June 2019 Perennial Fellows
Peter Kwame, Kenya
Peter is the Co-Founder and Programs Director at Hatua Network. Hatua Network is a community NGO working to promote education and employment among youth in Likoni, Kenya. Through scholarships, mentoring and career guidance, Hatua helps Likoni’s top students gain the skills, credentials and networks they need to contribute to and benefit from Kenya’s growing economy. Raised in the poorest part of Mombasa, Kenya, Peter has first-hand life experience what it means to grow up in a low-income family. His passion to impact young people positively, is driven by the challenges he faced while growing up. Peter is seeking to transform lives among youths from low income families to help them grow into responsible and professional adults, who will in return, contribute to economic development in their communities and country. Peter was selected as an Obama Foundation Scholar for the 2019-2020 cohort and will spend the next year at Columbia University in New York.
Neha Misra, U.S.A/India
Neha is a social entrepreneur, poet, and visual folk artist with a deep belief in the power of human imagination and action to create new realities. Neha is the co-founder and the chief collaboration officer of Solar Sisters. Solar Sisters envisions a brighter world powered by women entrepreneurs. They invest in local women’s enterprise and support local women in Africa to create sustainable clean energy businesses, because they believe everyone should have access to affordable, clean power, no matter where they live. Neha is a global champion for intersectional women’s rights, climate justice, and energy justice movements.
Miguel Venegas, Mexico
Miguel Venegas is passionate about supporting vulnerable youth and breaking the cycle of poverty and ignorance. Miguel is the Executive Director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH). NPH, is a charitable organization that has provided a home for thousands of vulnerable and abandoned children since 1954. Miguel lost his mother at a young age and came to NPH at the age of 14. NPH gave him opportunities that would not have been available to him otherwise. Having grown up in the NPH system, Miguel is now committed to transforming the lives of other children. Currently there are NPH homes in 9 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Whether a child in NPH is from Bolivia, Haiti, or Mexico, all of the children are connected to one another as family and share that with pride.
Lydiah Muya, Kenya
Lydiah is a social entrepreneur who is committed to making local trade and value chains work profitably for the poor. She is the Program Manager at Ongoza, an accelerator program that supports high potential early stage entrepreneurs in Kenya. Before joining Ongoza, she led Open Book Trading, a social enterprise involved in reinventing the role of middlemen in agricultural value chains. In 2016, Lydiah won the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) Innovation Challenge for her work.
Solomon Kayiwa Mugambe, Uganda
Solomon believes that every person has the innate ability to create change and make the world a better place. Solomon is the Co-Founder and President of Wezesha Impact, a social enterprise enabling youth to engage in productive employment. He has an in-depth understanding of both the challenges and opportunities facing youth and strives to enable them to understand the challenges around them so that they can take initiative to solve said challenges through social enterprise. Solomon has over 10 years of experience working in skills development with both local and international agencies like Educate!, USAID-Chemonics International, as well as the Ugandan Youth Advisor to Washington DC through the US mission in Uganda. Solomon has co-founded other institutions such as Ushindi Education Initiative and provided strategic guidance to support the growth and expansion of many other impact organizations.
Rothsophal Nguon, Cambodia
Rothsophal Nguon is a motivated and self-driven person who has committed her career to improving gender equity and the quality of learning and teaching in rural Cambodia. She co-founded a K-12 international school in Siem Reap which provides a balance of quality in both social sciences and STEM, where STEM experiences are very limited. Her role as Country Director for the Southeast Asia Foundation (SEAF) has enhanced her access to resources, and allowed her to promote an NGO network called the Cambodian Leadership Learning Community (CLLC). CLLC facilitates interaction between NGO leaders, local teachers, and researchers to discuss best practices in education. It also provides access to the trainings given by SEAF and its partners in leadership, social entrepreneurship, classroom management and sustainable development.
Roman Kariuki, Kenya
Roman Kariuki is an advocate for a just society and is working towards influencing policy at the devolved functions, nationally and internationally. Roman is the Founder and Programs Director of FOCUS, a Community Based Organization which runs the PEPEA Mentorship Program, a charitable volunteering movement dubbed the Chapati Forum, and the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Care and Support program. He is a committed community servant and qualified social worker with over 18 years experience as a Community Health Worker, volunteer Home Care Provider, Peer Educator, HIV/HTC Counselor, Diagnostic Counseling and Testing (DTC) Counselor, Psychosocial Support Trainer and Counselor, Youth Leader, Children’s Center Project Coordinator, and a committed community mobilizer. Roman currently also works with the Kiambu County Government as a Gender and Social Development Officer.
Louise Kabugho, Uganda
Louise is passionate about strengthening health care systems that are aimed at improved health service delivery and organizational development. Louise is a qualified Public Health leader with her Masters in Public Health Leadership, as well as a social worker by profession. Louise has worked with grassroots efforts in Africa as a Leadership Development Specialist, Maternal and Child Health Specialist and Child Development Specialist at ACODEV and Compassion International. Louise is currently part of the International Development Konsults (IDK), a social change focused consultancy firm. As the Co-Founder of ACODEV, Louise was part of the leading team that established the Africa Center for Leadership Development (ACLED).
Dung Tran, Vietnam
Dung believes in the power of youth and is committed to helping them reach their full potential. Dung is a Senior Manager at the REACH Center in Hue city, the central region of Vietnam. REACH is a Vietnamese not for profit organization specializing in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement services for Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. REACH strives to serve by giving Vietnamese youth opportunity and and necessary support to develop skills in order to prosper both personally and economically. REACH trains more than 1,100 disadvantaged youths every year and continues working towards making more impact.
Patrick Jude Mugisha, Uganda
Patrick Jude is a vigorous social justice advocate. His motivation is to be at the pinnacle of transformation in his community. As the Executive Director at International Foundation for Recovery and Development (IFRAD) in Uganda, Patrick Jude leads strategy, partnerships, and program development. IFRAD implements a private-sector led model centered around returning power to marginalized women, youth and communities, to overcome poverty, create jobs, and live in dignity. IFRAD utilizes a community based training and mentorship experience focusing on entrepreneurial leadership, vocational skills development, and private sector organizing.