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Mamandla Fellowship: Apply Today!

Dear Fellow Mother-Supporter,

Embrace is a national movement with a simple, powerful mission: to ensure every mother is supported from the start of their motherhood journey.

In our work, we have witnessed first-hand the power of community and allies pouring their passion into solution-seeking, change-making work. Without removing accountability from our government leaders and key decision-makers, we believe that a transformed experience of motherhood in South Africa will be realised through our collective efforts on the ground.

Founded in 2019, the Mamandla Fellowship provides an opportunity to harness the collective efforts of our work and passions for the good of all mothers, and to leverage the power of our diverse experiences through a network of relationships.

As the Embrace movement grows, we believe we need a capable body of change-makers who understand the value of an investment in motherhood and are willing to lead the efforts of the movement in their local community and nationally. As the issues we’re passionate about gain traction, we’re looking to grow our community of fellows with individuals who desire to be at the forefront of these important conversations. 

If you are:

  • Community-minded and outspoken and passionate about social justice issues, especially those that affect mothers 
  • A leader, keen to further develop your leadership skills in the motherhood space
  • A good communicator and listener, keen to broaden your opportunities in public and media engagement and keen to learn from other mothers and mother-supporters.
  • A team player – understanding the value of good collaboration and mutual upliftment 
  • A doer – action-oriented; you want to see passion translated into positive change, and be a part of the process of making it happen

The Mamandla Fellowship is uniquely designed as an accessible opportunity for mother-supporters who wish to lead a pro-mother agenda for social change in South Africa. The Fellowship is a year-long journey that includes compulsory in-person engagements, on-line learning and ad-hoc community conversation amongst the fellows. Attendance and participation at all fellowship engagements is compulsory. The Fellowship is designed to build community and networking. It is not an individual learning journey and fellows commit to showing up for each other during their fellowship journey. Every effort will be made to support logistics for participation. There will be no monetary contribution required for Fellows. 

Embrace sees this Fellowship as a deep investment into the growth of our movement. We entrust fellows with the platform and connections to act and further the work of the movement for mothers. 

A Mamandla Fellow…

  • Believes that motherhood is a powerful and transformative social identity.
  • Is a leader in their community.
  • Understands that motherhood in South Africa is deeply affected by issues of race, class and culture.
  • Values community
  • Seeks to empower themselves for the betterment of themselves and others
  • Wants to improve the experiences of mothers in their community and in every community around the country. 

Key Programme Offerings

  • Lifelong membership in a network of activists who are working to improve the lives of mothers of South Africa
  • A year-long fellowship programme in which Embrace will offer you support and community, and an opportunity to make use of a wide range of change-making tools and platforms for the benefit of your community of mothers
  • Access to a variety of in-person and online masterclasses and community-building opportunities
  • A local community of Mamandla fellows with whom you can meet up in person throughout the fellowship programme and beyond

Important Dates

Applications open21 January 2022
Application deadline4 February 2022
First Round Interviews via Zoom7 – 11 February 2022
Second Round Interviews in-person or via Zoom11 – 23 February 2022
Mamandla Fellows class of 2020/21 announced1 March 2022
Gathering 1: The Mamandla Power Trip ™8 – 10 April 2022

Answers to burning questions

How much time will I need to give to this programme?

We want this fellowship to add to your life and do not want to overburden you. However, you will be required to make yourself available at three (3) overnight, weekend retreats at the start, middle and end of the programme. These retreats are subject to government-enforced restrictions on travel and meetings, as per the South African Corona Command Council directive.

The retreats are big trips, with days and nights away from home. You will need to think about whether or not this is possible for you, and what plans you need to put into place ahead of the trips. 

Additional fellowship meetings and masterclass sessions will take place in the evening via Zoom or another digital platform. Dates will be communicated to you well in advance to ensure that your attendance is possible

You may also need to participate in telephonic or in-person check-ins with a Mamandla mentor. In between gatherings, you may be required to do some ad-hoc journalling or reading in preparation for gatherings. 

I have young children; can I bring them with me to retreats and gatherings?

We understand that it may seem counterintuitive to not provide childcare at a motherhood-focused retreat. However, we want this time to draw focus to strengthening relationships between fellows without the distraction of daily life (and yes, this includes our precious children).

Understanding that it is always difficult to be away from family, we will do our very best to make this time away from our families as efficient as possible. 

What does this programme cover?

The fellowship is an opportunity to spend time with other passionate people who are committed to supporting mothers and improving the motherhood experience in South Africa. It is designed with leadership mentoring in mind and so fellows will engage in activities and opportunities that stretch and strengthen their ability to lead on fellowship and public-facing work, as per the goals of the Embrace movement,  

It is also a chance for you to exchange ideas and collaborate on each other’s projects and social change work. It is a space for all of us – you and the Embrace hub team – to play around with different ways in which we can give this movement real energy. The hub team will be providing you with some of the project tools and tactics we have learnt over time so that you can make use of them in your own social change work. 

This Fellowship is about power: the power of people coming together, and standing up for the mothers of South Africa.

Is this a paid fellowship?

The fellowship is not paid. Embrace will cover all logistics, transport; catering and accommodation costs associated with the retreats and gatherings, and may reimburse you in cases where you have incurred personal costs whilst on fellowship business (e.g. data or transport costs).

Is this open to any and all Embrace members?

Mamandla is dedicated to growing the Embrace movement outside of the resources and activities of the hub team. As such, if you make it into the interview round we have very carefully selected you as one of a pool of applicants who we feel might be the right fit for this experience. From this pool, we will select the group with whom we will closely work over the year.. 

We know that you are by no means an exhaustive representation of Embrace’s full movement and we’re not asking you to be. However, this is a bold step for us and we are asking you to consider taking the step with us, so we can open up the way for more movement members in the future. 

APPLY NOW!

If this sounds like it is a perfect fit for you, then we invite you to apply. Go to https://www.embrace.org.za/mamandla/ and complete the form by 5pm on Friday, 11 February 2022.

If you have any questions, you can email us at mamandla@embrace.org.za or send a WhatsApp message to 066 320 4477. If you WhatsApp us, please be sure to state your name in the message.

We can’t wait to hear from you!