We asked UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni to tell us how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic through their professional work, community service efforts, and personally from their homes in countries throughout Africa. Here in their own words, Ruth Mumba (Malawi, 2019), Winfred Mutinda (Kenya, 2019), Julius Magala (Uganda, 2017), Paubert Tsimanaoraty Mahatante (Madagascar, 2016), Wilsona Bumbenya Jalloh (Sierra Leone, 2018), and Paul Nkumbula (Zambia, 2016) share their experiences and inspiration.
While 2020 has been an unprecedented year, the 2019-2020 cohort of UC Davis Humphrey Fellows persisted in accomplishing their goals of professional development and cultural exchange. Throughout January, February, and some of March, the fellows were still able to maintain their usual schedule of site visits and professional experiences. Once shelter-in-place orders were issued by local counties and states, and travel was restricted, the program quickly adapted to carry out the rest of their professional development courses virtually while doing all they could to still serve the Davis community.
Due to the current global health situation, and with the safety and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State has postponed the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship until summer 2021. Applicants for the 2020 Fellowship who were selected as Finalists and Alternates have been notified that they are eligible to defer their participation until summer 2021.
I hope you will join me in congratulating our 2019-20 Humphrey Fellows: Nazmul Ahsan, Jihad Atallah, Issam Chariag, Fabrice Inkonkoy, Vindyani Jayasinghe, Ojja Martin Kapaya, Alain-Georges Moukoko, Zuomei Ning, Rommel Reconco, Karina Vergara, and Thu Vo. Being selected for this prestigious fellowship is an honor in itself. The collaborations these 11 truly remarkable international leaders have formed and the projects they have started over this academic year are even more impressive.
UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellow Winfred Mwende Mutinda (2019, Kenya) shares her experience as part of the six-week program at UC Davis, and how her participation shapes her mission to inspire and lead young people to transform the continent of Africa.
UC Davis Mandela Washington Fellow Adaku Ufere (2018-19, Nigeria) shares how her Mandela Washington Fellowship experience changed her world perspective and influenced her decision to become an agent of change for gender equity in Africa's energy sector.