Global Advocate Program Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP 

What is the Global Advocate Fellowship?

The Global Advocate Fellowship is a rigorous and immersive 9-month professional training program designed for results-oriented individuals with a passion for global impact. Fellows are carefully matched with CBOs and NGOs in one of eight countries, where they’ll support community-directed development initiatives. Advocates work on sustainable projects in the arenas of education, clean water, agriculture, micro-business and healthcare in communities across East Africa, Ghana, Guatemala, India and in the US. We are now accepting applications for Spring and Fall 2017.


What are the three phases of the fellowship? What is the time commitment?

The time commitment for the Fellowship is 9 months.

  • Phase One (months 1-4): Fundraising, international development curriculum, project planning, trip preparation
  • Phase Two (months 5-7): In-country project execution, monitoring & evaluation
  • Phase Three (months 8-9): Impact evaluation, final project report, mentorship

How much time would I spend in the field?

Each Advocate spends between 3 and 4 months in the field, depending on how quickly they achieve their fundraising goal and the needs of the partner community.


Where are the placements and who decides where I will go?

Applicants may indicate which countries they are interested in working in, as well as their specific areas of interests on their application. Based on this information and a needs assessment done with Mama Hope’s CBO & NGO partners, Global Advocates are carefully matched with a community in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, India, Guatemala or Haiti.

Take a look here for more information about our current placements: http://www.mamahope.org/global-advocates/current/


How does the curriculum work and what would I learn?

All training is done virtually from wherever a Global Advocate lives during the First and Third Phases of the program. The project prep curriculum is structured around reading, reflection, and discussion.

Each week during the First Phase, the Mama Hope staff member that facilitates curriculum sends the Global Advocate cohort a reading and reflection assignment organized around topics ranging from the History of International Development to Servant Leadership or Asset-Based Community Development. The following week, the cohort and staff member get on a group video call together for an hour-long discussion of the topic and readings. Through this seminar-style training, everyone learns from each other and the texts about how to best do this work with humility, respect for community context, and an asset-based outlook.

In the Third Phase, Advocates are led through another curriculum virtually with a focus on their recently-completed time in the field and reflecting on their experience and where they want to go next professionally or academically. Advocates revisit modules from the first phase as a way to synthesize their entire experience into an impact report.


How many other fellows will be in my cohort? Will any of them have the same placement as me?

Due to Mama Hope’s holistic approach to the work we do with our partners, there is not one set size for each cohort. The average class size in the past ranges from 5-10 people. We like to keep the cohorts small so we can maintain the quality of the program by offering our Advocates quality and personalized one-on-one staff mentorship.

Just like our cohort sizes, placements also vary with each and every class. It is possible that Advocates will be placed within the same partner site or within the same geographical location, or that they will be placed in an area where there won’t be another Advocate. Class sizes and placements are determined by the priorities of each of our partners at the inception of each new class! 


What happens after I finish the program?

The Mama Hope staff helps prepare the Advocate to take the next steps in their professional development, whether that’s job searching, applying for graduate school or starting their own organization or company. Many advocates graduate to careers in public and nonprofit environments, where they continue to bring awareness to transformative approaches to social justice.

Find out what some of our alumnae have gone on to do after completing the program by clicking here.


What happens if I don’t raise the $20,000 fundraising commitment while in the program?

Our fundraising curriculum and program structure is designed to ensure that all of our Advocates hit their fundraising goals! Global Advocates commit to raising at least $15,000 of their $20,000 goal in the first 4 months of the program, before leaving for their field placements. We will not send an Advocate to their field placement unless we see that they are on track to hit their goals. This ensures that they are able to make the most of their time in country, and makes it easier to wrap up the final $5,000 of fundraising while in country via online crowdfunding and grant writing.


COSTS
 


Do I have to pay for my trip?

Advocates are only responsible for purchasing their ticket to the 5-day orientation training that kicks off the 9 month program. We pay for all food and lodging during that time. Because 100% of all Advocate fundraising goes directly into our partner’s projects on the ground, Mama Hope also covers Advocate’s airfare, accommodations, and visas to their host country during Phase 2. You can learn more about the program costs here. 


Will I receive a stipend?

Yes, you will receive a restricted stipend during Phase 2 when you are working and living in your partner community. During this time Advocates receive a restricted stipend that goes towards living and working expenses. Advocates are responsible for all personal travel, souvenirs, gifts, and other non-work or living related costs. During Phases 1 and 3, while you are living in your home city you will have to cover your own living expenses.


FELLOWSHIP ELIGIBILITY


Can I work or attend school during the program?

Yes you can definitely work! A majority of our past Advocates have held full or part-time jobs during the training portion of the fellowship. While this does require excellent time management it is totally possible to do both. The Mama Hope staff is sensitive to the fact that everyone has different financial and professional obligations so we work with Advocates to make sure they are able to fulfill all of their responsibilities.

We look at school commitments on a case by case basis to determine if the Advocate will have enough time and energy for both school and the program. We do require that undergraduate students graduate before starting the program.


Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree?

Nope! However, to become a Global Advocate, we ask that you have at least a Bachelor’s degree or proven equivalent experience. We value the knowledge and insight that comes from both “real world” experiences in the workplace and the more theoretical university education. We welcome people of all abilities and backgrounds and believe everyone has something unique to contribute to building a more abundant future.


Do I need to speak a second language?

With the exception of our placements in Haiti and Guatemala, where we require Global Advocates to speak French and Spanish respectively, there are no language requirements to enroll in the Global Advocate Fellowship. We do require that Advocates working in Kenya or Tanzania participate in beginners level Kiswahili lessons before they depart for their field placements. We also connect Advocates to language tutors during their in country field experience and fund their lessons.


HEALTH, SECURITY, & LOGISTICS


Where will I live while enrolled in the fellowship?

During the First and Third Phases, you will live wherever is most convenient for you, as long as there is a reliable internet connection. During these Phases, we encourage Global Advocates to live where they have a supportive community and network, both for fundraising and emotional support. It can be quite hard to throw fundraising events or use connections in a town that you just moved to!

During the Second Phase, you will live and work with the partner community we have placed you with. The living situations vary from home stays to communal apartments, based on the community, but all are comfortable and welcoming.


I have concerns about my security/health while traveling abroad. How will Mama Hope help?

In collaboration with our partners on the ground, Mama Hope has created comprehensive Emergency Action Plans for each placement. These include all relevant emergency contact information and detailed procedures for any medical, political, or environmental emergencies that may arise. This information is shared with your partners in-country, Mama Hope staff, and the Advocate’s emergency contacts. Additionally, we require that Advocates purchase travel insurance before departing.

We require that all Advocates have up to date vaccinations. At many of our placements, we also require that Advocate’s take antimalarial medication. Details regarding medical facilities at your placement are included in the Emergency Action Plan.

If you have any dietary restrictions, we ask that you inform Mama Hope staff as soon as possible, so that we can ensure that our partners will be able to accommodate you.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS


What is the application process?

Due to the demands of the program, we highly encourage Interested individuals to read through all program and recruiting information thoroughly to see if the Global Advocate Program is a right fit before applying to the program. We also encourage applicants to hold a discovery call with a Mama Hope staff member or alumni for a more insightful look into the program. Email katie@mamahope.org for more information.

Before the application opens, Mama Hope works closely with our partners on the ground to determine which projects priorities could best be filled by a Global Advocate. Applications are then opened for 8-weeks before the deadline. Applications can be submitted at anytime during that window and the application process will begin as soon as all documents are submitted (application, resume, transcripts and 2 letters of recommendation).

Once applications are reviewed, applicants will be offered two interviews. The Mama Hope staff will then direct all applications, resumes and interview notes to our partners on the ground to ensure the Advocate will be a great fit for their organization. Decisions will not be made without completed reference checks. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance within one to two weeks after their second interview. We ask that all accepted applicants confirm their acceptance into the program within 5 days of Mama Hope’s decision so we can plan the next steps accordingly. 


How can I contact current or recently returned Global Advocates to ask them about their experiences?

To learn more about the experience from a current or recently returned Advocate, email katie@mamahope.org. She will put you in touch with someone who lives in your area or who has similar areas of interests within the program.


Do I need references?

Yes! We require that applicants submit 2 letters of recommendations from an academic, volunteer, or professional contact with their application. Please remind your references that a Mama Hope staff member will follow-up for more information following your final interview.


When do I find out if I’m selected?

Applicants are notified within one week of the second interview about their acceptance into the program. The Mama Hope staff move the decision along as quickly as possible with the help of our partners on the ground and the applicant’s references.