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Seeking Volunteers to Support Yali Fellows, June 17 - July 31

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Center for African Studies are seeking volunteers, peer mentors and business partners to help welcome 25 young professionals from across Africa as they visit Ohio State from June 17 – July 31 to participate in a six-week Public Management Institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The group is participating in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Ohio State is one of 36 academic institutions across the United States selected to host a cohort of YALI fellows.

Volunteers are needed to support and promote authentic and meaningful experiences for the fellows and serve as liaisons sharing their knowledge of local sites, culture, and events. MWF volunteers can invite fellows to social, sporting, cultural or other leisure events, or simply enjoy conversation and friendly exchange. Some may serve as peer mentors to network professionally. Volunteers are also invited to provide home-stay experiences for fellows, inviting individuals or groups into their home for a weekend during the program.

The fellowship provides 1,000 young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. The institute at Ohio State will focus on public management and five subthemes: health, business and entrepreneurship, agriculture, education, and democracy and governance. Ohio State’s program weaves a sequence of leadership development modules into the institute’s lectures, discussions, interactions with public, private and non-profit organizations, and social and professional networking opportunities, both on and off campus.

The fellows who will visit Ohio State hail from 17 different countries, including Benin, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Niger, Uganda, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Fourteen are men and eleven are women.

Fellows come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with experience in public, private, and non-profit work. Fourteen fellows are health professionals with specializations in maternal and child health, dentistry, psychiatry, anesthesiology, pharmacology, veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, food safety, infectious disease, and health management. Seven are in fields related to agriculture and food security, engaged in community development, energy and livelihoods, banking and credit. Several have backgrounds in economic development and planning, and several work with human rights and humanitarian aid concerns.

If you are interested in engaging with these dynamic individuals from across the African continent, exploring interests and issues, and build long-term relationships. To get started, tell us about your interest via http://go.osu.edu/mwfvolunteers. You may also contact Kayleigh Gallager at gallagher.438@osu.edu.