Are you a social change leader committed to social justice and health equity action?


Join our community of dynamic changemakers coming together to enhance their knowledge, leadership capabilities and action for greater social justice and health equity impact.

Tekano runs one of seven Atlantic fellowship programmes working for global equity in different global contexts. Each year, we invite leaders who are pushing the frontiers of social change to join our growing community of fellows in South Africa. The fellowship journey includes an intensive yearlong programme of foundational learning and development in critical consciousness, skills enhancement and grappling with innovative approaches to social change. Following the successful completion of the induction year, these leaders become part of the Global Atlantic Fellowship community working for equity across the world.

About our fellows

Our fellows come from diverse fields and have established records of leadership and contributing to social change. They join the fellowship to expand their knowledge, strengthen their leadership capabilities and connections, and pursue innovative ideas for advancing health equity and social justice.

Individually and collectively, our fellows use their power to create health equity change and are committed to lifelong learning for improved action. Our fellows are people who recognise their power, yet are committed to transforming themselves as well as the institutions, and structural systems that reproduce inequity.

What health equity means for us

Tekano is not a healthcare organisation. We see health and health equity as outcomes of social justice. Like the World Health Organization, we view health as “the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease”.

We believe that addressing the underlying social and structural determinants of health will lead to more equitable outcomes for all. Our fellowship programme equips fellows with skills to connect action with a deeper understanding of the systemic causes of injustice and inequity. Tekano’s selection of fellows therefore reflects the reality that health is not solely determined by healthcare systems and that many structural, socioeconomic, and developmental factors play a critical role in people’s health.

What the programme offers

Tekano/AFHESA fellows will participate in an intensive, year-long foundational learning programme curated by the organisation. Our programme is run on the basis of a distinct learning approach intended to disrupt traditional ways of learning, doing and being. It includes several intensive learning blocks held face-to-face and virtually, as well as tailored skills development offerings and other knowledge-enhancing offerings.

Whilst Tekano curates learning offerings, our programme requires a degree of self-led learning and development where fellows take up the learning offerings. Fellows will only progress to lifelong fellowship upon satisfactory completion of the yearlong foundation fellowship programme.

As you enter our fellowship, we expect you to have an idea of the social change you want to pursue relating to health equity. Tekano will provide appropriate support for you to consolidate the idea into a practical social change initiative. Social change initiatives are compelling, impactful projects aimed at addressing health equity challenges at the community, national or even global level.

Additional development support

Access to leadership coaching, mentorship and expertise to assist with the conceptualisation or implementation of social change initiatives.

Small-scale resource support for ideation and implemention of social change initiatives.

Financial support to cover all programme participation activities Only within the year-long induction phase.

Opportunity to network, collaborate and be part of a lifelong community of like-minded changemakers locally and internationally.


Our fellows are changemakers who:

Reside and/or work in South Africa. We welcome change leaders who reside or work in South Africa but come from other parts of our home continent.

A proven track record of leadership and commitment to social justice and health equity. Evidence of prior social change work and leadership in the form of testimonials from communities or institutions with whom you have done your social change work.

 Are committed to attending and participating in all activities of the fellowship programme and completing required tasks within the deadlines provided.

If employed, the fellow’s employers should have expressed support for participation in the fellowship. Written proof will be required and a discussion with the employer will be held where necessary.

Reflexive, emotionally mature and resilient leaders who can hold complexity, contestation and contradictions.

This year, we are particularly interested in leaders working in areas such as health system transformation and equitable access, energy, climate and environmental justice and health, spatial justice and health, water justice and health, digital health, people with skills in research, feminist organising and movement building, entrepreneurship, public policy and participation, Information Technology, campaigning, agenda setting advocacy, narrative work, law as a tool to advance social justice, as well as the scientific field.

Whilst we want skilled leaders with proven social change records, there are no specific educational requirements for our fellowship.

Kindly note that although applicants will be chosen based on the work, they are doing in pursuing health equity solutions, accepted applicants will also be expected to collaborate with other fellows. Please note that our fellowship is a leadership development opportunity and DOES NOT constitute employment.


Application form

Applicants are invited to complete and submit a Google Form application found here.

Nominate a social change leader

The Tekano fellowship programme welcomes people who are already exercising leadership in action and want to deepen their skills, knowledge, and impact as part of a larger community of social changemakers. If you know a changemaker you believe would be suitable for the fellowship programme, you can also nominate them here.

Should you experience technical difficulties in filling in the form or have any inquiries, send us an email at or a WhatsApp message at 061 010 9931.

Between August and the end of September, Tekano will host two 30-minute virtual Q&A sessions that applicants can sign up for. Please check our website and social media pages for more information on how you can join us for those sessions.

        APPLICATION DEADLINE: 31 July 2024


Other Key Dates for the selection of Cohort 6 Fellows

  • ANNOUNCEMENT OF FELLOWS: Early November 2024

Tekano reserves the right not to select any individual.