Manchester social change advocate encourages young people to take part in the Youth Bursary Scheme


Virgin Money’s Young Change Makers

Submitted by Virgin Money

A social change advocate in Manchester is urging young people passionate about change in their community to take part in the new Young Change Makers Fellowship scheme.

Roukagia Afan, 21, from Manchester, has been chosen to be part of the first cohort of Young Change Makers and she has started a program designed to make Muslim women feel more included and to raise their awareness of what they are confronted with regard to Islamophobia.

She now encourages other young people to apply for the Young Change Makers scholarship program and said, “The change I want to create is to make Muslim women feel more included in society. Most of the time, we experience stigma.

“Thanks to the scholarship and my incredible group of methods, I have been able to develop myself as a leader and strategic thinker and reach a stage where I will create my own social enterprise, which works to challenge and dismantle systemic Islamophobe towards Muslim women in the UK.

“I literally urge any young person who wants to do something more and who wants to change society for the better, please apply for the Young Change Makers Fellowship Program.”

The Young Change Makers Fellowship Program offers expert support, funding, and learning opportunities to help bring successful applicants’ idea to life. This includes a grant of up to £10,000, as well as a travel grant to cover research costs for similar community projects, an apprenticeship program and a mentor to help them develop as a leader.

Successful applicants will also learn from social entrepreneurs who have created successful initiatives, work alongside a peer group of young people committed to creating real change, and connect with other organizations to help put their plan into action. Changemakers will also be invited to join the alumni network after graduation.

Kate Bradley, Acting Executive Director of the Virgin Money Foundation, said: “The first cohort of Young Change Makers have proven that they can and have made a positive difference in the communities in which they live. Their ideas were inspiring and the program harnessed their raw energy and helped develop and refine their ideas.

“The communities we live in play a huge role in each of our lives and the program will help young people create the change they want to see in theirs. I would say to all young people who want to make a difference in their community to apply and become the next Young Change Makers.

Launched in 2021 by Virgin Money Foundation with the National Lottery Community Fund and Northern Soul – the program provides young people aged 18-26 from the North East and North West of England, Yorkshire and the Humber with the tools and the opportunity to drive positive social change.

There are up to 11 places available for the next six-month program and applications close on Monday, August 22 at 5 p.m.

To learn more, please click here.

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