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Facebook seeks to empower online community leaders

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Facebook is inviting online community leaders from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to apply for the 2021 Facebook Community Accelerator programme.

The five-month initiative offers participants training, mentorship and up to $50 000 in funding, to invest in a project that extends their community’s positive impact.

According to the social media giant, the aim is to help leaders of Facebook online communities to harness the power of their community and turn their ideas into action.

Over 1.8 billion people use Facebook online groups, and there are millions of community- or business-focused groups on Facebook.

Businesses, brands and community leaders of social causes create Facebook groups of their own to interact with customers or community members.

The community accelerator is part of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme, a global initiative that invests in people who are building communities.

The selected leaders will spend five months learning from experts, coaches and a customised curriculum online so they can strengthen their community.

“Facebook communities and their leaders are helping to resolve social challenges, sharing knowledge and information, while connecting with others that share their interests or passion for a cause,” says Kiran Yoliswa, partner management lead, Middle East and Africa community partnerships at Facebook.

“We've seen so many incredible communities from across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria using our platform to drive change and provide support and encouragement for thousands of people. We’re excited to offer their Facebook Community leaders this programme to help amplify their impact even more.”

Lessons include community identity foundations and leading action-oriented programmes, and participants will learn best practices for community income generation and options for organisational structures that help maximise community impact.

Participants will identify an important initiative that will create a positive impact on the broader world and develop a plan to mobilise their community around their goal. Initiatives will be shared with potential partners, mentors and a panel of judges for the chance to be awarded funding and receive public recognition.

Participants will then spend three months executing their initiatives. They will collaborate with advocates and leaders in the community space and work with the Facebook team to bring their ideas to life.

This programme is open to online communities that have a presence in Facebook Groups with leaders who are 18 years or older. Communities must have existed for over one year and must have a minimum size of 1 000 members. Applications are open until 31 May.

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