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MCW ‘Young Leaders Access Program 2021’ for Aspiring Young Changemakers

2021-03-01 Oman
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About University

MCW Global is a non-profit organization with a vision for communities around the world to achieve greater levels of education, improved health, and increased economic security. Our mission is to address communities’ pressing needs by empowering current leaders and readying leaders of tomorrow. Founded in 1999, MCW Global is based in New York with affiliate organizations in Africa (Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia). We offer a Young Leaders Program and an Africa Program, which focuses on Oral Health Care and Community Development. Our core values include integrity, compassion, accountability, responsibility, and excellence.


Robert Alsbrooks

Edward Bergman

Founding mentors

Dr. Elijah Anderson, Lanman Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Bunny Grossinger, Bunny Grossinger Enterprises

Steve Kess, President, Henry Schein Cares Foundation

Lavern McDonald, Calhoun School – Upper School

The Late Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago, Former Tanzania Ambassador to the U.N. and former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone

The Late Dr. Edward B. Shils, Founder, Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The Late Professor George Sideris, Ph.D., Long Island University

Dr. Peter White, Teacher (Retired), Northport High School, Friends of Students for 60,000

The Late Dr. Herman Wrice, Founder, Turn Around America


In January, Leon Gojani joined the MCW team as the Young Leaders Access Program Manager. Leon’s journey with MCW Global began when he joined as a Young Leaders Access Program mentee in 2015. Since then, he has returned to the program as a mentor, lead mentor, and facilitator. Leon has been heavily involved in the Young Leaders Program, including facilitating MCW’s first Young Leaders Conference in Kosovo in 2017.

In February, Gamuchirai Mazingi became the first intern for MCW Global’s Community Leaders in Africa Program (CLA), an internship based in Dar es Salaam. Gamu joined MCW in 2016 when she participated as a mentee at the Young Leaders Access Program (YLA) and came back as a mentor in 2019.

In April, the Young Leaders Access Program hosted several webinars to support young leaders around the world to continue to develop skills during the shelter-in-place period due to the coronavirus.

In May, MCW learned of the sudden passing of Ambassador Augustine Mahiga. Ambassador Mahiga helped MCW’s Tanzania programs – specifically in oral health care work. With his help, MCW partnered with Henry Schein Cares to organize an event where connections were made, leading to projects that have improved access to oral health in Tanzania.

Also in May, the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) School of Dentistry received donated dental equipment for a new Faculty and Graduate Clinic, allowing the school to treat more patients and provide more specialized treatment. This new equipment supports a more effective structure to provide dental services at the school.

In June, MCW Africa Programs developed a COVID-19 Response Plan to help communities impacted by the pandemic.

Also in June, MCW Global awarded two Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) grants to Made Sunaya from Indonesia and Anmol Zehra from Pakistan. Each recipient will receive a year of professional mentorship to help make their ideas for change in their communities a reality and to help make their ideas for change in their communities to real projects. The grant will help Made’s mission of helping Indonesian youth stay active, be involved, and become environmental leaders. For Anmol, the grant will help her mission of providing the opportunity for doctors to reach out to their patients who live far away from them through a digital platform.

In July, MC-Zambia collaborated with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). MC-Zambia and AHF produced over 3,000 masks for those in need.

Also in July, Mentor training for the Young Leaders Access Program began in preparation for the launch of the program in August.

At the end of July, a graduation ceremony was held to honor the accomplishments of the  Young Leaders Access Program’s 2019 cohort.

In August, the Young Leaders Access Program kicked off its 23rd edition of the program. This year young leaders will gather virtually due to the coronavirus.

In September Anusha Somani was named as the organization’s Africa Programs Program Associate.  Anusha joined the team this past November as the Community Leaders in Africa Coordinator.  Since 2017, Anusha has been involved with MCW when she first attended the 2017 Young Leaders Access Program.  


Also in September, MCW’s Africa Programs Seminar launched and took place virtually due to the pandemic. The seminar began in September and ran through December. The seminar brings together MCW’s Africa Programs affiliate organizations and acts as a way to share organizational and strategic updates in addition to learning opportunities across the organizations.

In October, the Young Leaders Conference Peru virtual edition is kicked off. In collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the Young Leaders Conference focused on addressing issues concerning gender equality and mental health for young leaders in South America.

Also in October, MCW Global held its 16th annual gala on October 14, 2020. The gala took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MCW’s Leadership Award was presented to Eduardo Martinez, President of The UPS Foundation, UPS Chief Diversity &Inclusion Officer. MCW’s Community Partnership Award was presented to BDO. During the program, inspirational stories about community leaders were shared by alumni of the Young Leaders Program. Young Leaders from Zimbabwe, Peru, Panama, Egypt, Pakistan, and Kosovo reflected on how the Young Leaders Access Program has changed their lives and helped them support their local community. MCW’s Africa Programs’ greeted us via videoconferencing to share some on the ground updates on their COVID-19 Reponses Plan.


In January, Venance Ngungo joined MC-Tanzania’s team as the Finance and Administration Officer and Thompson Mubahga joined MC-Zambia as the Operations Officer.


In February, Khalid Elachi was named as the organization’s new Executive Director. Sharon Roling wrapped up her contract with MCW Global and Naadhira Ali joined the MCW Global team in New York as the Director of Resource Development and Communications.

In February, the Alumni Ventures Fund (AVF) awarded four alumni with grants to support their community projects totaling $15,000. Recipients of the award comprised of young leaders from Egypt, India, Nigeria, and Vietnam.

In March, MC-Tanzania commemorated World Oral Health Day in Tanga and Mbeya regions. The activities on World Oral Health Day included oral health education, screening, oral health care instruction, and fluoride vanish application for primary school children. In total, 1,472 people received oral health education and screening in Mbeya and Tanga regions combined.

In April, MCW Global held its fifth Africa Programs Seminar. The seminar took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and functioned as a nexus point for newly appointed Country Managers and Operations Officers to discuss change management, strategic planning, and organizational best practices.

In May, MCW Global held its third Young Leaders Conference in Krujë, Albania. The three -day conference was hosted in partnership with ACT for Society, an organization focused on gender equality and the prevention against youth extremism and violence. In attendance were 25 participants dedicated and motivated by concerns they face in their communities in the Balkan region of Europe. The conference was divided into three sections: Leadership, Global Citizenship, and Vision Planning.

In July, MCW Global held its 15th annual gala on July 16th which celebrated the organization’s 20 years of impact. The event was attended by over 400 guests and raised more than $970,000. The MCW Community Partnership Award was awarded to Ernst & Young (EY), a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services whose aim is to have a positive impact on businesses and markets.

Also in July, the Young Leaders Access Program launched the 22nd edition of the summer program. Participants entered the program with the intent to make a change in their communities, focusing on topics that include mental health, environmental education, gender equality, and youth civic engagement. A total of 27 participants and 14 mentors, and 2 co-lead mentors came from 30 countries. Together they developed their ideas through vision planning (a project management method that incorporates strategy, vision and mission, understanding and defining the problem), resource development, time management, and elevator pitching.

In August, MCW Global held Open Doors at the Edwin Gould Foundation. The event functioned as the closing ceremony for the Young Leaders Access Program and an opportunity for participants to network. During the ceremony, the Roberta Richin Memorial Vision Plan Award, now in its third year selected Nam Nguyen from Vietnam to receive $500 to help develop an online app to connect LGBTQ+ couples with LGBTQ+ friendly businesses. Nam’s project is an innovative solution for reducing discrimination in Vietnam.

Also in August, Sharon Roling conducted an internal evaluation for Oral Health Program in Tanzania. She identified preliminary performances metrics for data collection process.

In November, MCW Global developed a brand new program within the Young Leaders Program entitled Community Leaders in Africa Internship Program. The Community Leaders in Africa Program (CLA) is a 3 to 6-month community-based internship, which will provide YLA alumni the opportunity to work on projects aimed at building skills in resource development, project management, monitoring & evaluation, and communications in an international context.

Anusha Somani joined MCW Global as the Community Leaders in Africa Program Coordinator in November. She has been associated with MCW Global since 2017 when she first attended MCW’s YLA as a mentee. The following year, Anusha had the opportunity to intern with Miracle Corners Tanzania (MCT) for three months over the summer of 2018, where she conducted a community needs assessment in Arusha and also assisted the Country Manager in developing the organization’s 3-year strategic plan. Anusha returned to YLA in 2019 as a mentor.

Mohamed Ahmed Ghanem joined the MCW Global team as the Young Leader’s Conference Coordinator in November. He is an alumnus of MCW’s YLA Program where he has served as a mentor. Mohamed also coordinated MCW’s Young Leaders Conference in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018 and recipient of MCW’s 2019 Alumni Ventures Fund grant.

Also in November, MC-Zambia began a partnership with Tevel b’ Tzedek, an Israeli organization focused on livelihood improvement through agriculture. The collaboration will support the implementation of an agriculture project for two years and is focused on providing better opportunities to achieve economic security through improved agricultural management.

In December, MC-Tanzania awarded two students to acknowledge educational excellence in the dentistry field. The awards were given to the highest performing 4th-year male and female students pursuing a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). The DDS Award included a monetary prize of TZS. 100,000 for each selected student and was presented during the university award ceremony on December 6th 2019.


In January, team members from NY visited the Mbeya Dental Therapy School in Tanzania and met with members from the Ministry of Health, faculty from the Mbeya Dental Therapy School, and other educators to discuss next steps for the school and the dental therapy students.


In February, MC-Tanzania welcomed two new board members: Dr. Deo Mtasiwa, retired Chief Medical Officer at Tanzania’s Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and Laurean Rugambwa Bwanakunu, Director General of Tanzania’s Medical Stores Department. Long time MCT Board member, Halima Mohamed, retired from the board.

In March, MC-Rwanda received a generous donation of ICT Equipment from the District of Bugesera to support the use of technology among people living with disabilities.

Plus, MCW’s Director of Oral Health Care Projects, Dr. Marion Bergman, spoke at the Global Child Dental Fund’s Senior Dental Leaders annual conference in London about “Sustainable Model for Improving Oral Health in Tanzania – Based on Public-Private Engagement.”

The MC-Tanzania Oral Health Care program dedicated a week of activity to World Oral Health Day, which aimed to raise community awareness on oral health care and practice under the banner of “Say Ahhh! Think Mouth Think Health.”

With operations in Mbeya and Tanga, March saw the MC-Tanzania team set off to educate, reinforce, and provide oral health care education, with support from longtime partner Colgate.

In Tanga, Sara, along with 3rd year dental therapy students, engaged in community oral health education through a presentation on a radio show, as well as visits to 4 primary schools. 1,885 primary school students, including disabled and special needs students, received oral health care education. All screened students received fluoride vanish treatments with free tooth paste and tooth brushes.

In Mbeya, Fredrick and the team reached 1,230 students. Also, 320 community members from Mbeya visited the Tanzania Institute of Accounting to receive screening and a total 269 dental problems were treated.

In April, in partnership with Think Tank Development Solutions, MCW hosted a 3-day Young Leaders Conference in Cairo, Egypt, which was open to participants, 18-26, from across Africa. MCW was introduced to the Egypt-based organization thanks to a Young Leaders Access Program alum. The conference focused on environmental issues and soft skills development related to employment.

From April 9-20, MC-Tanzania Oral Health Care organized a dental outreach with the Dental Therapy Training Schools in Mbeya and Tanga. The outreach was spearheaded by third year dental therapist students, supervisors, and two UIC students, alongside supporting staff, drivers and representatives from MCT. 1472(in Mbeya) 890 (in Tanga) primary students and received dental education, screening and fluoride vanish application and out of that 243(in Mbeya) and 428 (in Tanga) were referred for treatment. All students received free tooth brushes and toothpaste.

In May, JC Soto joined the MCW New York team as the Young Leaders Program Director.

In June, the MC-Tanzania OHC team embarked on a dental education initiative at a local orphanage in Tanga. The children were educated on oral health and provided with free toothbrushes and toothpaste. In addition, children were screened and out of 85, 26 were referred to the dental clinic in the dental therapy school for treatment.

On June 28, MCW celebrated its 14th Annual Gala with more than 400 guests at NYU. The MCW Leadership Award was presented to Leonard Chacha Kitoka, Managing Director and Founding Partner of INNOVEX, and MC-Tanzania board member. The MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to Proskauer Rose LLP, a New York-based international law firm, for its continuous support of the organization and its pro bono work on behalf of a range of clients, schools, and nonprofits. MCW raised over $930,000 at the gala, which was hosted by Ali Velshi and Liz Claman.

From July 24 to August 2, MCW brought together 27 participants and 16 mentors from around the world to participate in the 21st annual Young Leaders Access Program Retreat (YLA) at Champlain College in Vermont and NYU in New York.

On the last day of the retreat, at the Open Doors Ceremony held at the Edwin Gould Foundation, the 2018 Roberta Richin Vision Plan Memorial Award, now in its second year, was awarded to Sharon Matongo of Zimbabwe. Sharon plans to use the $500 grant to organize a program advocating for the protection of children’s right through human rights education and youth development.

In August, Sharon Roling joined the MCW team in New York again to focus on communications and resource development.

In November, MCW Global, in partnership with its local partner organization, MC-Tanzania, announced the transfer of its community center, which includes a community hall, library, dental clinic, and housing units, to the Municipal Council of Songea. The center covers approximately 50 acres and is valued at more than $500,000 USD (Tsh 1.2 billion).


In January, MCW piloted its first Young Leaders Workshop in partnership with the NY-based non-profit We Are DREAM at Google’s Chelsea Market office. The day-long workshop was dedicated to vision planning.


In March, MCW Young Leaders Program alumni Cody Jacobs, Frederick Meena, and Timurlan Alagushov received the 2017 Alumni Venutres Fund grants.

Also, Fredrick Meena, Sara Mtagwa and their colleagues visited 8 schools in Mbeya, treating more than 1,900 kindergarten and primary school students.

In Tanga, Sara and her colleagues visited 4 primary schools and treated more than 640 students. The students received oral health education, instruction, and fluoride varnish. Students who needed additional treatment were referred to the dental therapy school where they will receive treatment at the school’s clinic.

Plus, Eddie Bergman, participated in a panel at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. Along with representatives of international hotel and cruise companies, Eddie shared ideas on how to achieve gender equality by empowering girls and young women through education.

In April, MCW extended its reach to Peja, Kosovo, whee it held its first Young Leaders Conference for participants from Europe and the Middle East.

In July, 14 students of MC-Rwanda’s Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) program graduate. All the students received accreditation from the Workforce Development Authority for tailoring and computer courses. In addition, 10 young women were certified in tailoring, one in computer technician program and three young men in computer technician program.

From July 25 to August 3, 37 participants and 15 mentors came together to participate in MCW’s 20th Young Leaders Access Program Retreat held at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont and New York University in NYC. Participants represented 26 countries and territories.

At the Open Doors ceremony, the first Roberta Richin Vision Plan Award was presented by Laurette Richin, the late Roberta’s sister, to Lourence Balatbat from the Philippines for his vision plan to open a library in his local community. Honorary mentions went to Mohammad Towhidul Aziz from Bangladesh for his vision plan of creating opportunities for lower income families to have access to education and Camille Clayton from USA for her vision to change the standard of beauty around the world.

In September, Guido Gatera joined the team as MC-Rwanda’s ICT Instructor.

In October, George Sideris Scholarship recipient, Mary Nsunga received her diploma in Human Resource Management from the National Institute of Public Administration in Zambia.

Plus, MCW held an Oral Health Education forum in Tanga and the Muheza district in collaboration with Colgate. Coordinated by MCW’s Oral Health Care Fellow, Sara Mtagwa, primary school teachers received free dental cleaning in addition to learning more about healthy dental habits – including how and when to brush teeth.

In November, MCW’s Young Leaders Program visited Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY to talk about the Young Leaders Access Program and Modern Leadership in a global society.

In December, the MC-Zambia team came together with the Chanyanya Primary School and St Anna Community School to host a debate on the Importance of Literacy in Community Development.

To celebrate the Young Leaders Program 20th anniversary, a celebration took place in New York, NY.


In January, MCW announced a reorganization of its youth-focused programming. The Youth Leadership Retreat (YLR) was renamed the Young Leaders Program (YLP) in order to reflect its growth into a yearlong program. Key changes to the program include formalized, yearlong guidance from mentors, who will help advise the Young Leaders (formerly called “mentees’) as they create and implement their plans for change, as well as additional resources provided throughout the year to Young Leaders by MCW through an online workshop series and an online platform available to alumni. Mentors will also receive more in-depth training prior to the retreat in the US.

In February, after a six-month strategic planning engagement with Wellspring Consulting, MCW updated its mission: “To address communities’ pressing needs by empowering current leaders and readying leaders of tomorrow” and vision: “Communities throughout the world achieve greater levels of education, improved health and increased economic security.”

Also in February, MCW awarded Alumni Ventures Fund grants to Hennie Kongsøre, 23, from Oslo, Norway, and Xolani Makhebe, 25, of Cape Town, South Africa. Along with a year of mentorship, Hennie and Xolani received grants to help turn their ideas for change in their communities into concrete projects. Hennie’s project will use the award to continue her work with Rafiki NGO, an organization she started in 2014 to help build a community center in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, where youth will be empowered through dance and the arts, as well as provided classes in English, math, and health. Xolani’s project is The Unlimited Movement Organization (TUMO), which he founded in 2012 to empower communities through career guidance, education, and tutoring. With the grant, TUMO will be able to cover the cost of university registration fees for top-performing students participating in its tutoring program.

In February, the first class of students graduated from MC-Zambia’s government-accredited vocational training programs. The 21 graduates completed either the Design Cutting and Tailoring course or the IT course. MC-Zambia’s Chanyanya Community Center is accredited by TEVETA, the authority in Zambia in charge of certifying vocational skills.

Also, over 250 lbs (113kg) of dental supplies, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, gloves and dental gowns, were donated by Henry Schein through their Henry Schein Cares Foundation, to support MCW’s Oral Healthcare Initiative at Mbeya Dental School in Mbeya, Tanzania.

In March, the MCW Oral Health Care team visited the Tanzanian Ministry of Health where they updated Dr. Senkoro (Chief Dental Officer, Ministry of Health) on current and future projects in Tanzania, including the dental outreach taking place in Mbeya.

Plus, Oral Health Care Senior Fellow Fredrick Meena, along with Mbeya Dental Therapy School faculty and students, participated in World Oral Health Day. Over the course of three days, they visited a nearby college for Disabled Youth, schools, and an orphans center. The dental therapists provided free screening and preventative oral health education such as the proper way to use toothpaste and a toothbrush. Fredrick coordinated the program in collaboration with Colgate, TDA (Tanzania Dental Association), and MCW.

MC-Rwanda’s first class of students at its community center graduated from the two government-accredited vocational training programs, which providing students with courses in either tailoring or IT/computer technology. With these new skills, the 20 graduates (13 in the tailoring program and 7 students in the IT course) will be able to better compete in the Rwandan labor market.

In April, Regina Leichner took on the new role of Director of Africa Programs.

Nitya Ramanathan took on the role of Coordinator of the Young Leaders Program, after completing a six-month internship with MCW.

Brian Cosmas of Arusha, Tanzania received the first Mary Ellen Shultz Tourism Scholarship Award. MCW established this fund to honor the memory of the late Mary Ellen Shultz, who believed in the power and importance of tourism. This fund commemorates her commitment to tourism education, specifically in Tanzania. This award will help support Brian’s education towards earning a Certificate in Tour Guiding and Wildlife Studies at the Tropical Centre Institute.

Also, Frederick, Mbeya Dental Therapy School faculty and students visited the orphans center in Mbeya, and provided provide free screenings and preventative oral health education.

Plus, MCW’ sent a two-week Dental Outreach to Mbeya to provide oral health education, preventative fluoride varnish treatments, and screenings to primary school youth. Dr. Peter Loomer, Clinical Professor and Chairman of NYU’s Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry joined the outreach.

Final-year dental students from the University of Illinois at Chicago participated in a rotation at MUHAS Dental School in Dar es Salaam.

In June, MCW held its 12th Gala at NYU, raising over $900,000 to support our work. The 2015 Community Partnership Award was presented to both Locke Lord, LLP and Moneris Solutions, and the MCW Leadership Award was presented to Sharon Katz and the Peace Train. Roberta Richin, member of MCW’s Board of Directors Emeritus, was presented with the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award. Xolani Makhebe, a 2016 recipient of MCW’s Alumni Ventures Fund, was also a guest speaker.

From July 27 to August 4, we held our annual summer retreat, now under the umbrella of the Young Leaders Access Program, at NYU in New York City and Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. The 39 participants represented 18 countries and territories.

Also in July, MCW friend Niklas biked 1,000 kilometers through Germany to help raise over $10,000 in funds for MCW.

In September, Roberta Richin, MCW Board Member and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, passed away.

In October, Kenneth Sibande joined the team as MCW’s Regional Finance and Administration Officer for Africa Programs.

From October 19-21, MCW hosted a Community Leaders Seminar in Lusaka. While in Zambia, board and team members from MC-Rwanda, MC-Tanzania, MC-Zambia and MCW Global focused on ways to improve the Community Development Program.

In November, Sara Mtagwa became the second Oral Health Care fellow in Tanzania.

In December, MCW included its African handicrafts at a “Holiday Pop-Up Sale” at Hill & Bay restaurant in New York City.


In February, the MC-Zambia Center in Chanyanya launched a literacy program with 12 adults and 40 students (7-12). In February, MCW began a 5-month a strategic planning process with Wellspring Consulting to establish plans for the future of the organization.


In March, MCW convened an organizational-wide meeting in Kigali, Rwanda as part of the strategic planning process. The MCW Board of Directors, MCW Country Board Members, Africa and U.S.-based staff participated in the strategic planning process facilitated by Wellspring Consulting. During the meeting, MCW team members visited the MC-Rwanda Center in Bugesera where they had the opportunity to see cultural performances by the center dance troupe, take a tour of the center, and have discussions with the center staff and participants. MCW was honored to welcome Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, at the center.

In March, Innocent Nizeyimana received his Master’s in Environmental Science at the Open University of Tanzania. Innocent is the recipient of the Dr. George Sideris Memorial Scholarship Fund. He serves on MC-Rwanda’s Board of Directors as the Secretary of the board and also on the Human Resources Committee. Innocent first joined MCW in 2008 and oversaw the planning and construction of the MC-Rwanda Community Center in Kayenzi as head engineer.

In April , MCW awarded Abdu Mwimi an Alumni Ventures Fund grant. Abdu will use the award to continue his work with “The Way Forward Foundation,” a registered non-profit he founded in Tanzania with a mission “to educate communities in Tanzania by empowering youth through life skills training and education on the UN Millennium Development Goals.”

In April, MCW facilitated a partnership to provide interdisciplinary healthcare training in Tanzania. Through the partnership, an MOU was signed between the Government of Tanzania through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, MUHAS, NYU College of Nursing and MCW, to provide an innovative solution to address the inadequate access to oral health care in Tanzania through NYU’s Global Nurse Scholars Program. 

In April, MCW collaborated with Henry Schein Cares to provide dental supplies for the training of Tanzanian dental therapy students in a preventive school-based outreach. Materials such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and toothbrushes valued at more than $20,000 were provided to support the program.

In April, MCW collaborated with the MCT-Arusha team to renovate the center as it was the first of the community centers nearly 15 years ago. They fixed damages from rain, re-painted the walls, and most importantly, upgraded the computer lab for the most successful program at the center, IT. 20 new HP computers were provided to replace the old ones that will still be used for the staff and in the library. 

In June , MCW held its 11th Gala at NYU. The gala raised $920,000 to support MCW’s work. The 2015 MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to Bank of America and the 2015 MCW Leadership Awards were presented to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation.

In June, MC-Tanzania founded a Vicoba group (Village Community Bank) as a means to harness the collective power and resources of the community to help alleviate poverty and encourage entrepreneurship. Members in the group are able to contribute and buy shares, contribute funds, and obtain microcredit. Additionally, the group offers training in business skills and leadership.

In July, MC-Tanzania renovated its library at its center in Arusha, providing a valuable resource and study space for the youth at the center and community members. The center also started a youth group with a vision of eliminating youth violence and neighborhood crime, by encouraging youth to focus on positive activities and taking pride in their communities. By pursuing interests such as art, music, drama, dance, and athletics, the MCT Youth Group hopes to empower its members to develop their problem-solving skills and take initiative in their communities.

In July/August, MCW held its 18th Youth Leadership Retreat at Stony Brook University and New York University with participants from more than 20 different countries and territories.

In August, MCW led a dental outreach team in Mbeya, Tanzania of 12 dental therapy school students from the Mbeya Dental Therapy Training School. The outreach provided students a key training opportunity in community oral health and included visits to three primary schools to provide oral health education and screenings to more than 1,000 children, with follow-up treatments to more than 300 of those screened. The outreach was supervised by four local Tanzanian dentists, including Dr. Ibrahim Kasambala, Principal of the Mbeya Dental School.

In October, Ed Roatché began a part-time position as MCW’s Communications Coordinator. He had first connected with MCW in May as in intern, assisting the team with the Youth Leadership Retreat.

Also in October, Nitya Ramanathan joined the MCW Team as an intern, helping to coordinate and plan the 2016 Youth Leadership Retreat.

For over a year, MCW continued to support MC-Sierra Leone’s team on the ground during the Ebola Crisis with limited programs due to a mandatory restriction on congregating in public spaces. As a result of continued travel barriers to Sierra Leone, MCW concluded its programmatic services, transferring local programs to the community. Concurrently, a strategic decision was taken to focus MCW’s Community Development Programs to East Africa.

Also, in October, MCW welcomed a second Oral Health Care fellow, Fredrick Meena, to the organization.

In December, MCW hosted its first pop-up sale, hosted by Hill and Bay Restaurant in NYC. The event provided an opportunity to sell African handicrafts made in MCW’s community centers in Zambia and Rwanda, as well as allow guests to interact with MCW team members, friends, and alumni of the Young Leaders Program and learn about our programs. Profits from the handicraft sales were used to support the community centers where the products were made.

In December, MCW awarded two fourth-year dental students, Don Chiwaya and Fatema Alimohamed, scholarships for their excellent performance at the MUHAS School of Dentistry. The scholarship, which goes towards tuition costs, is awarded annually to the top fourth-year male and female dental students entering their fifth and final year of dental school.


In January, Regina Leichner became the manager of our Oral Health Care Program and coordinator of the Youth Leadership Retreat.

Also in January, MCW and MUHAS signed a third MoU dedicated to upgrading equipment at the Dental School, including re-wiring to allow for Internet connectivity and installing Dexis Digital X-ray machines and 56 Computers with Dentrix Enterprise Practice Management Software, in addition to training staff to use the new tools.

In February, and after 13 years of operations, renovations to the Liana Cohen Dental Clinic in the Community Center in Kipera, Songea began. Renovations included painting and tiling the floors. A dental outreach group was scheduled to arrive at the clinic in August, to deliver oral healthcare treatment to the local community.

From February 6-9, MCW held its third Africa Community Leaders Seminar in Arusha. MCW traces its roots in Africa back to Arusha, where it opened the first MCW youth center in Majengo Juu in 2000. The goal was to give the participants the tools, confidence and networks to design and run government-accredited vocational and IT courses at the centers and to share business and innovation strategies necessary to making the centers sustainable. Participants included representatives from the local boards, country directors and center coordinators, from the four countries where MCW works in Africa, including Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. Members of the MCW Board of Directors and staff from the New York office also attended.

On April 5, a shipping container filled with boxes of donated dental equipment and supplies arrived in Dar es Salaam port to support the third phase of infrastructure upgrade at the MUHAS Dental School.

On April 7, MCW held its 10th Annual Gala at New York University, celebrating 10 years of galas and 15 years of work and impact. Nasdaq, Citi and FlyRunWalk are honored. 2014 AVF recipients are announced at the gala.

In May, Anna Condoulis rejoined the MCW Board of Directors.

On May 30, MCW announced the completion of an infrastructure upgrade that will enable the dental school to digitize all record keeping, facilitate patient workflow and monitor procedures and revenue intake. The upgrade included the installation of practice management software at MUHAS. During the ten-day training and installation program, team members from Henry Schein, Inc., the primary donor of the computers, practice management software, Dentrix®Enterprise, and the digital X-ray equipment, trained over one hundred oral health care professionals and clerical support staff to customize, utilize and maintain the software, the first of its kind in Africa.

In June, Andrea Papitto joined the MCW team as the Director of Communications and Resource Development. Andrea will work closely with the MCW board and team members to continue the development of MCW programs and projects.

From July 10-17, MCW held the 17th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and NYU . The thirty-seven participants represented seventeen different countries and territories, including Armenia, Austria, Botswana, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Norway, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America and Zimbabwe, fostering a vibrant platform for cultural exchange and dialogue. 

After the retreat, then MCW intern, Alex Nordquist, passed away suddenly during the summer. In his memory, a fund was set up. During his internship, Alex attended our 17th summer retreat and along with co-intern Jake Richman, supported the team. In all his interactions with the team, speakers, and young leaders from around the world, he left a lasting and powerful impression on everyone. He is deeply missed. Below is a message from Alex’s family: “Alex passed away from complications related to lung infection and multiple organ failure. One of the highlights of his life was working for MCW this summer. The experiences he had and the people he met had great effect on him. He has said many times that his future was in Africa or the Middle East. Unfortunately, he will never get to act on his passions. In lieu of flowers we would like to have people make a donation to MCW to carry on your work, work that Alex felt so passionate about.”

In August, we organized an MCW Journey to Rwanda, which included visiting our community center, meeting the leadership teams, connecting with local communities, and touring the country. 

From August 19-28, MCW’s 10th Dental Outreach took place in Songea, where 463 people received free emergency care. At 3 local primary schools, 1,127 students were given oral health education, screened and referred to the clinic for free treatment as needed. 774 students received fluoride varnish. In addition to providing much-needed care to the Songea community, six students from the Dental Therapy Training School in Mbeya joined the dynamic team to receive supplemental oral health training and hands-on experience.

On September 1, the MC-Rwanda team received official approval from the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) to provide Computer Technician and Tailoring courses at the MC-Rwanda Center. With this accreditation, MCW-Rwanda will operate as a Vocational Training Center and all program graduates will receive official government certificates that can be used to obtain a job or to start a business.

In September, MCW welcomed Britany Ferrell and Mayela Calderon to the MCW team as Community Development Initiative Fellows. 

In October, MC-Zambia received a certificate of accreditation by the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) for tailoring and computer courses. The accreditation will allow community members to receive official government certificates that can be used to obtain a job or start their own business following the training at the MCZ Chanyanya Center.

Also, Fredrick Meena became MCW’s first Oral Health Care fellow. His fellowship focused on the Mbeya and Tanga dental therapy initiatives.

In November, MCW Tanzania Country Director Abdu Mohamed graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from The University of Arusha. Abdu was the first recipient of the Dr. George Sideris Memorial Scholarship Fund and is the first MCW community leaders to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree.

In November, the MC-Tanzania team received accreditation by the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) to offer IT/computer courses at the Songea Center. MC-Tanzania’s accreditation will allow students in Songea the opportunity to receive government official certificates which may be used to learn and increase new skills, obtain a job or start their own business.

In response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, MCW team members reopened the “Kono Soap Shed” to produce soap to distribute to community members. As of December 2014, 1,445 bars of soap have been produced to fight the spread of Ebola. It is their hope that the soap distribution campaign will also spread awareness of the importance of hand-washing as a method of prevention.


In the beginning of the year, MCW wrapped up its internal evaluation of the MCW Oral Health Care Program, the first evaluation of any type undertaken both for this or any other MCW Program. The goal behind the evaluation was to enhance MCW’s ability to further develop, design and implement the Program so that it may determine the feasibility of moving to the next stage of proposed growth and expansion.


On March 4, MCW held its second quarterly social networking event at the Rwandan Coffee shop, Bourbon Coffee, in New York City. The event focused on how to get involved with MCW. It attracted students and young professionals who are interested in youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, oral healthcare and economic development projects in Africa.

On April 4, KPMG’s Zambia office visited MC-Zambia’s Chanyanya center to distribute holiday cards and books to students from the Chanyanya basic and community schools.

On April 9, MCW held its ninth annual gala celebration, raising almost $900,000, a record amount that will directly support MCW’s work worldwide. The MCW Community Partnership Award was presented to AON. Broadway’s Carol Woods accepts the MCW Leadership Award. The MCW Appreciation Award was presented to the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation. Finally, the MCW Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Dr. Mitchell Pines, his children accepted the award on his behalf. For the first time, MCW auctioned handicrafts from its community centers in Rwanda and Zambia.

On April 14, MCW held its seventh annual commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda at New York University’s Law School. To remember the lives of more than one million people who were killed during the genocide and to highlight the challenges facing survivors, almost one hundred people gathered to learn about the importance of “prevention,” not only in Rwanda but also in other areas of the world, where mass atrocities are taking place and not receiving the attention from the international community and/or media that is needed.

In April, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner supported the Abatzia family in Rwanda in organizing an annual commemoration.

Also in April, MCW hosted one of Sierra Leone’s International Film Festival (SLIFF) film screenings at the Miracle Corners Sierra Leone (MCLR) Sukudu center in Koidu Town. The SLIFF mobile unit tours Sierra Leone sharing vital information and entertainment films with rural communities.

In April, Anna Condoulis stepped down from her position on the Board of Directors to become a member of the Board of Emeritus

In the first half of 2013, MCW registered over 300 youth in programming at its five community centers in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. 

During the same period, a new MC-Rwanda Country Director, Solange Uwimbabazi, was appointed to oversee the center’s current roster of programs, including the tailoring, handicrafts, soccer and modern dance classes, as well as three new courses: sewing, information technology/computer skills and karate. During the year, course enrollment more than doubled. The center’s youth group received a $3,000 grant from MCW to purchase new traditional dance costumes and materials. The group went on to win the regional dance competition, earning a $500 prize;

In May, former intern Regina Leichner, who joined MCW to assist with grant writing and development, became an MCW Program Officer / Fellow with MCW’s Oral Healthcare program.

On May 12, the MC-Zambia team purchased two high-quality used Singer sewing machines for the Chanyanya center with funds raised through the sale of crafts made at the center during MCW’s annual gala in April.

In June, MCW released a press release about cooperation between American and Tanzanian dental schools, noting how it provided three fourth-year dental students from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Dental School with partial funding to participate in UIC’s first-ever service rotation program to Africa. The rotation, which took place in March and April, involved clinical experience at the MUHAS dental clinic in Dar es Salaam, visiting primary schools in the region, and service-learning experiences at a rural location.

In June, MCW welcomed a new intern, Claire Babala, to the team in June to continue the work of former intern, Maya Brooks, who ended her internship with MCW in May. Maya’s work focused on MCW’s new social networking initiative, MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, the 2013 gala and social media.

On June 27, MCW held its third social networking event, this time focusing on Sierra Leone, the event takes place Bourbon Coffee.

On July 8, MC-Zambia recruited 37 students to its IT class and 26 to its tailoring class. A large number of students from Kafue are attracted to the courses because of the low course fees. To attend, many find temporary lodging in Chanyanya.

From July 11-18, MCW brought 30 youth together for its 16th youth leadership retreat in New York and Burlington. This is the seventh retreat at Champlain College with Dr. David Finney as President of the College. Hannah Lee coordinates the event for the second year in a row. Participants included Americans, Armenians, Hungarians, Indians, Israelis, Kosovars, Kyrgyzs, Palestinians, Tanzanians, and Zambians. The retreat wrapped up with MCW’s annual Open Doors Ceremony at New York University, where MCW officially announced the opening of the MCW Alumni Ventures Fund application process. 2013 sponsors include Ben and Jerry’s, Chipotle,Green Mountain Coffee, Grey Dog, Domino’s Pizza, Staples, and Trader Joe’s.

By August, MCW’s bakery in Sierra Leone continued to increase its production, from producing 4,000 loaves a month in June to a goal of 20,000 in August. The bakery started a marketing campaign, placing retail bread boxes at strategic locations within Kono, the location of the center. The bakery employed a staff of five, and the profits from the business will flow into the MCSL-Kono community center, supporting MCSL’s low-cost social and vocational program.

From November 11-14, MCW provided funding for two treatment teams from Kenya and Tanzania to participate in the Pediatric & Adolescent AIDS Treatment Program (PATA) 2013 East Africa Regional Forum in Tanzania from November 11-14. Under the banner “2014 and Beyond: Barriers, Bottlenecks and Solutions,” the event dealt with child malnutrition, maternal health, and managing HIV, TB and malaria. The teams included a doctor, nurse, counselor and pharmacist from paediatric clinics in Kenya and Tanzania.

On December 10, MCW held a Winter Quarterly Social with Andrea Papitto, a producer of “The Last Song Before the War” and a 2013 youth leadership retreat presenter.

MCW Global

102 East 30th Street, Lower Level
New York, NY 10016
Tel: +1.212-453-5811


Brief Description

Applications for The Young Leaders Access Program is now open. It is a year-long program that trains and empowers young people, 18 to 26, to become leaders of change in their communities through leadership development, global citizenship, self-awareness, and vision planning. Throughout the whole year, the YLP team, mentors, and mentees all bring together their innovative ideas and concrete projects to make changes in communities hence truly accomplishing the purpose of Local Change Through Global Exchange®.

The 2021-22 cohort of the program will go online due to COVID-19. Therefore, if you or your peers are an inspiring and motivating youth, this is a golden opportunity for you to apply.

Take part in Local Change through Global Exchange!


To be eligible to participate, Young Leaders Must:

Exhibit commitment to their community;

Determine an issue in their community to solve;

Be between the ages of 18-26 at the beginning of the program (July 1, 2021);

Be fluent in written and spoken English;

Commit to completing the Community Needs Assessment over the summer, participating in the 3-months Virtual Learning program, and spending the following year making efforts to execute their community project;

Enjoy access to email and internet to allow for stable communication with the MCW Global Team and Young Leaders Program alumni-mentor for the duration of the program;

Comply with the Young Leaders Access Program graduation guidelines;

Submit a completed application on or before the deadline;

The application must be filled out in English. Besides, letters of recommendation and resume also have to be written in English. Any part of the application not written in English will not be read and be considered incomplete.

The application consists of:

General Information

Essay Questions

Identify a problem/challenge in your community that concerns you. How would you address this issue?

Describe one time you have faced a challenge and used a leadership skill to tackle tha.


Your resume should not exceed 1 page. Preparation in Times New Roman, 12 font, with 1-inch margins is recommended.

Two Letters of recommendation

Your referees should be people who know your work ethic and commitment to your community. Friends and family members may not qualify for writing letters of recommendation.

Recommenders should indicate their name, position, and relationship to the applicant at the top of the letter.

Note: do not forget to review the terms and conditions at the end of the application.

Level/Field(s) of Study


Scholarship value/inclusions/duration

Young Leaders Access Program 2021, in total, takes one year. It first begins with the Community Needs Assessment, a 2-month community needs a mapping project that enables young people to better realize their own local community. Following the community needs assessment, Young Leaders participate in a three-month intensive Virtual Program intended to empower participants to lead positive change in their communities.

After Virtual Learning, participants spend 7 months developing their action plans, implementing their projects with support from alumni mentors.

Important dates

Application duration: January 15, 2021- March 1, 2021;

March 31, 2021: Notification of first-round decisions; shortlist candidates;

second-round application period: March 31 2021 to April 18, 2021

May 1-28, 2021: Interviews with Alumni;

June 1, 2021: Acceptances declaration;

June 15, 2021: Confirmation of acceptance;

July 1, 2021 – August 27, 2021: Community Needs Assessment period;

September 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021: Young Leaders Access Program Virtual Learning;

December 15, 2021 – July 1, 2022: Young Leaders Access Program duration.

Available Subject

Leadership & Community Change

Scholarship Title

  • Start Date:2021-01-23
  • Location: Oman
  • End Date: 2021-03-01


Scholarship List

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