Opening doors for SA youth

2016-10-19 06:00
With two Pietermaritzburg Yali fellows from 2016 (from left) Mark Carr (U.S. Embassy), Mondli Zondo, Pierre Buckley and Thula Ngcobo (U.S. Embassy). PHOTO: nicole john

With two Pietermaritzburg Yali fellows from 2016 (from left) Mark Carr (U.S. Embassy), Mondli Zondo, Pierre Buckley and Thula Ngcobo (U.S. Embassy). PHOTO: nicole john

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APPLICATIONS for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Yali) will close on 26 October.

Mark Carr, public relations officer for the U.S. Embassy, said that Yali is in its fourth year and was developed to form bonds between the U.S. and South Africa to allow people of like minds to learn from each other and offer South Africans the chance to study at some of America’s top universities.

Two of the Pietermaritzburg 2016 fellows spoke at the Bessie Head Library last week promoting the programme. Mondli Zondo and Pierre Buckley went to America earlier this year as part of Yali and descried their experiences as “priceless”.

Both fellows said that Yali opened up opportunities in the working environment for them as well as build a strong network of contacts with organisations across countries.

“It was truly something I would encourage people to be involved in. The benefits it has for you as a person, and your career is amazing.

“The experience is something I would never have been able to get in another programme,” said Zondo.

Buckley said that Yali leaves a lasting impact on a person’s career, which does not end once the fellows return to their home country.

“We have made contacts and links with other countries that will help us with the work we are doing, not only in Pietermaritzburg, but the country as a whole.”

Yali is open to people across Africa and not only provides participants with an opportunity of learning about the U.S., but also engages with and learns from others who live in different parts of Africa.

The fellowship includes academic course work, leadership training, and the highlight was meeting President Barak Obama.

Applications and criteria for selection are available online at youngafr icanleaders.state.gov

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