Atena Boca, the only Romanian selected for Facebook Community Leadership Program

Aurel Dragan 24/09/2018 | 16:21

Only one Romanian, Atena Boca, was selected by Facebook to be part of the Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP), a global initiative that aims to encourage community building and development through training, support and funding.

Dedicated to community leaders, FCLP was launched in February this year at the Facebook Communities Summit Europe event. Following the registration and selection process, the program announced its first finalists on September 23 at the Mashable Social Good Summit in New York. Among them are also the Romanian Atena Boca, the community leader of the First Bebe Group.

Along with her, other group administrators from Central and Eastern European countries such as Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria will join the program.

“In a country where nobody supports mothers, where lack of respect for children and medical care is immense, Facebook has given us the opportunity to connect, inform us, get support. When my son was three months old, I suffered from postpartum depression. We created a small group on Facebook to have someone to talk to. It has become my healing. Today, it is the largest and most influential community for mothers in our country that has changed the lives of more than 35,000 families with the support they provide in the first 4 years of their birth through the 16 local communities. Our vision is to help mothers provide better education to one million children over the next 5-10 years. Mothers around the world are never prepared for what a child means. Lack of information and support leads to depression, loss of self-esteem and energy, all transmitted to children. Supporting during the heaviest moments and raising awareness of what the baby needs, it allows parents to give children more love and respect, so that together they have a better life,” said Boca.

Community leaders play an essential role in bringing people around a common goal. Many of these leaders are heading to Facebook to create connections through groups, WhatsApp, or Messenger. To maximize the impact of their communities, they need support, better tools, access to finance and trust. For this purpose, Facebook Community Leadership has been created, which aims to support these leaders who build communities around the world. In this program, 115 people were selected, out of a total of 6,000 applicants worldwide. A selection committee, which included employees and community experts from outside Facebook, reviewed each application to identify leaders with a strong, clear, dedicated vision for their community.

Five of them, elected resident community leaders, will receive up to USD 1,000,000 each to fund their community initiatives. The final amount to be awarded will be determined on the basis of the final budget proposal created and presented by each resident as part of their training program.

  • Adhunika Prakash has built a community of over 80,000 Indian women who have the opportunity to interact with experts, counselors and each other to receive support for breast-feeding. Her vision includes working with Indian hospitals to help educate and support new mothers.
  • Christian Delachet founded Wanted, who created local proximity groups in France, meeting weekly to help those in need of support. Recognizing the need for a strong local community, he intends to create physical locations for community members to interact with each other and in reality.
  • Latasha Morrison wishes to train the next generation of young people to lead the process of racial reconciliation in the US. Its online community, made up of small groups, encourages people to meet in real life and hopes to strengthen these links through her residence.
  • Noah Nasiali gathered over 100,000 farmers in Africa through a Facebook group in less than a year. Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Africa, and Noah’s community helps farmers obtain and share essential information for their work.
  • Paula Pfeifer has overcome the physical barrier of hearing loss, creating a community of people who share her experience. Paula’s mission is to bring together people with a similar story to help them think about how they can reach their full potential despite this invisible handicap.

The program will also support over 100 scholars and young participants who will receive up to USD 50,000 each to develop their community. This group consists of leaders with different perspectives from different parts of the world, united by a common goal – to help their communities thrive.

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