Afrikan Diplomatic Ambassadors Fellowship™ is our program offering youths from the ages of 17-21 the opportunity to cultivate their interests in international development. Bridge Builders will craft a relationship between 4-10 youth from 3 countries with a strong Afrikan presence in order to bring to fruition the vision of Afrikan Unity Initiative. We at Afrikan Unity Initiative believe that the people living in so-called developing nations have as much insight into building better nations as those living in developed nations. Afrikan Diplomatic Ambassadors Fellowship™ defies the conventions of international development by creating a 360⁰ exchange program where youths from developed and so-called developing nations both serve as host country nationals and guests in the process of the fellowship. Fellows are empowered to promote hope and the possibility of better realities for Afrikan people. The fellowship will be divided into three phases each focused on building and maintaining bonds that will create strong unity within the community of the Afrikan Diaspora. Bridge Builder Fellowship™ creates the unique opportunity for youths from developed nations and so-called developing nations to equally exchange ideas and best practices in international development.
Phase I The fellows will start by being introduced to the concept of The Fundi Effect™, which is the development methodology utilized by Afrikan Unity Initiative. The Fundi Effect™ describes the Honorable Ella Baker’s approach to activism as she always looked to create leaders rather than simply have followers. The fight against oppression around the world has and will continue to drastically change over time. The Fundi Effect™; however, goes beyond the concerns of the present and serves to prepare people to flow with the inevitable changes that occur in life. The Fundi Effect™ is a method of activism that is capable of being applied inter-generationally, and has the ability to address the reactionary manner with which injustice is dealt in attempts at social movements at present. Fellows will focus on the areas of starting and maintaining a successful enterprise, proper nutritional practices, creating balanced meals, and disease prevent i.e. (HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Ebola, Diabetes, etc.). The ability to write a complete business plan will be covered as well as grant writing for non-profit ventures. Proper nutrition competencies will be to create nutritionally balanced meals on a budget and methods to teach healthy practices. Fellows will be educated on certain diseases that plague their international counterparts’ communities and will also display the ability to debunk certain myths about various diseases with cultural sensitivity. The fellows will also receive language training to be able to adequately communicate with their international counterparts. For example: A partnership between fellows from the U.S, Haiti, and Guinea would require the representatives from Haiti and Guinea to be proficient in spoken and written English, and the U.S. fellows will in part need to be proficient in spoken and written French. The language learning process will be interactive involving multimedia resources along with classroom strategies. When fellows have shown an understanding of The Fundi Effect™ the three focal areas, and have exhibited the proper language proficiency they will matriculate to Phase II. Fellows must commit to the full 12 month term of Phase I in order to be considered for continuation into Phase II.
Phase II Phase II will begin with the virtual introduction of the fellows from all 3 nations and will have a 12 month duration just as Phase I. The fellows will then be put in groups of 3, one fellow from each nation, in order to build a more personable working relationship. There will be communication through snail mail, e-mail, and video chat capabilities. The fellows will share ideas of development and discuss ways to improve relations across the Afrikan Diaspora. Fellows will also assess some of the major issues that they feel are plaguing their home communities and along with their international counterparts discuss these problems using the tools learned from their trainings in The Fundi Effect™. All of the activities and trainings offered in Phase I will continue into Phase II. The fellows will also be introduced to in-depth facts and figures about the countries of their international counterparts and begin to apply for Passports, Visas, and fundraising in preparation for Phase III. Phase III Phase III is the cross-cultural exchange component of the Bridge Builders Fellowship™. Each group of fellows will host their international counterparts in their country of origin for 4 weeks respectively totaling in a 3 month tour abroad. Fellows will live with host-families during their time abroad in order to fully experience the daily life of the nation’s citizens. Fellows will address their community concerns discussed virtually in Phase II. Fellows will also host Community Assessment meetings to assess the concerns of the communities in which they are stationed and participate in community service activities to tackle the matters discussed in those meetings. Fellows will be challenged to access the knowledge of the key focal points of Phase I; nutrition, enterprise and disease prevention using this information to serve as peer-educators at local youth centers training youths of the local community on these topics. The youths serving as hosts will benefit from the fresh views of their counterparts being able to visualize new possibilities within their neighborhoods that may go unnoticed by being accustomed to the norms of one’s home environment. Ideas may be exchanged and hope has the potential to be inspired to challenge injustices that have locally been reluctantly accepted simply because there persists to be a lack of a sense of empowerment felt by host country nationals. The youths abroad as guests will benefit from the opportunity to travel to two foreign nations and be exposed to new ways to view the world. They also receive the opportunity to work directly in the field of international development, actualizing the theory learned in Phases I and II.