By Ime Archibong, Vice President, Product Partnerships
Community leaders play a critical role in bringing people closer together. Many of these leaders turn to Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp to create these connections, and often tell us that they could have more impact with additional support, better tools and access to funding. We created the Facebook Community Leadership Program to empower these leaders who are building communities around the world. Today, we’re announcing the 115 people who have been selected into the program as community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participants.
Since announcing the program in February, we received more than 6,000 applications from all over the world. A selection committee, which included employees as well as community experts from outside of Facebook, reviewed each application so we could identify leaders with a strong, clear and committed vision for their community.
Five participants were selected as community leaders in residence, who will each be awarded up to $1,000,000 to fund their community initiative. The final amount received will be determined based on a budget proposal created and submitted by each resident as part of their program training.
- Adhunika Prakash built a community of more than 80,000 people in India who offer and receive support throughout their various stages of the breastfeeding journey. Her vision includes working with hospitals in India to help train and support parents, particularly in rural areas.
- Christian Delachet co-founded the Wanted Community as a place for people to offer daily support and mutual help to their neighbors both online and in real life. They have established local neighborhood groups across France and he plans to create a network of physical locations for community members to connect with one another.
- Latasha Morrison wants to equip the next generation to lead the way to racial reconciliation in the US. Her online network of small groups encourages people to meet in real life and she hopes to strengthen these connections through her residency.
- Noah Nasiali has brought more than 100,000 farmers across Africa together online in less than a year. His community helps farmers obtain knowledge and share information that has critical impact in the physical world of farming, including increased production and profits.
- Paula Pfeifer decided to break the social isolation caused by hearing loss by creating a community with others who share her experience. She brings people in Brazil who are deaf and use technology to hear together to offer emotional support and share useful information with each other.
The program will also include more than 100 fellows and youth participants who will receive up to $50,000 each to be used for their community initiative. This group includes leaders with diverse perspectives from different parts of the world, but they share a common goal of helping their communities thrive. You can learn more about them at communities.fb.com. We know they will do great things over the next year and we’re excited to get started.