Meet The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows


Duaa Albadri, Sudan

Duaa Albadri has over six years of experience in the nonprofit sector focused on health and education. Currently, Duaa is a general practitioner dentist working for the federal Ministry of Health, where she also works on the school oral health program, providing primary oral care and awareness to thousands of students in hundreds of schools. Duaa fulfils her passion for serving vulnerable communities by being a public health advocate. She works with universities, NGOs, and associations to conduct medical missions to remote and rural areas around Sudan, providing treatment and raising awareness regarding overall health, chronic diseases, oral cancers, prevention, and cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation. Duaa aspires to build healthier communities and health systems that are strong, resilient and equitable. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue her community engagement work to better address health issues, conduct campaigns, encourage investment in information technology and collaborate with policymakers to bridge policy and practice.

Ayaba Gloria Gangnonto, Benin   

Gloria Gangnonto has over four years of experience in community health and currently works as a community health volunteer at the Benin Red Cross Society. As a community health volunteer, she is involved in community resilience programs, such as Community Based Health First Aids (CBHFA). Gloria also is also a coach at TBC-AFRICA USA, a certified language center where she educates youth on English skills. Gloria holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging and Radiobiology from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. She believes that people come first and without good health and education, there can be no development. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to extend CBHFA training across Benin, empowering community members to take care of their own health, master first aid, and assist injured people in the case of accidents. Gloria also believes that good readers today make good leaders tomorrow, so she plans to establish libraries in the 77 communes of Benin to assist youth in reading and acquiring the necessary knowledge to achieve their goals.

Wendata Bertille Dorcas Yanogo, Burkina Faso

Wendata Bertille Dorcas Yanogo has over two years of experience in community service. Currently, Wendata is the president the Association des Malades de la Myasthenie (AMMY), an association that she created after she was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), understood the plight of MG patients, and saw how society treated MG patients. Her team and her are working hard to change mindsets and attitudes and give hope to those who are suffering from this illness in Burkina Faso. Before being diagnosed with MG, she volunteered with autistic children in Ouagadougou. Wendata holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is pursuing a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. Wendata is committed to helping people overcome their disabilities and illnesses. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Wendata plans to build a strong advocacy strategy to strengthen AMMY and expand the association’s work to include all rare diseases. She also intends to use the acquired skills in her studies.


Jerrat Bongeh Ngongfeutang, Cameroon

Jerrat Ngongfeutang Bongeh has over five years’ experience in inclusive and special education. He is a special education teacher and director of the Special Educational Teachers Training Institute (SENTTI) in Yaoundé. He is also the founder of the Braille Transcribers Association and a lecturer at the Heritage Higher Institute of Peace and Development (HEHIPED) in Yaoundé. His work includes inclusive and special education training, braille transcribing, consultancy services, and providing learning support to children with disabilities. Jerrat also raises awareness for the rights and needs of people with disabilities.


Eric Constantin Makanda, Central African Republic

Eric Constantin Makanda is a leader in the cultural field, with over fifteen years in theater for development, participatory theater, and social intervention. Eric has held leadership positions in several arts and cultural associations in the Central African Republic. Since 2015, he has been the secretary general of the Central African Federation of Theater. He is also the communications manager of the Central African Republic Chapter of the Arterial Network. Eric holds a professional degree in Cultural Development from the National School of Arts in Bangui. He is currently transitioning to television and cinema as an actor in Central African films that address peace and social cohesion between Muslim and Christian communities. Since 2013, the Central African Republic has seen fighting between these two communities as part of the political and military crisis. He wishes to shoot a film about Central African Muslims and Christians to start the process of returning to peace and building cohesive communities. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Eric plans to establish a film production and education center with recording studios to benefit artists and individuals, in the Central African Republic, Africa, and the world, who fight for peace.


Kouassi Yannick N’Goran, Cote d’Ivoire 

N’Goran Kouassi Yannick has eight years of experience in community development and volunteerism, especially in youth education. Yannick holds a degree in English from the University of Felix Houphouet Boigny and certificate in Mind Education from the International Mind Education Institute in South Korea. He is currently an interpreter, English teacher, mind education lecturer, and lead of a multicultural dance company. He also volunteers at the International Youth Fellowship, an NGO, where he encourages youth to partake in development through community and entrepreneurial action. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he envisions running a program in Cote d’Ivoire for sustainable change, using mind lectures and English training as a basis to connect skills and mindsets to face inappropriate management, monitoring problems, and corruption.


Phantsi Eric Makobane, Lesotho

Phantsi Eric Makobane is a human rights activist and civil rights leader, working to improve the lives of people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities. He is a founder and director of Disabled and HIV/AIDS Organization Lesotho, which works with vulnerable and key populations on HIV/AIDS, economic empowerment, democracy, and human rights. Seeing it as his civic responsibility, Phantsi uses a human rights approach to spread awareness of HIV prevention, treatment.

Darmin Domingos Mutenda Ribeiro, Mozambique

Darmin Mutenda Ribeiro has over three years’ experience in community development, focusing on youth advocacy and educational programming for children’s rights and protection, gender, and HIV/AIDS. Currently, Darmin works as the principal and a teacher for Centro Infantil Whurula, a daycare center in Quelimane. She also teaches an English language teaching course at the Universidade Pedagogica de Mocambique in Quelimane, the same university where she received a degree in English Language Teaching. She also has experience in teaching Portuguese. Darmin is committed to promoting inclusive and quality education for children regardless of their impairments. Upon completion of Mandela Washington Fellowship, Darmin plans to continue her work with children’s education, focusing on children with special needs.

Gerrit Keyter, Namibia

Gerrit Keyter has six years of experience in the community development sector, especially in training medical students in the Namibian public healthcare sector. Currently, Gerrit is completing his last semester of medical school at the University of Namibia's (UNAM) School of Medicine (SoM) and preparing to start his medical internship. He volunteers as a student mentor and demonstrator at the medical school, where he mentors junior medical students and assists second-year medical students during anatomy dissections. He previously served on the Student Representative Council at the UNAM SoM, as well as at the University of Stellenbosch's Faculty of Natural Sciences, where he was involved with various community development and outreach programs in the Namibian and South African public healthcare sectors. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Gerrit plans to continue his work as a medical student mentor, as well as a medical intern mentor in the Namibian public healthcare sector. He also plans to expand his mentorship program to more district hospitals in Namibia since medical doctors are now required to complete two years of community service in the regional district hospitals.

Kellya Uwiragiye, Rwanda

Kellya Uwiragiye holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from the University of Rwanda, and is the founder of Media for Deaf Rwanda, a non-governmental organization established in 2014, which strives for social and media inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing people in Rwanda. Kellya's dissertation research on media access for the deaf led her to start an organization that advocates for media inclusion of deaf people. Kellya has almost four years of experience in the disability movement and currently works as a sign language interpreter. She also designed a media campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of Rwandan Sign Language. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes to apply her acquired skills and strong network to improve access to services and education for the deaf in Rwanda.

Nouhoum Akondo, Togo 

Nouhoum Akondo has over five years’ experience as a program administrator at Pathways Togo, a nonprofit organization providing scholarships for intelligent underprivileged young women to attend middle school through university. He is passionate about contributing to the development of his nation. Previously, he worked for Peace Corps Togo, where he learned how women can contribute to the welfare of the society. In 2011, he graduated with a degree in English Linguistics and learned how to use language to promote peace and security and positively impact his environment. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nouhoum aims to strengthen his commitment to women’s empowerment through vocational education and life skills training.

Gloria Mutyaba, Uganda

Gloria Mutyaba has over five years’ experience in grassroots activism and community mobilization, specifically for gender and sexual minorities in Uganda. Currently, Gloria is the program officer at Freedom and Roam Uganda, a lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women’s rights organization. She is a radical feminist, human rights defender, and LGBTI and gender rights activist, passionate about addressing violence faced by LBQ women. She is a member of the Africa Sex Rights Network and SRHR Africa Trust. She is an alumna of the Tuwezeshe Dada program on improving the rights and amplifying the actions of young African women against all forms of gender-based violence. Gloria holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Makerere University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she wants to open the first LBQ women’s reference center to better respond to the psychosocial needs of the LBQ community. The center will provide advocacy, generate evidence-based knowledge, and offer free psychosocial programs to LBQ women in Uganda.

Barbara Kemigisa, Uganda

Barbara Kemigisa is an HIV activist in Kampala, Uganda who is passionate about sharing her story after being molested as a child and infected with HIV as a teen, through Pill Power Uganda. This organization recycles empty ARV bottles into artifacts to engage, support, and inspire youth living with HIV and to use their stories to change the face of HIV and AIDS in Uganda.


John Chiti, Zambia 

John Chiti has over five years of experience in the music industry and working for albino rights. Currently, John is an established musician and the executive director of the Albino Foundation of Zambia, where he advocates for the welfare and human rights of people with albinism. John is the first person with albinism to emerge into the limelight in Zambia. He is passionate about musical talent. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, John plans to establish a talent development center, which will discover, develop, produce, and promote talent in youth, thereby empowering them to earn a living.

Dorice Habwe Andetse, Kenya

Dorice Habwe Andetse advocates for the rights of people with disabilities and has over four years' experience in disability rights, community development, and motivational speaking. Currently, she works as an assistant fundraising and public relations officer at the Kenya Society for the Blind. She manages three projects focused on economic empowerment for people with disabilities. She has volunteered for various NGOs in Nairobi, including an adopt a child program and feeding program for street children. Dorice is an experienced public relations assistant with a demonstrated history in nonprofit organization management. She is also skilled in marketing, social media, editing, public relations, and event planning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from Egerton University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to empower the youth and disabled people through workshops and seminars. She also hopes to use mass media more efficiently to effect change in her country.

Omotoke Titilope Olowo, Nigeria

Olowo Omotoke Titilope has over five years' experience in community development, and volunteering focused on inclusive education for children living with disabilities. She is a special needs educator, teaching communication and social skills to children with autism, ADHD, and down syndrome. Omotoke holds a bachelor's degree in Education from Obafemi Awolowo University, where she specialized in school guidance counseling. She is driven by her commitment and passion for inclusive education and wishes to see every child receive education irrespective of their disability, mental health, or environment. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue fostering an inclusive educational environment for children with disabilities and advocating for an inclusive society.


Nick Oketch, Kenya

Nick Oketch hails from rural Siaya County in western Kenya and has six years' experience in the nonprofit and volunteer sectors. He is inspired to fight for and advance gender equality, youth development, and sexual health rights. Nick’s work entails youth rights advocacy and capacity building for young women and adolescents in his community. He is currently an UNLEASH Lab 2017 SDG Talent, Women Deliver Young Global Leader, Johnson and Johnson Global Fellow, and YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa alumnus. Nick is also the director and founder of the Paradigm Youth Network Organization in Kenya, an organization aiming to break the culture of silence on sex and sexuality among young people ages 13-24. He holds Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and a certificate in Global Health from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States. He is passionate about engaging youth and improving the health of young people and adolescents in his community.

Lucia Maria Brazao de Barros Cardoso, Cabo Verde

Lúcia Cardoso is a singer and vocal coach with eight years’ experience in folk culture. She holds a degree in Education and Music from an institution in Brazil where she worked with folk culture, managing social projects and as a performer. In Cabo Verde, she coordinated the Department of Music at the University of Cabo Verde, a public university. She then founded and directed the National Orchestra of Cape Verde while working for the Ministry of Culture. She has a breadth of volunteer experience with communities, schools, and prisons. She has worked with children, youth, and the local hip-hop scene, using art to raise awareness and help individuals find their own voices. Most recently, she created a natural cosmetics brand and a social enterprise, which works with vulnerable populations, such as young women and mothers.


Ashraf Booley, South Africa

Ashraf has over ten years of experience in various fields such as journalism, human rights, and youth development. Ashraf currently works as a writer and runs his own digital marketing agency. He is also the co-founder of a fashion label named Tasty Tees. Ashraf holds a bachelor of arts degree in English Literature and Psychology. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ashraf intends to platforms that to inspire individuals of the LGBTI community to tell their stories.


Nkateko Priscilla Masinga, South Africa 

Nkateko Masinga has over six years' experience as an advocate for youth literacy, gender equality, and adequate health care for South African citizens. She is the founder and managing director of NSUKU Publishing Consultancy, a Pretoria-based publishing firm, which intends to make homegrown literature more accessible to readers across the continent. The company provides reading material to schools in the Gauteng Province as part of the Department of Education’s Young Writers Programme. Nkateko is also the founder of Pass The Mic, an arts organization, which encourages women to share their experiences through public speaking, poetry, theatre acting, and other art forms, giving them a platform to express themselves through creative arts. Additionally, she works closely with the team at Heirs of the World, a non-profit organization, to give motivational talks to students in underprivileged areas. Nkateko studied Medicine (MBChB) at the University of Pretoria and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she intends to develop Pass The Mic into a multinational organization focusing on the recognition and training of women in the arts.



Rudo Idah Chakanyuka, Zimbabwe

Rudo Chakanyuka is a visual artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker who has worked in the cultural sector in Zimbabwe for ten years. She is highly versatile and describes herself as a creative amoeba, absorbing the skills and knowledge of a variety of disciplines and growing in all directions. Rudo is involved in many artistic projects and initiatives, including POVO Afrika, a nonprofit volunteer organization which publicizes and promotes arts, culture, and sustainable development. She is also involved with LitFest Harare, an annual literature festival established in 2014. Rudo is currently the trainee festival director of the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF), a festival in its seventeenth year that focuses on women’s stories and using film as a tool for social transformation. She is passionate about filmmaking and developing Zimbabwe's film industry. Rudo believes in the potential of her country’s creative arts sector and is determined to contribute towards establishing a sustainable environment in which artists can work and thrive. She aims to contribute by participating in efforts to lobby for and establish structures and policies that benefit the creative community.

Shepherd Nyambayo, Zimbabwe

Shepherd Nyambayo has over six years of experience in community development work, focusing on HIV prevention, livelihood strengthening programs, and orphan care. Currently, Shepherd is the director of the Nehemiah AIDS Relief project, where he provides life skills and psychosocial support to orphaned and vulnerable children, people that are living with HIV/AIDS, and commercial sex workers in low-income communities. He also provides mentorship and life skills to young leaders. He holds a diploma in Development and Disaster Management and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources and Labor Relations Management. He is motivated by his love for humanity and his desire to empower the underprivileged people. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Shepherd plans to expand the scope of his current work and set up a trust that will empower girls, women, and children in low-income communities.

Anoziva Ishe Marindire, Zimbabwe 

Anoziva Ishe Marindire is communication strategist with eight years’ experience in the non-profit sector. She is the program director for Girls Speak Out, a media, advocacy, and literacy training program for girls living in Zimbabwe’s low income, high-density suburbs. At Girls Speak Out, Anoziva focuses on curriculum development and overall program implementation. She is passionate about the development of women and girls and is the founder of the Power Classes 4 Women, a social enterprise empowering female grassroots community leaders through advocacy and managerial skills training. Anoziva studied Journalism and Communications at Zimbabwe International College of Journalism and Business and is an editor of the Young African Leaders Journal of Development (2016 and 2018 respectively). Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes to continue her work in providing educational opportunities for girls and women in areas around technology, media, and community leadership.

 Grace Danladi Saleh, Nigeria

Grace Danladi Saleh has over five years of experience working and volunteering in the social sector, focusing on displaced children and children with special needs. She is a consultant book club facilitator for USAID’s NEIEFellowship and NESIFellowship, where she sets up book clubs, facilitates book readings and writings, and offers regular on-site and online mentorship of activities. She is passionate about education for displaced child survivors of insurgency, particularly children with special needs. Among her many achievements, Grace introduced mobile libraries in remote areas around northeastern Nigeria and free teaching sessions for young married girls.Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language from the University of Maiduguri and has completed numerous trainings on special education and volunteerism. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Grace will continue advocating for education for young girls and children with special needs, and also expand the mobile library project to reach remote areas within her community.

Hella Dawit Dessie, Ethiopia 

Hella Dawit Dessie has over ten years of experience in ICT sector, focused especially on database management and data science. Currently Hella is MIS and Database Management Specialist at CARE for USAID’s Feed the Future Livelihoods for Resilience Activity, a project that empowers Ethiopian men and women to achieve long-term food security. She has also worked as a data officer for Management Science for Health and as an Urban Planning Expert in Ethiopian Government District Offices. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Computer Science. As someone who stutters, she is passionate about providing more resources for students who stutter and has worked to build awareness of stuttering in Ethiopian schools. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Hella hopes to introduce resources on stuttering to Ethiopian schools and create a mobile app to build awareness and help people who stutter.