Fostering the brightest young minds in Canada to lead change around the world.
EWB’s philosophy of fostering innovators applies on home soil as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Junior Fellowship Program equips today’s elite university students with the skills to create a more promising future—both for fellows individually, and for the wider world around them.
The program is not just an overseas volunteer placement. It is 18 months of practical leadership and opportunity to address the root causes of poverty. It is a platform to empower tomorrow’s leaders to affect long-term, tangible change.
Junior Fellowship Programs are run and recruited through individual Chapters.
What is a Junior Fellow?
Junior Fellows are leaders who play an essential role in linking on-the-ground initiatives with our ongoing chapter activities.
Junior Fellows are chosen based on a proven commitment to excellence, to building a more equal and sustainable world, and to taking on a leadership role in their EWB chapter and in Canada upon their return. They are humble and mature problem-solvers, excited to promote learning about development issues, and have an understanding of development practices.
As a Junior Fellow, you will operate at the intersection of poverty, transformation, innovation and education, to spark systemic change in Canada and Africa. You will gain a detailed understanding of the realities of these environments and learn how to positively affect each one. Your work will be tied to our larger organizational strategy, and your experience, input and effort will influence the strategy’s development.
“Working in Malawi as a Junior Fellow after my first year in university turned my world upside down. My naive idea of what development meant changed to something more complex, more difficult, more confusing… I can’t think of any experience that has had a bigger impact on my life’s direction in the past decade.”
– Emily Stewart, 2008 Junior Fellow in Malawi.
What does the program involve?
With practical skills, invaluable insights and access to unrivalled experiences, your preparation as a Junior Fellow extends well beyond the conventions of a traditional leadership program.
As pioneers and problem solvers, we think outside the box. As a Junior Fellow with EWB, you will operate outside of the classroom; explore far beyond the confines of an office building.
You will broaden horizons and expand your mind across campuses, fields, cities, villages, businesses, streets, markets and bus stations.
You will build your understanding, knowledge, and a direct, personal connection to our work. These building blocks will come to life as concrete, real-world change.
The program can include:
- 4 months of a Foundation Learning Program online and a week of intensive pre-departures training at our National Office in Toronto.
- 4 months engaged in work directly with our ventures or portfolio in Canada, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, or Kenya.
- A full year of leadership and mentorship in an EWB chapter.
You will come out of the program equipped to create impact in three key capacities:
- To create change in Sub-Saharan Africa. By partnering directly with our ventures on-the-ground to create real, direct impact.
- To create change in Canada. By recounting your experience to educate and inspire fellow Canadians to change the way we think, feel and act towards Africa. You will be equipped to tackle complex domestic issues with a global focus.
- To create change and learning for yourself. The Junior Fellowship Program will equip you with the skills, support and network to generate ongoing impact as a leader.
A Junior Fellow could work alongside a District Water Office in Malawi to implement low-cost, high-impact water point operations or maintenance systems, or gain comprehensive insight into affecting global industries with one of our ventures in Evolving Engineering in Toronto.
Whatever your experience and wherever your life takes you beyond the Fellowship, you will be empowered to enact change.
Meet some of our Junior Fellowship alumni
Sprouting innovations in Ugandan agriculture.
- Participated as a third-year Water Resources Engineering student at the University of Guelph.
- Partnered with the Agriculture Value Chains venture in the town of Iganga, Uganda.
- Developed insights on business influence and ownership that scaled to create change in maize, coffee and agricultural inputs value chains.
Working directly with a small agricultural-inputs business, Emily was able to grow in-depth understanding of field level realities in relation to access and use of agro-inputs by small-scale farmers. In close collaboration with the business owner, Emily co-evaluated the potential of a new operating model to help the business enhance its market share and bring quality-certified seed closer to the farm-gate.
Mobilizing insight for Ghanaian farmers.
- Participated as a second-year Arts & Science student at McMaster University.
- Worked with the Business Development Services Venture in Northern Ghana, and later in the more southern city of Kumasi.
- Played a key role in pre-pilot market analysis to ensure a service was launched to the most receptive and appropriate audience base.
Alexandra conducted research into Farmerline, a service that delivers vital agricultural information directly to farmers’ mobile phones. Alexandra analyzed the way smallholder crop farmers in Northern Ghana use extension services and mobile phones. After determining this would not be a good initial market for the service, Alexandra moved south to Kumasi to help pivot the service for a new market – fish farmers. There, she developed a partnership with Ghana’s fisheries commission and held workshops to engage and educate potential clients.
Partnering with district councils for more accountable accounting.
- Participated as a second-year Electrical Engineering student at the University of Alberta.
- Worked with the Governance and Rural Infrastructure Venture at the West Gonja District Assembly in Damongo, Ghana, on revenue mobilization.
- Played a key role in developing a system for accurate revenue projections and measures to improve accountability for revenue collectors.
Through partnering with the District Assembly as well as Area Councils, Ryan investigated a range of the district’s entrenched challenges. After initial investigation, Ryan’s team implemented a Revenue Projection Database and data collection processes to ensure that all financing projections were made based on legitimate figures from the ground. His team also ensured that contracts were updated to improve the accountability and responsibilities of revenue collectors on commission.
Breaking new ground for more responsible global mining.
- Two-time winner at the first-ever Canadian Sustainable Development Goals Awards, 2016.
- Co-drafted an international standard for reporting on local procurement for global mining companies.
- Participated in Toronto through the Mining Shared Value Venture, part of our Governance and Sustainable Services portfolio.
Through his Junior Fellowship placement with Mining Shared Value, Aditya worked on several integral projects to play a key role in taking the venture to new heights. Over the course of his placement, Aditya was involved in co-drafting an early iteration of an international standard for reporting on local procurement as a part of corporate social responsibility for mining companies around the world.
In collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Aditya mapped out a network of organizations that focus on responsible mining, made recommendations to Global Affairs Canada by participating in Canada’s International Assistance Review, and more.