Atlantic Fellows at Tekano

Tekano selects 30 Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in South Africa every year to participate in a programme of learning and experience that will enhance their ability to inspire and secure progressive social change. The richness of the programme lies in its cross-disciplinary character and on the sharing of knowledge and insights between Fellows from diverse backgrounds.

The Fellowship extends over one year. It includes a set of structured modules spanning a range of disciplines and presents opportunities to undertake health equity projects with the support of a mentor and workplace supervisor.

Who is eligible to apply for a Fellowship?
The Atlantic Fellows programme at Tekano is aimed at young and mid-career individuals who are moved to challenge inequality in South Africa and have demonstrated a clear commitment to building a better, more just society.

There are no formal educational requirements. Atlantic Fellows are selected for their understanding of our socially and economically divided country, their proven dedication to creating a more equitable world, and their leadership qualities. Our aim is to seek out and connect changemakers through the Fellowship programme.

Tekano will select its Atlantic Fellows from people residing and working in South Africa, regardless of their citizenship.

  • Applicants may be working in government and statutory structures, in civil society organisations, community-based groups, research institutions or private sector companies.
  • They may be employed full-time, part-time or working in a voluntary capacity.
  • Atlantic Fellows continue their normal jobs or voluntary activities throughout the period of the Fellowship and are expected to utilise their learning experiences in their work environments through projects that address social determinants of health inequity.

Which social determinants of health are addressed in the programme?
Because Tekano seeks to address the social and economic factors that determine the health of individuals, communities and populations, we are interested in identifying Fellows working as service providers, researchers, community organisers, policy advocates or cultural communicators in diverse fields. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Agriculture, food security and nutrition.
  • Anti-poverty programmes.
  • Advocacy initiatives to combat stigma and discrimination.
  • Architecture, town planning and housing development.
  • Artistic genres of all kinds.
  • Crime prevention, including gender-based violence programmes.
  • Development planning.
  • Education.
  • Environmental justice.
  • Health and healthcare.
  • Legal and human rights services and advocacy.
  • Local government administration.
  • Social services and social security.
  • Sanitation and water provision.
  • Work creation and community-based public works.

What does a Fellowship offer?
During the one-year programme, Atlantic Fellows participate in eight modules, hosted by organisations in different parts of the country. These modules vary in length from three to five days and are structured as follows:

  • Introduction and orientation.
  • Neighbourhood and the built environment.
  • Health and healthcare.
  • Social and community context.
  • Education.
  • Food and economic equity.
  • International sharing and solidarity.
  • Annual health equity conference: the way forward.

During each module, the programme will strengthen the following:

  • Conceptual capacity in relation to social context, the workings of government and the political economy of health.
  • Competence in terms of innovative strategic planning, advocacy aimed at government and non-government institutions, and practical communication skills.
  • Confidence and personal leadership skills.

In parallel with the eight modules, Atlantic Fellows will undertake group projects to address social inequity, with continued guidance from a mentor who is assigned to each Fellow at the start of the programme.

Tekano covers costs directly associated with Fellows’ participation in the learning modules – including travel and accommodation – and the provision of mentors.

Atlantic Fellows at Tekano become lifelong members of a national group of alumni, which is linked to the global Atlantic Fellows alumni programme, and have opportunities to interact with changemakers from across the world. Tekano expects Fellows to use the alumni programme as an instrument to continue building a more equal and more cohesive country.

What role does the Fellow’s employer play?
Active support from the organisation where the Fellow works or provides voluntary service is absolutely vital to the success of the programme.

  • This support starts with freeing the Fellow from work responsibilities for 36 days of programme learning spread across a year and allowing him/her to be 100 percent focused during modules.
  • It extends to embracing new perspectives and practices that Fellows will bring to their organisations and seek to test with their colleagues through projects and other activities. Tekano is interested in nurturing changemakers – and the first arena for this growing commitment to change will be Fellows’ own organisations and the communities with which they engage.

How do interested individuals apply?
Applications for the first Atlantic Fellows at Tekano will open in December 2016. Please watch this website and the media for a call for applications.

The application form and outline of the application and selection process will be made available on the website at that time. Learning modules for the first programme will begin in September 2017.