By Paul Emeka Chimodo
Tech giant Facebook has launched its Community Accelerator programme, it said the program will be available in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. In a statement, Facebook said the initiative is in line with its mission to give people the power to build a community around the world and its commitment to supporting the community leaders who drive change.
“An evolution of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme (FCLP), this six-month accelerator programme provides training, mentorship, and funding to help community leaders grow their communities. Up to $3 million in total will be awarded to 80 programme participants worldwide,” Facebook stated.
It added that selected community leaders will spend three months learning from experts, coaches and a customized curriculum to create a plan to grow their communities. They will spend the next three months iterating and executing on their plans, with funding and support from their networks.
“Our mission is to empower the leaders who foster community – people who offer support, encourage others and make real change,” says Kiran Yoliswa, Strategic Partner Manager, Communities SSA at Facebook. “We are investing in leaders because we believe and know they make significant contributions to today’s social challenges, by sharing knowledge and information and helping people to connect with others that share the same interests or passions for a good cause.”
In 2019 the Facebook Community Leadership Programme provided training, funding, and support to 115 community leaders. The leaders reported that their projects impacted over 1.9 million lives through online community support, the use of helpful resources and other activities made possible by the programme.
Facebook also announced that it has built new tools to help community leaders add new members and moderate conversations in their Groups. The improved membership management tool improves how Group admins can manage new member requests, and content moderation features make it easier for admins to see important posts and find specific content.
If you run an impactful, established community, ready to grow using Facebook’s apps and have the time and energy to invest in this programme, you can apply here before 10 April 2020 if you are 18 years and older. Community leaders from the selected programme countries, including those without a presence on one of Facebook’s apps, are welcome to apply.