A Q&A with the Fellowships Team!
This issue we sat down with our Fellowships Team to discuss EWB’s history with fellowship programming, as well as the innovative pivot to virtual fellows, driven by the pandemic.
Q: What does an average day look like on the fellowship’s team?
A: There really is no “average’ day on the Fellowship team. Depending on the time of year, the activity can be radically different.
Q: What fellowships does EWB offer?
A: Prior to March 2020, EWB offered three different Fellowship Programs: The Junior Fellowship program for University Chapter members that provided a three-month in-country work placement with one of EWB’s ventures or boundary partners in Sub Saharan Africa; The Long Term Fellowship, where young professionals volunteered for a minimum of one year in a work placement with one of EWB’s ventures or boundary partners in Sub Saharan Africa; The Kumvana Fellowship, where, over the course of a year, young African entrepreneurs and leaders develop business and social skills while in their home country and attend a five week intensive program / homestay opportunity in Canada.
Due to the pandemic, all three of these program have been put on hold. We are currently launching a new Spring / Summer 2021 Fellowship program, The Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship. This part time fellowship will provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students based in Canada and Africa to work together and develop innovative solutions to complex global challenges. While attending a 15-week program, Innovation Fellows will work in groups to learn, create and accelerate ideas as a way to build a sustainable and inclusive future. With additional mentorship and coaching from sector experts, it is a unique chance for university students to grow their leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation capacity while engaging in cultural, academic and professional exchange.
Q: What does the application process look like? Do you have to be an EWB chapter member to apply?
A: No, chapter membership is not necessary to apply for the CAIF program, but all participants will go through the EWB member learning portal.
Q: What qualities do you look for in a fellow?
A: We are looking for entrepreneurial, social-impact minded, engaged, community-focused university students who want to make a difference.
Q: What is the Virtual Talent xChange and why is it useful to our partners?
A: Due to the global pandemic, EWB had to suspend our volunteer send Fellowship programs. Understanding that COVID didn’t decrease our venture and boundary partners’ need for volunteer support, we created the Virtual Talent xChange (VTX), which is a volunteer program that aims to match bright Canadian talent with the needs of our ventures, remotely.
Q: Why is this work important for EWB to be doing?
A: EWB needs to be a leader. Though we can not be sending volunteers at this time, the need is still there. We can support our ventures virtually and provide significant volunteer opportunities to Canadians.