African Queer Youth Initiative: MawuLisa Fellowship Program 2020/2021 (Up to $5000 Support)

African Queer Youth Initiative: MawuLisa Fellowship Program 2020/2021 (Up to $5000 Support)

Deadline: 9th November 2020


The MawuLisa Fellowship Program is a project of the African Queer Youth Initiative designed to support emerging and mid-career LGBT+ women activists between ages 18 – 35 in select West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria) to design and implement projects that focus on addressing issues affecting young LGBT+ women in their country and community while advocating for their rights. Recipients of this program will be supported to implement their projects while housed in “host organizations” that are committed partners in the Fellow’s program. AQYI provides technical and financial support of $5000 to fellows during the 6-month fellowship period.

This fellowship program is built on the premise that communities affected by certain issues are best placed to deal with them, and that effective and sustainable advancement of LGBT+ rights in Africa will be achieved by leveraging on the passion, innovation, and unique skills of emerging leaders. The AQYI is committed and dedicated to giving voices and support to communities that are too often silenced within the larger LGBT+ community.

MawuLisa Fellowship Program Package:

  • Mentoring and capacity building: AQYI will provide dedicated mentoring and capacity building for selected fellows.
  • Financial support and technical assistance: Through a grant to the fellow and through the Host organization, the Fellow will receive stipend support, a budget for project execution and support for infrastructure and or information technology (IT) needs.
  • Connection to a regional/global network: Fellows will have the opportunity to be connected to a wide network of activists, organizations, and platforms working to advance the rights of LGBT+ people.
  • Opportunities for shared knowledge and networking: Fellows will have the opportunity to learn from other fellows and a broader community of advocates including activists, organizations, AQYI members, and other stakeholders working in the LGBTIQ movement.


The fellowship is intended to support:

  • Young LGBT+ women leaders living/working in the following West African countries: (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria).
  • Be between ages 18 – 35.
  • Be fluent in French (for francophone West Africa) and English (for Nigeria). Applications from bilingual candidates – English-speaking countries are strongly encouraged.

Who is NOT eligible to be a Fellow?

  • The founders or leaders of the proposed host organization.

Eligible projects:

Fellows design and implement activities to bring about specific change on issues affecting the LGBT+ women/community in their country, which contributes to the promotion of the rights and leadership of the LGBT+ women in their country.

AQYI looks for the following elements in a project proposal:

An effective project that identifies a gap or needs that can be addressed through civil society engagement or advocacy efforts; clearly sets out the steps to fill the gap, defines a clear assessment process to monitor change, and outlines mitigation strategies. An effective project also clearly describes how Fellows will demonstrate improved knowledge and newly acquired leadership skills.

Priority will be given to projects in communities where there is little or no intervention on young LGBT+ women’s issues and projects that avoid duplicating the work of other organizations and activists. Fellows may propose projects that seek to complement the work already done by the community and that benefit from the underground infrastructure developed through the work of other activists and organizations. However, grantees must demonstrate how their project benefits from this infrastructure and avoids duplicating the work of other activists and organizations. We encourage applicants to propose projects related to art, LGBT+ women’s rights, young LGBT+ women leadership training, empowerment projects, etc.

Outline of the Fellows Program application process and structure.

25/09/2020Call for applications
9/11/2020Deadline for applications
8/10/2020Application Review Begins
18/11/2020Notification of shortlisted candidates and receipt of the information on host organizations
23/11/2020Interviews with shortlisted applicants and representatives of the host organization
30/11/2020Notification of selected grantees
7/12/2020Training and orientation
14/12/2020The signing of the grant agreement with the host organization and the Scholarship
6-MonthsDuration of the fellowship program

How to apply

Candidates are required to submit the following document as part of their application to the program:

  • Completed application form.
  • Letter of support from the host organization.
  • Proof of registration of the host organization and/or fiscal host (and Memorandum of Understanding between the host organization and its fiscal host).
  • An organizational agreement between the fellow and the host organization.
  • Latest audited financial statement or financial report approved by the Board of Directors of the host organization or its fiscal host, as the case may.
  • An organization chart or staff.

Download the Full Information Packet Here: English    French

Download Application Form Here:  English    French

After having carefully read the information on the fellowship program, complete all sections of the application form, and submit the completed application form with the relevant accompanying documents to on or before the deadline 26 October 2020 using “MawuLisa Fellowship Application” as the subject.

For more information about the Fellowship Program, please visit our website or email us at

Please note that priority will only be given to applicants who have secured support from a proposed Host Organization. Strong candidates who do not have a Host Organization will be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, the applicant would need to eventually find a host organization before they can be approved as a fellow for the project.

%d bloggers like this: