northern Kenya that the mainstream media ignores. Billow also works at the Ministry of Education of Kenya, and was a One Young World Ambassador in 2013. Billow holds Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from University of Nairobi, is a Certified Public Accountant, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Finance & Economics from KCA University.

calvince

Calvince is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and CEO of M-Shamba, an interactive mobile platform that provides vital information to farmers and other stakeholders along the agricultural value chain. M-Shamba has benefited over 4,000 farmers to adopt new sustainable farming practices and increase access to markets to trade produce. Calvince holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural, Biomechanical, and Processing Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University.

 

caren

Caren is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF), an organization that works to develop the next generation of leaders in East Africa through leadership, training, and mentorship. ELF has trained 500 university student leaders, and has reached over 3,000 students through motivational talks in schools. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Nairobi.

 

christine gitau

Christine is from Nairobi, Kenya and is an enterprise coach and mentor at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services – such as training, endorsement for loans, and creating market connections – to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses. She is also the East Africa Representative of ARTerial Network, Africa’s largest civil society organization for the Arts. Christine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Literature from Moi University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Media Production from Mohamed Amin Foundation.

david gatwech

David is from Juba, South Sudan and is Deputy Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of Government in the Republic of South Sudan. In addition, David is a Secretary of the Joint Border Commission, as well as the National Secretariat for Peace Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. Previously, served as the Representative of the South Sudan Referendum Commission in Australia. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Deakin University, Australia.

eda eslabaEda is from Nairobi Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational development in Kenya’s youth. Her book, called Mkenya Halisi, has sold over 1,800 copies, Eda has engaged nearly 6,000 people through outreach events and the Mkenya Halisi movement continues to grow. Eda holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies from Africa International University (Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology).

!gerald otim

Otim is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator for Design and Training at Educate!, a pioneering an innovative model of secondary school education, combining experienced-based training and mentorship to position youth to lead change and development in Ugandan as leaders and entrepreneurs. Otim works strategy and creation of training resources for an education program that is reaching over 10,000 youth in 250 secondary schools across Uganda. He holds a Bachelors of Development Economics from Makerere University.

janemary

Janemary is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is the Country Director for Asylum Access, Tanzania which empowers the unrecognized and marginalized urban refugee population in Tanzania through legal services, livelihood and entrepreneurship training, and influencing public policy. Janemary holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Dar es Salaam.

 

jonathan mativo

Jonathan is from Makueni, Kenya and is the Founder and Chief Strategist of ICT for Development (ICT4D) Kenya, an award-winning organization that provides ICT training at the community level through a mobile training model. Nearly 200 of their youth graduates have secured jobs in the ICT sector. Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics and Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University.

 

joram

Joram is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Chairman of Jijenge Sanitation Youth Group, an organization that aims to alleviate poverty through solid waste management by increasing incomes for recyclable waste collectors through direct market linkages. Joram also serves as the Head of Finance for Upper Gura Water Resources Users Association. He is currently pursuing an MBA from Acton School of Business.

kahabi

Kahabi is from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and is the Deputy Project Director and Senior Manager for Capacity Building at Management Sciences for Health, which works to strengthen the leadership and management capacity for central agencies of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University (USA), and an MD from Muhimbili University in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

kdwJd9vnJXssh0rIbu2Jhyucc3WHpbtBsfLRed_-AQVWcRTomYkwsfnKcbsXSobRqQ=w876-h477

 

Kamanda is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Operations Manager at Gardens for Health International, an organization that works to provide agricultural solutions to chronic malnutrition. Kamanda was previously a Global Health Corps Fellow, and also worked at the Bank of Kigali. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) Kigali, Rwanda, and is currently pursuing an MBA from Mount Kenya University.

 

 

kennedy

Ken Oloo is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder of Filamujuani (“Films in the Sun” in Swahili) which trains and mentors students from informal settlements – such as Mkuru-Kwa-Njenga, Kibera and Kangemi – to tell their own stories using video and photography. He is also a director of Zindua Ltd, a social enterprise that creates television shows, commercials and documentaries. Ken holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Daystar University and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship for Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

leonard

Leonard is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Executive Director of Uganda Youth Forum, which challenges youth from ages 12-24 to take responsibility in creatively solving social and economic problems in their communities through nationwide programs such as the National Youth Awards. Their programs have reached 1,000 schools and over 10,000 young people. Leonard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Political Science from Makerere University.

 

q8eFEjDMRFtdYLOocxBE8UkXsYExS8_q_-i1_J4M_-pU_mqiDGHq9nY_3h9xvw4fEw=s190

Lucy is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Head Psychologist under the Department of Mental Health at the Ministry of State for Defense. She is addressing the mental and behavioral needs for uniformed personnel and their families, and aims to standardize these practices at military schools and hospitals across Kenya. Lucy holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the United States International University.

nehaNeha is currently working in Kampala, Uganda as the Acting Deputy Executive Director at International Law Institute-African Centre for Legal Excellence which works to build Africa’s legal infrastructure through responsibly drafted laws, systems for dispute resolution, capacity building, and improved governance. She was previously an Associate Attorney at the law firm Duane Morris, LLP. Neha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University, and a Doctorate in Law from Temple University.

 

nivi

Nivi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-founder and CEO of eLimu, an interactive education technology venture that delivers engaging digital media content on tablets tailored for the Kenyan curriculum. eLimu tablets are currently being used by over 1,000 primary school students. Previously, Nivi worked in the Kenyan IT training industry for 6 years and ran an initiative for underprivileged children called “Maisha ni Matamu.” Nivi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Ithaca College, NY.

richard

 

Richard Zulu is from Kampala, Uganda and is a Founder and Lead of Outbox, which currently works with up to 20 startups, and has reached over 900 individuals through their various community engagements during their first one and a half years of operation. Richard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Makerere University, Uganda.

 

sachinSachin is from Kenya and is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda where he is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Laterite Ltd. Laterite conducts socio-economic and policy research to help organizations in underserved markets deliver social change and effective development interventions. Previously, Sachin has worked in East Africa, South America and the US for the World Bank, Booz & Co, Silver Oak Solutions and IDEX. Sachin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California – Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

 

sarah

Sarah Matindi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is a Program Officer at MEGEN (Men for Gender Equality Now), an organization that engages men, boys and institutions to end gender-based violence and promote gender equality. She holds a certificate in counseling from the Amani Counseling and Training Institute.

 

The East Africa Fellows Program is made possible through the generous support of our partners: the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the Giving Wings Foundation, and the Gerald Segelman Trust. To learn more about the East Africa Fellows Program, visit our website. We will begin accepting applications for the next class in July 2014.

Comments

10 Books We’re Reading This Summer

What are you reading? It is a common question here at Acumen, an organization full of avid readers constantly trading favorite book titles that discuss leadership, impact, development and branding. Here are 10 stellar books we’re reading this summer. These books and others provide a framework of thinking, a spark of new ideas, a platform for debate. So, what are you reading? [Read More]

How Acumen Brought Back my Fire

Eda is an East Africa Regional Fellow from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational development in Kenya’s youth. When Eda applied for the East Africa Fellows Program, she felt disillusioned and stuck. Below, Eda discusses how Acumen’s Regional Fellowship Program brought back her fire. Now, Eda has engaged nearly 6,000 people through outreach events and the Mkenya Halisi movement continues to grow. Acumen is currently accepting applications for the next class of East Africa Fellows. APPLY TODAY! [Read More]

Imagining the world as it could be

Christine Gitau is an East Africa Fellow and an enterprise coach at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses in Kenya. At Acumen we often use the term “Moral Imagination” when talking about leadership. Christine wrote a reflection on how this concept has shifted her thinking. We could not be more proud of what she is building! [Read More]

How two Acumen Fellows are disrupting the education model in India

Whether its running youth soccer programs, providing vocational training services, or transforming the education system in India, Acumen India Fellows are driving real change in their communities.  Abbas Dadla and Abhilasha Sinha are India Fellows who are addressing the teacher shortage in India through the use of technology and peer collaboration. Find out what they are building below.  If you have grit, resilience and a commitment to creating change in your community in India, East Africa or Pakistan, we encourage you to apply for the Regional Fellowship Program! [Read More]

Meet Manjushree Patil, Founder of Aatman Academy

This month saw violent tragedies in Pakistan and Kenya, regions where Acumen works and which five classes of Acumen regional fellows call home. Among them there are dedicated teachers like Acumen India Fellow Manjushree Patil, crusaders against sex trafficking, builders of government, creators of liberating mobile medical technologies, and curators of slum sports programs. The need for strengthening the connections between those who are working for positive change against seemingly impossible odds has never been greater. We at Acumen have never been prouder to be the thread tying together these courageous individuals. Read more about Manjushree and how she is changing her community in India below! [Read More]

No, not silence again!

The Acumen Fellowship’s Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA) training is notorious for digging deep, breaking Fellows down to reveal their deepest fears, identifying the sources of resilience that will fuel them with the tenacity to continue along the path to social change. Kahabi G. Isangula is an East Africa Regional Fellow living in Tanzania and recently participated in our CLA training. Get an idea of what it is like, below!  [Read More]

Announcing the Class of 2015 Acumen Global Fellows

Acumen Global Fellows are architects for the impact sector. They are innovators, game changers, visionaries, with various professional experiences looking to make substantial change in the world. They have thrived in companies such as Google; they have started their own companies in Sri Lanka and Canada.  They are choosing the challenge of working alongside our portfolio companies and immersing themselves in a rigorous leadership training. [Read More]

Welcoming Ajit Mahadevan as Acumen India Country Director

We are pleased to announce that Ajit Mahadevan will be joining Acumen as India Country Director. Ajit joins Acumen from Ernst & Young, where he has served as Advisory Partner & Leader (Life Sciences) for the past six years.  At EY, he was a strategic advisor to the leadership of some of the leading Indian and global life science and healthcare players with the focus being business transformation and growth.  Prior to his time at E&Y, Ajit was President of Piramal Healthcare, one of the leading pharmaceuticals companies in India, where he built the international business from inception in 2002 to $300M by the end of 2008. Ajit held multiple leadership roles across strategy, M&A and business leadership. During his tenure at Accenture’s Strategic Services practice in UK and India, he led the development of one of the firm’s largest and most successful internal projects – the Offshore Development Centre in 2001, which has now grown to about 100,000 people across multiple cities in India. Ajit has worked in an advisory capacity to Acumen in the past, most recently participating in Regional Fellows selection panels in Mumbai. [Read More]