THE YCEO: New fellowship programme launched for young Global Citizens in South Africa - YCEO Africa

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THE YCEO: New fellowship programme launched for young Global Citizens in South Africa

Global Citizen, an international movement of engaged young people who are harnessing their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030, has established a new programme designed to discover, support and empower young Global Citizens of exceptional drive, talent and ability throughout South Africa. 

The fellowship program, which was launched on 5 March, is an initiative of the recently formed regional branch of the movement, Global Citizen Africa, which is based in Johannesburg. This was set up at the beginning of the year following the overwhelming success of Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in December last year, the first Global Citizen event on African soil.

Over the past six years, the Global Citizen movement has become a dynamic force for social change, recording 26 million content engagements every month. As a direct result of its events and campaigns, 16 million actions have been taken and commitments to the value to USD 37 billion have been made, which will ultimately impact on the lives of 2.25 billion people.

During the Mandela 100 campaign, 5.64M actions led to 60 commitments and announcements worth $7.2B (ZAR 104B), set to affect the lives of 121M people. $2.6B of these commitments are the direct result of Global Citizen campaigns. Global Citizen Africa intends to build up to 1.5 million engagements a month by 2021, to secure at least ZAR15 billion by that date, to leverage a further ZAR100 million in corporate and philanthropic investments, and to unleash the creative potential of 50 young people through the fellowship programme, enabling them to have a direct impact on their communities in their chosen fields.

Using the movement’s digital platforms, including its website and mobile app, young Global Citizens are able to learn about the causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards in the form of tickets to major music concerts,  sports events and much more. In this way, they become active members of a global community committed to facilitating real and lasting socio-economic change.

Following commitments made at the Mandela 100 festival, the fellowship programme is  funded by American actor and filmmaker,Tyler Perry, and administered through BeyGOOD, a New York City-based foundation established by Beyoncé, in 2010. It will provide for between ten and fifteen young people to serve paid, year-long fellowships with the organisation, each focusing on one of Global Citizen’s four pillars of activity: creative , campaigns, rewards and marketing.

The program hopes to alleviate the high unemployment rate among young people in South Africa Fellows will be immersed in the use of digital technology for social change, storytelling tactics that shift attitudes, and the process of building lasting professional relationships. The program will also help to create an in-depth understanding of the role that innovation has to play in a constantly changing world.

The five phase curriculum will see each Fellow allocated a supervisor from the Global Citizen Africa team, who will manage and support him or her during day-to-day activities. The organisation will also bring together leaders from entertainment, business, government and civil society to provide personalised mentorship and to help the Fellows realise their inherent ability to become global agents of change.

The first four phases of the program will cover leadership, advocacy, international development, and global citizenship. Participants will take part in a series of masterclasses and educational field trips designed to help them develop into value-based, community-driven leaders.

The final phase of the programme will provide Fellows with the skills and resources needed to help them secure work after completing the fellowship program,  and give them the best possible chance of achieving both their personal and broader social goals.

To top it all off, Fellows who have demonstrated exceptional potential will be given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to New York City in September 2019. There they will experience the iconic Global Citizen Festival, which takes place in Central Park every year, and work  with the international Global Citizen team.

The Global Citizen Fellowship Program powered by BeyGOOD will give talented young people in South Africa the opportunity to experience and learn from this unique movement.

For further information about the Global Citizen movement, visit

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