Global Advocate Program Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

What is the Global Advocate Program? 

The Global Advocate Program exists to equip a community of activists and allies worldwide to drive forward community-led change and decolonize international development.  In this 8-month fellowship program, participants are trained in community-led development, fundraising, and advocacy through a rigorous virtual curriculum. They then continue their learning hands-on alongside grassroots leaders at Mama Hope partner organizations across the globe. Global Advocates graduate to become part of a worldwide network of organizations and individuals advocating for community-led change.

What is the difference between National and International Global Advocates?

National Advocates are citizens of and currently reside in the countries where Mama Hope’s community partners live and work: Guatemala, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, or Ghana. They will be placed with a partner organization in that country. International Advocates represent countries outside of those that Mama Hope has partner organizations in. 

The Global Advocate Program will pair National Advocates with International Advocates, to work and learn together at one partner organization throughout the program.

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

The time commitment for the program is 8 months.

Phase One: Cultivate (Months 1-3)

As an introduction to community-led development, fundraising, and Mama Hope, all Global Advocates participate in a 5-day intensive in-person training. After the training, all Global Advocates spend three months completing a thorough virtual curriculum alongside their cohorts, tailored for relevance to their geographical location and background. 

Through regular communication with their partner organization, Global Advocates start familiarizing themselves with their partner organization, their work, and the community they serve. Partners may also engage Global Advocates in strategic and financial planning discussions during this time, however, this is encouraged only as introductory learning. National Global Advocates are expected to spend one day each week working directly with their partners.

As a pair, Global Advocates fundraise towards a goal of $25,000USD, to be fully dedicated to their partner organization. Holistic training and support is provided by Mama Hope staff and Global Advocate Alumni to assist Global Advocates in reaching this goal.

(~20 hours per week)

Phase Two: Germinate (Months 4-6)

Global Advocates begin full-time work at their partner placements in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana or Guatemala. With assistance from Mama Hope staff, Global Advocates and partners create work plans that align with the current needs of the partner organization. This may involve ongoing support in partner-identified areas and focus on skill-sharing in the Global Advocates’ areas of expertise.

Global Advocates are required to live within the community they serve in order to gain stronger insight and build deeper relationships.

(Full-time; 40+ hours per week)

Phase Three: Harvest (Month 7-8)

Global Advocates finish their placement and complete a curriculum focused on career development, self-reflection, and evaluation of ethical careers in international development. Global Advocate pairs complete a final presentation, including a storytelling element for their donors and home communities. 

(~10 hours per week)

How much time would I spend in a full-time placement? 

During Phase 2, Each Global Advocate spends three months living and working alongside their partner organization in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, or Guatemala.

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

Global Advocates are carefully matched with Mama Hope’s partner organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Guatemala. Take a look here for more information about Mama Hope’s partner organizations and refer to the application for current placements, as placements vary for each class of Global Advocates.

International applicants may indicate in their interview which countries they are interested in working in. This informs the matching process but does not guarantee a placement in any given country or community.

How does Mama Hope find their partners? 

Mama Hope finds our partners in a variety of ways, including word of mouth and referrals from our current partners. We conduct a sustainability assessment with each prospective partner, in order to ensure that their efforts are aligned with Mama Hope’s values and sustainability initiatives. All Global Advocate placement organizations have been vetted by Mama Hope staff to ensure that their projects are locally-led, the community is safe, and the presence of a Global Advocate will add value.

Can the organization I work for / volunteer for / founded be involved? How can my organization get involved? 

Mama Hope firmly believes in the power of collaboration between like-minded organizations. Global Advocates are only placed with organizations that are already established through Mama Hope’s partnership process. Please contact us to learn more about our partnership assessment process and start a conversation about how we might collaborate under the Global Advocate Program.

How does the curriculum work and what would I learn?

National and International Global Advocates complete a thorough virtual curriculum alongside their class, tailored for relevance to their geographical location and background. 

The weekly curriculum is structured around reading, reflection, and discussion via video conferencing. Topics in the First Phase include personal development, the history of aid, community-led development, decolonizing international development, and more. Topics in the Third Phase include career development, self-reflection, and evaluation of ethical careers in international development.

How many other Global Advocates will be in my class? Will any of them have the same placement as me?

Due to Mama Hope’s holistic approach, the number of Global Advocates in each class varies. We keep the classes small so we can maintain the quality of the program by offering our Global Advocates personalized staff and alumni mentorship. Class sizes and placements are determined by the priorities of each of our partners at the beginning of each class. The average size is 8-10 people, with 4-5 pairs of one International Advocate and one National Advocate each. 

Just like class sizes, placements vary with each class. It is possible that multiple Global Advocates will be placed in the same city or country.

What will I do with my partner organization? 

With assistance from Mama Hope staff, Global Advocates and partners create work plans that align with the current needs of the partner organization. This may involve ongoing support in partner-identified areas and focus on skill-sharing in the Global Advocates’ areas of expertise. Global Advocates are consistently guided and supported by their partners and Mama Hope staff in the community-led development process.

Mama Hope provides adaptive support to the initiatives of our community partners at a pace that works for them, and Global Advocates are expected to view their role in the same way. Mama Hope is not an implementation organization. As such, Global Advocates are encouraged not to view their support as a “project” to be completed, which incorrectly expresses ownership of initiatives run by our community partners.

What happens when I finish the program? 

The Mama Hope staff helps prepare Global Advocates to take the next steps in their professional development, whether that’s job searching, applying for advanced degrees, or starting organizations or companies. Many Global Advocates graduate to careers in public and nonprofit sectors, where they bring awareness to transformative approaches to social justice.

Upon completion of the program, Global Advocates have access to the Global Advocate Alumni Network. This network is a community of graduated fellows that share a wide range of professional resources, networks, and experiences.

What is the fundraising requirement?

As a pair, National and International Global Advocates fundraise towards a goal of $25,000 USD, to be fully dedicated to their partner organization. This fundraising is not for expenses related to the Global Advocate. Holistic training and support is provided by Mama Hope staff and Global Advocate Alumni to assist Global Advocates in reaching this goal. Mama Hope acknowledges that fundraising norms and practices vary among communities around the world and works with each Global Advocate to create appropriate strategies. We believe that capital comes in many forms, and we work with each partner to create fundraising goals that include in-kind donations and local assets. 

What happens if I don’t raise $25,000?

Mama Hope provides comprehensive training and support to help Global Advocates reach the fundraising goal. There are no penalties for not reaching the goal, as long as it is clear that individuals are making every effort. If this is not the case, Mama Hope staff will re-evaluate the Global Advocate’s participation in the program. Global Advocates are encouraged to continue fundraising until the goal is reached.

COSTS

What costs are involved with enrolling in the Global Advocate Program? 

There are no formal costs associated with enrolling in the program. Mama Hope pays for every Global Advocate’s transportation, visas, and accommodation for the full-time placement portion of the program (Phase 2). However, there are several other personal expenses for applicants to consider. 

Launch Weekend

Launch Weekends at the beginning of the program will occur simultaneously in East Africa for National Global Advocates and in the United States for International Global Advocates. Mama Hope pays for all food and lodging during this time. We ask Global Advocates to pay for their transportation to this Launch Weekend. Please find the specific locations of these weekends in the application.

Other

We highly encourage but do not require International Global Advocates to update all immunizations as recommended by the CDC. We also require that International Advocates purchase travel insurance, and are happy to suggest trusted companies.

Please discuss with Kyla (kyla@mamahope.org) if any of these costs might be inhibitive to your participation in the program. We aim to make the program accessible to all and have scholarship funds available. 

Will I receive a stipend? 

Yes, you will receive an unrestricted stipend for the entirety of the program. Stipends will vary according to location and placement country. We hope that you use this stipend to offset the costs associated with the program. At this time, the stipend is not intended to be a living stipend. 

FELLOWSHIP ELIGIBILITY

Can I work or attend school during the program? 

Yes, you can work while participating in the Global Advocate Program.  While this does require excellent time management, it is possible and many past Global Advocates have held full or part-time jobs during the training portions of the program.

While we are sensitive to each individual’s financial obligations, it is not possible to maintain a job in addition to participating in the Global Advocate Program during Phase 2. 

We require that applicants are not enrolled in undergraduate programs at the beginning of the Global Advocate Program. However, graduate school commitments are considered on a case by case basis.

Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree?

Nope! However, to become a Global Advocate, we ask that you have a Bachelor’s degree or proven commitment to community-led development and intercultural engagement. We value the knowledge and insight that comes from “real world” experiences, workplace experience, and 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? 

All Global Advocates, National and International, are required to have professional fluency in English. For placements in Guatemala, International Advocates are required to have professional fluency in Spanish. For placements in Tanzania, International Advocates are required to participate in beginner-level Kiswahili lessons during Phase 1. We encourage all other International Advocates to participate in language lessons, regardless of placement.

What is the demographic of Global Advocates?

Global Advocates have ranged from 21-40 years old and come from all over the world. While many participants have recently completed undergraduate degrees, others are mid-career professionals. We welcome applicants of all ages.

While the Global Advocate Program does serve as a professional development opportunity, it is designed for high-caliber individuals seeking to participate in systemic change in international development. Additional program eligibility can be found on our application.

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. We encourage Global Advocates to live where they have a supportive community to engage in fundraising and emotional support. 

During the Second Phase, all Global Advocates are required to live within the community they serve, in order to gain stronger insight and build deeper relationships. Accommodation for International Advocates will be selected and coordinated by Mama Hope. Most accommodations are homestays – all are comfortable and welcoming! This option is available to National Advocates as well – however, they may discuss other housing options with Mama Hope staff.

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

Global Advocate safety is Mama Hope’s top priority. In collaboration with our partners, 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. We require that all International Advocates purchase travel insurance and highly recommend that they have up-to-date vaccinations. Details regarding medical facilities at your placement are included in the Emergency Action Plan.

Global Advocates are required to have the physical and mental capacity to carry out all functions of a Global Advocate for the full length of the program. We ask in your application that you disclose any health conditions you are facing that may require accommodations.

Will I qualify for loan deferment or forbearance while participating in the Global Advocate Program? 

At this time, Mama Hope does not have the capacity to support loan deferment or forbearance. However, we are sensitive to the financial obligations of our Global Advocates and strive to create a program with minimal barriers to participation. For more information on working during the program, please read the “Fellowship Eligibility” section above. 

APPLICATION PROCESS

What is the application process?
Due to the demands of the program, we highly encourage interested applicants to read through all program and recruiting information thoroughly to see if the Global Advocate Program is a right fit before applying. We also encourage applicants to inquire about webinars for a deeper look into the program. Email kyla@mamahope.org for more information. 

Before the application opens, Mama Hope works closely with our community partners to create work plans that align with the current needs of their organization. Applications are open for approximately 6-weeks and can be submitted any time during that window. They will be reviewed as soon as all documents (application, resume, and a reference) are submitted. 

Applicants who move forward will be offered two interviews. Mama Hope also directs top applications, resumes and interview notes to our partner organizations to ensure the applicant will be a great fit for their organization. Applicants are informed of their status at least two weeks prior to the Launch Weekend. We ask that all accepted applicants confirm their acceptance into the program within 5 days of Mama Hope’s decision.

Once your acceptance is confirmed, you will be required to complete and pass a background or police check. We require this in order to protect the vulnerable populations you may be working with as a Global Advocate.

Do I need references?

Yes! You are required to have one reference complete a Global Advocate Recommendation Form on your behalf. The required form will be linked on our website and directly from the application. Do not submit a recommendation letter. 

You are responsible for making sure your references submit the Recommendation Form by the application deadline. Applications without a completed Recommendation Form will not be considered.

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

To learn more about the Global Advocate Program from an alumni of the Global Advocate Program, email kyla@mamahope.org. Kyla will put you in touch with someone who lives in your area or who has similar areas of interests within the program.

More Questions?

Please contact Kyla Rathjen at kyla@mamahope.org or visit www.mamahope.org/global-advocates