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TEAM DIGRA

      Digital Grassroots was born out of the Youth@IGF initiative to build a diverse team of persons below 25 years of age, to be proactive in the multi-stakeholderism of Internet Governance.


PRESIDENT

     Esther Mwema is President of Digital Grassroots. She is a social entrepreneur and Founder of SAFIGI Outreach Foundation. She is a creative writer working on her debut epic fantasy novel and was selected for the 12th Regional Residency of African Female Writers. Esther is a freelance journalist with a Summa Cum Laude degree in multimedia Journalism. She is also an independent Data Analyst and Researcher working to advance the interest of girls safety, womens health and socioeconomic development.  She is a certified Open Knowledge Advocate, a World Youth Alliance member, volunteer at various orgs and a youth Fellow with Internet Society Youth@IGF2017. Digital Grassroots is her brainchild. Her work appears under the pseudonym Hadassah Louis. Tweet her @hadassahlouis.
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VICE PRESIDENT


Joy Wathagi incarnates integrity, compassion and hard work. As a leader in the Student Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy, a nonprofit youth organization in Kenya she is passionate about transforming society using positive human rights action. Her commitment to young people is evident through her leadership in over 5 youth organizations in Kenya. Wathagi majors in International Law at the University of Nairobi where she is undertaking a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B). She is enthusiastic about Internet Governance, Human Rights, Public Policy and Volunteering.
She believes the internet is now an integral part of our economy and a necessity on many fronts. As such, governments should recognize that it would be in the public interest to make high-speed internet available to all, at taxpayer expense. Wathagi proves the importance of standing up for what you believe in, especially for those who have no voice. Follow her youth advocacy work on Twitter and Wordpress.
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PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Adisa Bolutife is an Open Access Advocate from Nigeria, the Co-founder at Open Switch Africa, OpenCon2017 Alumni and 2017 Youth@IGF Fellow.  He is an Electrical and Electronics engineer who is passionate about Open Access, Internet Governance, and the Science and Technology Space in General.
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COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
       Noha Ashraf was born & raised in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated in 2014 with a Bsc. in Communication Systems Engineering from Ain Shams University. Noha joined many student organizations during college years and played different roles like being an Intern in The Employability & Career Development Center in her faculty. After graduation, she joined reputable corporates like Microsoft and Orange and finally landed a role in Dell EMC where she currently works in Data Storage as a Senior Analyst.
Her passion to work with young people continues as she is actively involved in the Academic Alliance Committee at Dell EMC which aims to introduce both professors and students to the new technologies, besides, she volunteered to facilitate Entrepreneurship classes to middle school students.
She is also passionate about empowering women in her society especially women in workforce by breaking taboos. Noha Ashraf was selected by the Internet Society to attend IGF 2017 as part of Youth @ IGF fellowship where she gained a huge knowledge in Internet Governance and created a respectable network.
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HEAD OF RESEARCH
    Dajana Mulaj is a Business Informatics student from Albania. She is passionate about Cybersecurity and using the Internet to make a change in society. She has been a Youth Fellow at SEEDIG and EuroDIG and recently an ISOC Youth Fellow contributing to making Digital Grassroots project a reality.
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SECRETARY
      Charlette N'Guessan is a young woman from Ivory Coast who is passionate about new technologies. She holds a Diploma in electronic and computer systems, and a professional license in network and software engineering. Blogger on #adventintic and MONDOBLOG-RFI, she is also contributor on several web platforms in Africa. President and member of several Ivorian tech, charlette contributes to the Ivorian web community. Today, a YALI alumni, Charlette officially begins her entrepreneurial career and remains the first and only Ivorian woman to have joined the prestigious school of African entrepreneurs MEST. Charlette N'Guessan is youth IGF fellow 2017 and part of Digital Grassroots.
 
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INTERNET GOVERNANCE TRAINER
  Katie Watson is currently the CEO of Watson Wanders, a Youth@IGF Fellow, and the Development Manager at Public Knowledge. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Katie was a Google Public Policy Fellow at New America’s Open Technology Institute and a Policy and Program Manager at Next Century Cities, where she assisted mayors with local broadband, digital inclusion, and civic tech initiatives.  
She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia, where she majored in both Foreign Affairs and Media Studies with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics. Katie was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and loves running, reading, and volunteering at Photo Star.
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COUNTRY COORDINATOR (Tanzania)
     Rebecca Ryakitimbo is the Co-founder and chairperson of TechChix-Tanzania, an NGO promoting, mentoring and training women in STEM, a Youth@IGF Fellow, and a Programme officer at CASEC. She serves as ICANNWiki Swahili ambassador working towards creation of Internet Governance content in the local language of Swahili through hosting and facilitating internet governance workshop. 
She received her B.S.T (hons) in Electronics and communication from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. Rebecca was born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania and loves writing, reading,film-making, horse riding and attending  Arusha poetry club.
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COUNTRY COORDINATOR (South Africa)


    A techie by heart and an Environmentalist by nature, Brian M Nkala is currently studying BSc Honours in Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Pretoria. As an ardent problem solver, he is advantageous by nature and likes to take up new challenges, which is why he helped form The Greenline society. The concept of life and the many opportunities it holds excites him and it is with this passion that he makes use of every experience, both good and bad, to keep growing. He believes in using the internet/technology to transform societies, the real magic of turning youth from consumers of internet/technology to potential producers of technology. He is a volunteer at a number of Non-Profit Organisations, a youth Fellow with Internet Society Youth@IGF2017, Student of the United States Institute Alumni, and The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) Alumni (University of Washington Chapter).
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COUNTRY COORDINATOR (Nigeria) 
      Uffa Modey is a goal oriented Nigerian with a passion for impacting positive change in her immediate environment and the world at large. She received her B.Eng degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from University Of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. Uffa is an active member in numerous initiatives focused on bridging the gender gap in ICT and youth empowerment. As a 2016 and 2017 Internet Society Youth@IGF Fellow, Uffa developed a passion for Internet Governance and is currently driven to promoting advocacy in providing solutions for IG related issues on a global scale, with particular focus on IG issues relating to the multistakeholder model of IG, digital literacy and Internet access and connectivity.
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COUNTRY COORDINATOR (Haiti) 

Youth IGF Fellows 2017 (Internet Society), 
Member of JUST NET COALITION about human rights issues, Social Media Volunteer at University of the People and Ambassador of Alison (Digital Learning Platform) in Haiti.
Obed Sindy is an educator oriented in Social Sciences because he followed 4 years of training in Education Sciences at the Adventist University of Haiti. Certified Technopedagogy at the University of Montreal (Canada), Information Technology and Communication for Education at Cergy Pontoise University (France), in Digital Learning at United Nations University, in Parliamentarianism of Laval University (Canada), in Online Scientific Publication Management with the University Agency of La Francophonie, in Online Scientific Documentation with the University Agency of La Francophonie and Internet Governance of the Internet Society .

Editor, Global citizen, Social Media Strategist, Speaker on Internet Governance and Digital Learning , It is the Founding President of LAPLIH.com, an online news agency which promotes Freedom of Expression in Haiti.



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After three weeks of community engagement focused on Internet of Things, Local Content, and Local Policy discussions, our most competitive Ambassadors made it to the mentorship phase. Fifty DIGRA Ambassadors from every continent are being mentored by leaders in the Internet Governance space to prepare them for youth engagement in Internet Governance.

Digital Grassroots is honored by the dedication and volunteerism of the leaders collaborating with us to ensure our Ambassadors kickstart their youth engagement in Internet Governance. The 4 week mentorship phase will include topics on the role of youth in Internet Governance, identifying their stakeholder group, digital inclusion, networking in IG and shaping the future we want by contributing to a communique highlighting the needs of youth in local communities.

Meet our mentors, highlighted below in no particular order. Each of our mentors represent 9 different countries in 4 continents, collaborating via internet for capacity building …

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Digital Grassroots works to proactively engage youth in addressing internet related issues in their communities through digital literacy, networking, and online activism. This month, we launched our maiden Digital Grassroots Ambassadors program. Our selected Ambassadors come from 36 countries across the globe and our gender distribution in the cohorts was 50/50.

The above cover photo from Wevyn Muganda proves youth are doing great things in their community through internet literacy and our program is fostered to create more community engagement through youth to eradicate issues online, which inevitably will increase wellbeing offline.

In reference to the photo, Wevyn writes:

'The biggest problem in the communities nearby now is the rise of online recruitment to violent extremism and radicalisation (Mombasa, Kenya). While recruitment is still taking place offline through recruiters, now it is moving to social media spaces. My colleagues and I conducted this training to empower the …

FAQs: Digital Grassroots Ambassadors Program

On 10th January 2018, we published a call to action inviting young people between the ages 14 and 29 to be Digital Grassroots Ambassadors. To date, we have received over 700 applications. Successful participants will be notified on 15th February 2018.

We received some common questions:-

Q: Can I apply if I'm 13 turning 14, or 29 years old turning 30 this year? No. Our program is open to persons who are already 14 years old at the time of application, and are not turning 30 in 2018.


Q: Do I need to pay a fee to be part of this program? There is no fee associated with this program in any form or at any part of the process. We will only appreciate a commitment of time.


Q: When and where will the program take place? The program begins in mid-February and ends in April. All interaction will be done online via the internet except for community engagement.



Q: What will the required community engagement involve? Community engagement is about sharing some information from the program to o…