• The fellowship dubbed MLOVE is a transformative 12-month experiential leadership program.
• It provides young leaders with a vulnerable and safe space to be human, collaborate and partner with others.
Fifteen young Kenyans have been picked to perfect their entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
MLIFE Foundation, NGO based in the US picked the 15 to join its fellowship aimed at equipping them with skills to become NextGen Leaders.
The fellowship dubbed MLOVE is a transformative 12-month experiential leadership program.
It provides young leaders with a vulnerable and safe space to be human, collaborate and partner with others, learn from world-class faculty, and become future leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs.
MLIFE Foundation President and Founder Mwangi Mukami says MLOVE Fellows receive a financial stipend, mentorship and coaching, and other tools they need to ideate, define, and execute a strategy that gives them an advantage in a complex and changing world.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population globally, with 70 percent of its population under 30. Almost 2/3 of this population are underemployed and from an economically disadvantaged background. It is Africa's most tremendous potential lying in waste. We build a better world by providing the NextGen leaders with a platform to learn, innovate, and connect with others to realize goals that matter to them,” Mukami noted.
Among the MLOVE Fellows include Philly Achieng, a passionate journalist and advocate of human rights, and Risper Kengere a radical feminist who advocates for gender equality, economic justice, and sexual reproductive health.
Silvia Wanja a youth empowerment and development specialist, Stacey Wakesho a digital activist representing the queer community, and Tuta Mang’eli a human rights defender in the coast region have also been picked.
Others include Tech expert Valary Vusaka, aspiring entrepreneur Vincent Kipkorir, Mental Health Advocate Patricia Chebet, social work enthusiast Mariam Komora, Human Rights Defender Kelvin Njeri, and psychologist Ismael Michael Kiboro.
“Women represent 60 percent of our fellows, empowering women is essential to the health, economic, and social development of families, communities and countries. When women are living safe, fulfilled and productive lives, they can reach their full potential,” Mukami explained.
Following the announcement, the cohort will convene at the three-day annual leadership conference in Nairobi dubbed “The Future is Human Summit set for July 31 - August 2, 2023.
“During the summit, the MLOVE fellows will be trained on communication skills, leadership and entrepreneurship. However, it does not end there, the 12-month programme will also include one on one coaching sessions, bi-weekly mentorship sessions, and training on fundraising among other skills,” MLOVE Programme Director Mwangi Ndegwa said.
Following the 12 month programme, the Fellows will be given a chance to participate to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas, with the best business ideas getting funding.
“Over 10 entrepreneurs in Africa have benefited from the programme, we have spent about Sh10 million in supporting startups that emanate from the programme. This year, we have also set aside Sh10 Million to fund banable ideas,” Ndegwa added.
Instituted in 2017 as Summer Leaders’ Summit and Retreat, MLOVE is a premier multidisciplinary and multicultural fellowship for under-resourced high-impacting and high-potential NextGen leaders.
Applications for the next class of MLOVE Fellows will be open from January 1 through March 31, 2024.