In 2018 Facebook launched its Community Accelerator Programme, looking for leaders on its platform who would help the company equip communities with the training, mentorship and funding.

In March of this year, it called for leaders from across the globe to apply to be a part of the initiative, and now 77 worldwide have been chosen, with 12 coming from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Of that 12, six are South African, and they will receive up to $30 000 (~R504 919) as part of this six-month long Community Accelerator Programme.

“In the first three months of the programme, these leaders will learn from experts and coaches, whilst developing customized curriculums focused on growing their own communities,” explains Facebook in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“The following three months will then be focused on iterating and executing their plans, with funding and continued support from their network, as well as from a dedicated programme team. The Community Accelerator will then culminate in an event with community leaders to showcase their communities and progress to external funders and partners,” it adds.

The six South African community leaders selected by the social media company are:

  • Lauren Dallas (Future Females) – Founded in 2017 with a mission to increase the number of female entrepreneurs and support their success.
  • Refilwe Nkomo (Visual Arts Network South Africa) – Established in 2007 as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in South Africa.
  • Naadiya Moosajee (WomEng) – A social enterprise aimed at attracting, developing and nurturing the next generation of women engineering leaders.
  • Dillion Phiri (Creative Nestlings) – Launched in February 2011, Dillion Phiri founded Creative Nestlings to connect young African creatives to each other, to opportunities and to resources.
  • Rufaro Mudimu (Enke) – “Enke”, meaning ‘ink’ in SeTswana, started in 2009 to bridge socioeconomic inequality by bringing young people together and equipping them with the skills and experiences to improve their lives.
  • Tariro Bure (MINDS) – MINDS was founded in 2010 as a platform rooted in cultural heritage and knowledge systems for youth to reclaim their African identities and transform the continent.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming 12 African community leaders to Facebook’s first Community Accelerator. We’ve seen time and again the power of communities in bringing people closer together and feeling more connected. We know community leaders can do amazing things when they have adequate support from others, tools to get the job done, funding to grow and belief in themselves,” says Kezia Anim-Addo, head of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook.

“The Facebook Community Accelerator will enable these great communities to make an even greater positive impact in the world, and we hope that through the support of the programme these communities will have extraordinary impact, even in extraordinary times,” Anim-Addo concludes.

With several communities struggling to cope amid the impact of COVID-19 in the first half of this year, we’re hoping the training, mentorship and funding offered by Facebook will assist all 12 of the chosen leader and their respective initiatives.