Mandela Washington fellowship for young African Leaders program was a great opportunity for the 1000 young leaders that were selected from all over the African countries. Our founder Qabale Duba was one lucky fellow who got a chance to study in Syracuse University one of the country’s best public management university located in the up state of New York. While taking part in the program our founder one day decided to say thank you to President Obama for the opportunity she got because of her initiative through her Qabale Duba Foundation. Unfortunately she couldn’t get a direct email to the president so she decided to visit white house website and left a “THANK YOU” email on their website knowing that anyway it will never get to the president since thousands of people definitely write to him every day.
After six intensive weeks at 40 different Universities across the United State of America that took part in the fellowship the program came to an end with a presidential summit in Washington D.C. On 3rd August 2016 the African fellows got opportunity to be addressed by non-other than President Barack Hussein Obama, before his speech several government officials addressed the fellows on leadership and duties of youths to change Africa to be great. During her speech the deputy secretary of state Heather Hingibottom called out a few names of the fellows who are doing an amazing work in their communities, and surprisingly our founder Qabale Duba’s name was the first to be called out and Heather recognized her work through Qabale Duba Foundation. It was such a great honour for our organization to get a recognition out of the all amazing and outstanding work done by the 1000 fellows from all over African countries that were selected for the program. The presidential summit ended with a powerful speech of congratulations and encouragement from President Barack Obama and the fellows were released to take back the knowledge gained during the fellowship to impact and improve their communities back in Africa.
However the good news continued for our organization when we later got a hard copy of a recognition letter from White house in Washington DC. On 7th January 2017 our founder Qabale received an email from White house titled “Reply to your July 2016 thank you email from president Obama” she couldn’t believe her eyes so before any action she checked the profile of the sender and found out that it is from the chief editor working at the white house. After exchanging several confirmatory emails the white house asked our founder to send them a postal address the letter can be posted to. On 9th February 2017 our Recognition letter from President Barack Obama arrived in Nairobi Kenya. IT IS ONE OF OUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR and we thank God for always opening for us new doors as we impact lives of the pastoralists girls/women in the simple ways we could.
It reads :
“Thank you for the Powerful message you sent me last summer. It’s clear you have been through a great deal, and I admire the strength and determination you’ve shown in working towards your dreams.
My Administration has been committed to advancing gender equality both here in America and around the world, and it is thanks to young leaders like you that we continue to make progress. We’ve made preventing and responding to gender-based violence a major foreign policy priority, we’re helping remove barriers that prevent women from participating fully in their societies, and we’re empowering the next generation of women by advancing the Let Girls Learn initiative to get more than 62 million girls into schools. This is the future that you are helping us build—a future where girls around the world are free to pursue their education and live out their dreams. It’s a future that your generation believes in, and one that you and your generation will lead us to.
Like I said at the Town Hall a few months ago—you’re young, you’re talented, and you’re already showing you can make a difference. I can’t wait to see what else you accomplish.”