International Fellowships

In the spirit of Ed Roberts and our other founders, WID engages internationally with people who have disabilities to exchange best practices and support each other in advancing disability rights world-wide.

WID has had the incredible honor of working with some of the world’s most innovative young leaders in the disability rights arena. Over the years, we have accepted fellows from both the the Young African Leadership Initiative (specifically, the Mandela Washington Fellowship Civic Leadership Institute) and the Community Solutions Program.

For many of these international fellows, this is their first time to the United States. We introduce them to disability-focused activities and services that brand new to them; we tour them around our beautiful, universally designed building and introduce them to other tenants who also focus on disability rights. From Goalball and adaptive cycling to hiking and site seeing, WID involves our fellows in all the Bay Area has to offer to ensure that our fellows’ limited time here is enjoyed to the fullest. It is a pleasure and delight to work with these young leaders.

Fellowship Programs

Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI)

Beginning in 2014, WID has received some of Africa’s best and brightest through Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). Each summer, WID hosts a handful of young leaders as part of YALI’s flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship Civic Leadership Institute, held at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

This program is designated to empower young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership, training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities; WID strives to embody these six pillars and to give each of the fellows a unique and helpful experience. WID is proudly hosts the 1% of YALI fellows who have disabilities.

Check out this video of WID’s Director of Operations Kat Zigmont speaking about YALI at the 2015 WID Annual Report.

Community Solutions Program (CSP)

In 2016, WID also opened its doors to world-class fellows from the Community Solutions Program. This program focuses on professional development for global community leaders who work on transparency and accountability, tolerance and conflict resolution, environmental issues, and women and gender issues. Fellows chosen for this fellowship spend four months in America with a nonprofit organization or government agency. They also take online courses and design follow-up projects to implement when they return to their home countries.

Past International Fellow Bios

Robert Nkwangu 
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandella Washington Senior Fellow
Robert Nkwangu, headshotRobert is a trained professional in Social Sector Planning and Management. He holds a master’s degree in this field and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences.

He is a specialist in social development and socioeconomic empowerment and has worked with local and international organizations, focusing on children, youth, and people with disabilities, including Handicap International, Leonard Cheshire Disability International, National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda, Uganda Society for Disabled Children, Uganda National Association of the Deaf, African Youth Panel, UNFPA, and the African Union.

He has traveled widely, presenting papers and advocating for an all-inclusive society. His passion is to ensure that people with disabilities are given equal opportunities at all levels in society.

As a WID Senior Fellow, Robert founded “The Capable Works Disability Initiative,” a social enterprise to economically empower people with disabilities and advocate for their socioeconomic rights.

Robert is Deaf and a sign language user but can lip read.

Alieu Jatieh
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellow
Alieu Jatieh, headshotAlieu has over 8 years of experience working with blind and partially sighted people in the Gambia. He is the founder of Start Now, an organization with the mission to train and empower blind and partially sighted high school graduates with computer skills as a preparation for higher education and employment. He also works as a teacher at the School for the Blind where he teaches keyboarding to blind children. Alieu holds a Higher Teacher’s Certificate from the Gambia College School of Education, specializing in General Science and Agriculture and Acquired Leadership Training on Project Management from Kanthari in India, as well as Blind Technique Skills from Louisiana Centre for the Blind (U.S.). Upon completion of the fellowship at WID, Alieu plans to expand his organization as a regional hub to empower blind adults on ICT and to campaign against societal prejudices and discrimination toward visually impaired people.

Mauot Anyang
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellow

Mauot Anyang, headshotSince 2011, Mauot Louis alier Anyang has been a disability rights advocate and secretary of education for the South Sudan Association of the Visually Impaired where he supervises a music-and-drama group known as Hidden Ability Melody. His role is to advocate and lobby for persons with disabilities, especially access to education for the blind. He also mentors students and initiates and supervises the implementation of policies and guidelines developed by the association. He is a co-founder of the South Sudan Union of Persons with Disabilities.

Mauot possesses skills in administration, legal issues, and the media, which he acquired as a third-year law student and through work experience. Upon returning from the Fellowship, he intends to use the skills he has acquired to reform his organization, to contribute to promoting education of the blind, and to establish a magazine, as well as student advocacy groups in secondary schools across South Sudan.

Roshan Samarawickrama
Community Solutions Program (CSP) Fellow

Roshan Samarawickrama, headshotRoshan Samarawickrama is the Program Director of the charity ECSAT (Equality-based Community Support and Training) in Sri Lanka. In 2005, he joined the newly formed charity and has spearheaded its work to integrate people with disabilities and marginalized people into the community. His work is recognized locally where a lack of education and support from government agencies for people with disabilities is a deep-rooted cultural issue.

Roshan has a BA in Psychology and his other qualifications include counseling experience, an MA in Business Studies, a Diploma in Special Education, and he is currently enrolled in a MSSc. Sociology program. As a fellow at WID, he aims to learn as much as possible about the best practices in the USA for people with disabilities. He plans to take back and use these new ideas in practices at ECSAT.

Roshan is planning to enlist a dog on the ECSAT team.

Amrita Gyawali
Community Solutions Program (CSP) Fellow
Amrita Gyawali, headshotAmrita is a disability rights advocate, endeavoring for a change in Nepal. She has more than five years of experience working on disability and accessibility issues. She is passionate about advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in relation to physical and attitudinal barriers through social media campaigns, awareness drives, and advocacy. She is one of the co-founders of Sakshyam Foundation, which aims to create equal opportunity and independence for people with disabilities through formal and non-formal education and life skills.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. She is now looking forward to pursuing her master’s degree in her respective field of work.

As a fellow at WID, Amrita hopes to learn about employment and economic empowerment programs, social media advocacy, and social inclusion practices to implement in her home country.

Amrita likes traveling, learning new things, and adrenaline activities.

 

Words From Our Fellows

WID has had the incredible honor of working with some of the world’s most innovative young leaders in the disability rights arena. This section highlights our fellows from 2015 onward. To hear about the experience in the fellows’ own words, continue reading.

Amrita Gyawali

2018 Long-Term CSP Fellow from Nepal
During her time at WID, Amrita worked with WID staff to make 2 PSAs. Watch both below!

PSA #1: Independent Amrita

PSA #2: Employment Matters for Everyone

Roshan Samarawickrama

2016 Long-Term CSP Fellow from Sri Lanka

Mauot Anyang

2016 Long-Term YALI Fellow from South Sudan

Feri Gwata and Temitope Okupe

2016 Short-Term YALI Fellows from Zimbabwe (Feri) and Nigeria (Temitope)

Alieu Jaiteh

2015 Long-Term YALI Fellow from The Gambia
Video interview below:

Main content end

 

 

Main content end

7 thoughts on “International Fellowships

  1. Pingback: WID’s Current Initiatives: 2016 – World Institute on Disability

  2. Pingback: WID’s Current Initiatives: 2017 – World Institute on Disability

Leave a Reply to denisehiltonDenise Hilton Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s