After a stringent selection process seven (7) fellows from six (6) African countries have been selected for the first ORA A cohort. Omega Resilience Awards and Health of Mother Earth Foundation(HOMEF), is very pleased to announce the commencement of ORA-A inaugural Cohort Fellowship program. The fellows passed through an extensive application and interview process to emerge as a cohort of exceptional individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, unique perspectives, and a strong commitment to address the issues embedded in the faulty global system that promotes the polycrisis.
This fellowship program is designed to support and inspire a generation of movement leaders, organisers and advocates in diverse fields across the African continent and by extension the whole world. Throughout the program, fellows will have the opportunity to engage in insightful conversations with experts, receive mentorship and guidance, and gain access to valuable resources to help them achieve their goals.
We received a large number of applications from across the continent, which made the selection process highly competitive. We were impressed with the diversity in backgrounds, perspectives, knowledge, passion and experiences of the applicants.
ORA-A is proud to announce the following outstanding fellows and to welcome them into our inaugural cohort:
- Agnes Lydia Oloo, a Kenyan multimedia journalist with Citizen TV. She is a professional videographer, online author and an environment and climate justice features reporter.
- Dipti Bhatnagar is a charismatic human rights and climate justice activist from Mozambique. She has been actively involved with struggles, movements and frontline communities in India, USA and Mozambique, and supported grassroots struggles in many countries across Africa and the world for over 20 years. Dipti is one of the founders of the Africa Climate Justice Collective and Coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy program of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), based in Justiça Ambiental (JA!, Friends of the Earth Mozambique)
- Gerald Barekye is a farmer and passionate climate and environmental justice campaigner from Uganda.He is actively involved in both local and Global compaigns on the need to end fossil fuels developments in Africa such as the #STOPEACOP campaign. He is executive Director of Center for environmental research and Agriculture innovations (CERAI) a youth led organisation advocating for just energy transition, climate justice, agriculture innovations and natural resource Governance in Uganda.
- Jennifer Uchendu is an ecofeminist and climate justice advocate from Nigeria.. She is the founder of SustyVibes, a youth-led and youth focused organisation driving sustainability advocacy and implementation in Africa. Recently, her work has focused on climate change and mental health where she is exploring safeguarding and support systems for Africans through research, advocacy and community action.
- John Mulingwa Nzau is a visionary Kenyan activist and passionate grassroots community organizer. He has been in movements against social and human rights abuse issues from his teenage years. He is the Coordinator of Nairobi river basin community committee and Co-Convener of Kenyans For Tax Justice Social Movement(KTJ). Coming from the community where the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab emanated from, Pumwani, John is actively involved in the campaigns on Countering Violent Extremism(CVE) in the community.
- Saymore Ngonidzashe Kativu is a young organizer from Zimbabwe. He founded an open network called YESALA – Young Enterprising Sustainability and Agricultural Leaders in Africa and Zarawi Trust, an organisation focused on navigating the African continent through multidimensional development interventions that put empathy and the human essence at the centre of sustainable development interventions addressing structural and systemic inequities.
- Tatenda Jane Dzvarai is a brilliant gender justice activist and Partnerships Manager at the Egyptian group RAWSA—Regional Advocacy for Women’s Sustainable Advancement covering the Middle East and North Africa.
Speaking about the Fellows, Elder Statesman Jay Naidoo, one of the ORA-A Advisory board members expressed great optimism about the calibre of the Fellows. He said, “We believe that our fellows have the potential to make significant contributions to the polycrisis plaguing the world today seeing they come from diverse backgrounds and hold unique perspectives.This Fellowship is going to be an interesting journey, which must end with nothing but a positive impact.”
“We would like to congratulate our successful fellows on their achievement and welcome them to this journey. We look forward to working and walking with them and witnessing their growth and success. We are confident that they will make the most of this opportunity,” says Thuli Makama, another member of the Advisory Board.
“We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of organizers whose passion and commitment ensures that they will bring about transformations in the interest of justice, dignity and human emancipation,” said Firoze Manji from Daraja Press.
Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, commenting on the selection of fellows said, “African youths have unique solutions to the polycrisis. It is our hope that the fellows will immerse themselves in movements for radical change, challenge current neoliberal imaginaries and lead a force for decolonizing our continent and building a just world based on solidarity.”
Michael Lerner, Co-founder of Commonweal and President of Omega, stated that “At every level, we must learn to navigate the polycrisis. We have no choice. The only choice is whether we prepare to navigate it consciously—or just let it unfold and respond as it does. The fellows in the inaugural Omega Resilience Awards cohort are showing us how to move forward consciously, with hope for a more just and compassionate world.”
Throughout the program, fellows will engage with insightful mentors, receive one-on-one mentorship and guidance from thought leaders, and participate in workshops and seminars on various topics. They will also have opportunities to collaborate with each other and engage with a broader network of ORA fellows in other regions of the world.
To stay updated with the fellows and their interesting journeys visit our websites and follow us on various platforms.
For further information kindly reach
OduduAbasi Asuquo — [email protected]
Ogechi Cookey — [email protected]