The Global Fund for Community Foundations and Root Change, are delighted to announce the inaugural cohort of the 2022 #ShiftThePower Fellows. The twelve Fellows, who come from ten different countries and who represent the diversity of the civil society and social change eco-system, were selected from a competitive field of over 140 applicants who applied over the course of a week back in March.
The six-month Fellowship is an experimental approach aimed at strengthening the collective “weave” between change-makers around the world and, by doing so, at deepening and expanding the #ShiftThePower movement. It builds on the GFCF and Root Change’s shared interest in what is often invisible, relational, power that is essential to a thriving “root system” for social change that is shaped and driven from the ground up. Fellows will dedicate a fixed number of hours per month to the programme: while each will determine their own specific focus and line of inquiry, all will become versed in the power of social network analysis in theory and practice while expanding their own networks of solidarity and influence.
The #ShiftThePower Fellowship forms part of the larger Giving for Change programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which seeks to strengthen community philanthropy as a form of and force for freedom of expression and rights claiming.
The 2022 #ShiftThePower Fellows
Catherine Gordo (GlobalGiving, Philippines)
With more than 15 years of experience working with partners and communities, Catherine believes that “policies, structures, processes, and organizational culture can either facilitate or hinder community-led change, but so does one’s behavior, attitudes, and language.“
Deepthy Menon (Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Rights, Asia & Pacific, Cambodia)
Deepthy is a storyteller who currently lives and breathes new feminist realities. She honed her storytelling skills over years spent as a journalist, and later as a communications strategist, documenter, and researcher across fields as diverse as gender and rights-based advocacy, energy justice, and data-driven decision-making.
“As a seeker of patterns and storyteller, I look forward to conversations that seed new ideas, and to give and receive confidence to experiment and expand ways in which we can share power and the privilege we wield.”
Elizaphan Ogechi (Nguzo Africa, Kenya)
Elizaphan works at the intersection of governance, sustainable development, and community philanthropy and has more than 18 years of experience in the non-profit sector. “ShiftThePower means changing mindsets on how development happens both at the donor (giving) side and community (receiving) side. It is about adding value,being flexible, responsive and innovative in development delivery. It is about giving power to communities to know their value, voice their aspirations and become resilient and prosperous. It is about taking a pause to cool off, reflect and ask about past, current and future development scenarios.”
Eme Iniekung (Philanthropy Circuit, Nigeria)
Eme is the Program Coordinator for Philanthropy Circuit; a pan-African-focused non-profit providing access to critical knowledge, resources, and tools to strengthen African nonprofits and development stakeholders. She supports an ecosystem of learning and collaborations actively amplifying the practice of African philanthropy.
Eme is keen on fostering an enabling environment and social impact through systems change work. She does this as a member of the Special National Advisory on CSOs Group, and as part of the Africa Civic Engagement Academy. She is also a member of the Re-imagining INGO Social Lab and the WINGS Enabling Environment Working Group. Her philosophy is summed up in the words of Everjoice Win: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Emmanuel Kivanyuma Waiswa (Civil Collective, Uganda)
Emmanuel is a farmer and a grassroots enthusiast with a passion for community-led development.
“At Civil Collective, we have a belief that poor people should be given the space and resources to self-determine and develop local capacities to overcome inequalities, of which the lack of money is just one part. I hope that the next six months of the fellowship can bring us all together, to share experiences, as well as attempt to formulate an agenda on how we can confront large mainstream ineffective aid systems at home and globally.”
Jimm Chick Fomunjong (West Africa Civil Society Institute, Cameroon)
“My quest for being a part of this fellowship lies in the critical and growing need to have more thought leaders who do not only understand the pertinence of the #ShiftThePower movement within the sector, but more so, who are willing to contribute their quota to shift the needle in this regard and make sure there is an actual power shift in the sector. I am therefore motivated by this to learn from my peers and to share insights on ways through which we can collectively join efforts to strengthen and to make the needed shift happen.”
Mariane Maier Nunes (Member of the Advisory Board, ICOM – Instituto Comunitário Grande Florianópolis, Brazil)
“Establishing and strengthening collective initiatives to promote structural changes in social justice really drives me. During my time as an Executive Director of a community foundation in Brazil, I have designed and tested different methodologies and initiatives for movement building and community strengthening in complex environments. I have learned that enabling change is about connecting, convening and building bridges with and between people. In the spirit of convening, I am excited to co-create this journey with a network of change-makers. Together we will reflect and dream of a radically different future.”
Mwila Chriseddy Bwanga (Africa Philanthropy Network, Tanzania)
“In my quest to unify community voices and actions in championing Africa’s transformation, the #ShiftThePower fellowship presents itself as an opportunity to harness my advocacy, expand my intellectual horizon, and connect with like-minded leaders that are driven with an undivided passion to #ShiftThePower and manifest real change.”
Nino Ugrekhelidze (VOICE Amplified, Spain)
Nino is a feminist activist with over ten years of experience working with global and grassroots-based organizations to advance gender justice and human rights. Nino supports VOICE Amplified as a Lead on Philanthropic Advocacy for the Ukraine crisis response and serves the Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) as a Coordination Committee Member. Nino is engaged in grassroots movement organizing in Eastern Europe, focusing on the leadership of young girls and women from conflict-affected areas, capacity building of LGBTQIA+ people, and the development of community philanthropy.
Ogo Chukwudi (TrustAfrica, Nigeria)
Ogo is a development professional and has spent the past seven years in the development sector working to improve the world’s complex social issues. She joined TrustAfrica in 2018 as a Project Associate for the Kiisi Trust Fund, where she worked closely with key community stakeholders to identify and fund initiatives that empowers and bring sustainable development to Ogoniland, Nigeria.
Ogo is currently a Program Associate for the Equitable Development and African Philanthropy programmes at TrustAfrica, where she works on initiatives that meet the needs of underserved communities through policies and programmes that reduce disparities. She is an inaugural member of the Karibu Foundation New Reality Grant (KNRG) core group, a programme run by the Karibu Foundation based in Norway. The core group comprises six African activists working to co-create a new grantmaking programme.
Robert White (Tilitonse Foundation, Malawi)
“I want to be part of the movement that builds a case and influences the development discourse with a more people led paradigm shift that brings power to the ‘ground’ at all levels. This fellowship provides me the opportunity to contribute towards changing mind-sets, behaviours and practices that have shaped development and poverty reduction initiatives over the years (but have not succeeded as expected). The fellowship will also provide me the opportunity to learn from others in the ever changing development architecture. I believe that by the end of my fellowship, we will have pooled knowledge together for sharing and learning that will contribute towards influencing development policy and practice.”
Wanjiru Kanyiha (Kilimani Project Foundation, Kenya)
Wanjiru is a lawyer by training, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, and an advocate for social justice and good governance. Wanjiru currently heads the Kilimani Project Foundation, a membership community foundation established in 2012 by and for multi-interest stakeholders, residents, corporates, micro-enterprises, and public space occupiers. Through transformative, innovative methods, the foundation seeks to activate the community’s constitutional rights through empowering and informing as well as facilitating platforms for engaging amongst themselves and various stakeholders.
Wanjiru is a passionate change-maker, keen on social impact broadly defined, community organizing and women’s empowerment.