Nine Malawian youth are in the United States of America to participate in the Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), President Obama’s flagship exchange program.
The youth fellows left on June 13, 2014 and according to a statement from the U.S Embassy in Malawi, they have been linked with previous participants in U.S. exchange programs and U.S. Embassy officers who will serve as their mentors.
The YALI Fellows and their mentors discussed the Fellows’ aspirations and designed projects and activities that the Fellows can implement upon their return to Malawi at the end of July.
YALI aims at empowering young people across Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
“Fellowships will provide outstanding young leaders with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. university, and support their professional development after they return home,” reads the statement dated June 14.
US Ambassador to Malawi Janine Jackson hosted a send-off reception for the nine on June 13, 2019 in Lilongwe where she said she was particularly pleased with the diversity of skills and gender in the group.
“We have entrepreneurs, civil society practitioners, public servants, and individuals based in both urban and rural Malawi. I challenge you to come back with strong relationships with both Americans and other Africans,” said Amb. Jackson.
She urged the fellows to remain open minded and to fully participate in every engagement – academic as well as cultural – during their stay in the United States.
More than 50,000 young African leaders, including nearly 900 Malawians, applied for the 2014 YALI Washington Fellowship program, according to the statement.
“The YALI program will bring 500 Fellows annually to the United States, starting this summer. YALI provides networking opportunities, internships, small grants and other activities to assist the Fellows to become agents of positive change in Malawi,” reads the statement in conclusion.