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Monday, May 9, 2016


The United States Government has announced its selection of 100 young Nigerians to participate in the 2016 Mandela Fellowship. And our very own  Ex beauty queen, Matilda Kerry is one of the selected candidates from Nigeria.
The U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria said in a statement, on Friday, that the beneficiaries were selected from among other 10,000 Nigerian applicants and tens of other applicants from across Africa.According to the statement, the selected applicants, who were selected from across Nigeria, would undergo six-week studies in civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship and public management in various universities in the United States.

The Mandela fellowship was initiated by the U.S Government to recognise the increasing roles that young Africans are playing in strengthening democratic institutions, economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa. The Mandela Fellowship, which empowers Young African Leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking, started in 2014; so far, 86 Nigerians have participated in the programme. The Fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishments in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, communities and countries.

Dr. Matilda Kerry is the Founder of George Kerry Life Foundation an NGO working towards equitable health care for all African women. She has over eight years’ experience in community health outreach programs focusing mainly on women’s health through a fast growing cervical cancer campaign.
This cervical cancer control campaign’s goal is to provide free screening to 1000 Nigerian women annually.  So far it has reached and screened over 100,000 families and 9000 community women respectively. Creating awareness about cervical cancer is key to this campaign and the campaign needs more local and international partnerships to continue to empower women through multimedia messages, social network and direct face to face engagement.  Also, in order to continue and further expand the reach of the free health services offered to neglected impoverished women, steady funding from a long term partner and sponsor is critical. Finally this campaign seeks partnerships with institutions to train primary healthcare workers in establishing preventive cancer awareness and screening services at the grassroots and ensure every woman has a fair chance of preventing and beating cervical cancer.

Dr. Matilda Kerry also works at the community health department of the Lagos University Teaching hospital where she joins a team of public health specialists to provide much needed vaccination and treatment services to community women and children. Dr. Matilda Kerry is a member of the West African College of Physicians and holds a Master’s Degree in public health from the University of Lagos.  She is also a member of the Sexuality Leadership development fellowship a program that Provide exposure to cutting-edge conceptual, theoretical and programming issues in sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights.

After the Mandela Washington fellowship, she hopes to partner with like-minded international organizations to expand the reach of ongoing cervical cancer control activities and begin to positively impact the inequities crippling the healthcare system in Nigeria.

Dr. Matilda Kerry held the renowned and glamorous title of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2000 and represented Nigeria at both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageant.

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