Monthly Archives: June 2013

Apply! The African Youth Development Summit 2013, Addis Ababa Ethiopia

The African Youth Development Summit is a platform for discussions, experience sharing and networking for African youth. Youth from the continent are welcomed to attend this Summit.

The African Youth summit  2013 will provide a platform for youth/leaders to discuss and reflect on imminent issues faced in Africa, and to address the needs of African youth. creating and mobilizing platform for youth willing to traverse a sustainable and inclusive future for Africa, providing 250 participants with rightful skills and knowledge for advancement of opportunities and solutions to conflicts and challenges in Africa. 250 youths leaders with clearly defined roadmap for sustainable development in Africa.

Registration to the summit is made online. An online application form is available to all those who wish to attend the summit. Even if many young people are welcomed to attend the summit, due to financial constraints there is a limited number of scholarships available. Thus applicants are encouraged to look for external source of funding in order to attend.

 

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Combination of lack of access to quality Education & Health; Leadership & Employment opportunities; effects of Climate change; poor management of natural resources and unsustainable activities that lead to conflict; over many decades is affecting communities and livelihoods in Africa. Urgent global consensus and action is required to commit and invest in the challenges at hand. Youths, at this Summit, will work to establish an environment able to sustain economic and social activities.

Expected Participants for the Summit


This Summit shall bring together a total of 600 youths drawn from all the African Countries and a few from other continents with emphasis on those whose governments have adopted and Ratified the African Youth Charter, and other Youth Conventions and those who have joined NAYD. It is prudent for emphasis to be placed on the African Youth as they are the pillars of transformation and progress in our societies. A few of the participants shall comprise of professionals, leading politicians and opinion shapers, journalists and other relevant stakeholders especially those dealing with youth and other marginalized persons in various areas as the Summit Organizing Committee shall deem necessary.

Methodology during the Summit

The Summit will be conducted on participatory lines with short plenary inputs, speakers’ presentations, reports discussions, committee meetings and followed by general and small group discussions. It would also include video shows (documentary slides on Africa), establishment of a “follow-up committee” to see the implementation of the recommendations. There would be a Talk Show at the end of the Summit based on the Theme to see how participants’ mindset on Africa had transformed through the Summit. 


The culmination of the Summit will be a day-long excursion and community service within the host country to appreciate the African Culture and to enhance social networking and bonding. This Summit will be conducted in a manner that promotes social interaction, learning and appreciation of one another.

 The project will address: – quality of education for all, – HIV/AIDS and Drug abuse, – Leadership, innovation and employment, – Economic growth & good governance, – Environment & sustainable development, – conflict management & resolution.

 

To apply to attend the Summit, Please fill in the application summit application form here :

Click Here to Submit the Application Form Online to Attend the African Youth Development Summit 2013

Note that the application should be sent to the following email address :scientificcommittee@naydsummit2013.org

Note that the deadline for application is set to June 30, 2013

 

#NewsAlert! Launch of +Acumen Online Leadership Academy

acumenFor the last year we have quietly been experimenting with what it would take to bring the core of Acumen’s leadership programs to the world.  We think we’ve hit on something exciting, and we want to share it with you.

Acumen launched our first formal leadership program, the Acumen Global Fellows Program, in 2006, and since then we have been honing our curriculum and scaling our programs.  Today, we have more than 120 Acumen Fellows, and are expanding our offerings through our East Africa Fellows Program, Pakistan Fellows Program, and, in 2013, our soon-to-be-launched India Fellows Program.

We think this is just the beginning.

The +Acumen online leadership academy will bring this curriculum to anyone with access to the internet. The courses are free, they offer world-class content, and through our pilots we have already had ~5,000 people register for these courses from more than 100 countries. We hope that through these courses even more emerging leaders can gain the skills, perspective and insights to better help them improve lives of people around the world.

Today we are proud to announce that, building on our longstanding partnership with IDEO, we are offering a new course titled Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation.  Developed together with IDEO.org, Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation is a five-week course beginning on July 10 that will introduce you to the concepts of human-centered design and help you use the process to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change.

Register by July 3.

And thanks to the generous support of the Knight Foundation and the American Express Foundation, the +Acumen online leadership academy will offer a full suite of courses throughout 2013 at www.plusacumen.org/courses/. All courses are free and open to everyone.

The world needs you to lead.  This is your invitation.

BlackBerry Targets Nigeria’s Best And Brightest Women In Scholars Program

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BlackBerry is reaching out to women in Nigeria to urge them to apply for the new BlackBerry® Scholars Program,an initiative designed to inspire womenglobally to enter and develop careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Led by BlackBerry Global Creative Director, Alicia Keys, the BlackBerry Scholars program will offer ten full, four year university scholarships to outstanding female candidates. The BlackBerry Scholars Program is available to women in Nigeria and will provide scholarships to outstanding applicants who are seeking degrees at accredited local colleges and universities in the areas of STEM across Nigeria.

READ: BlackBerry To Launch STEM Innovation Camps For Students

“Women are underrepresented in fields of science and technology, and we feel strongly that it’s time to drive a change,” said BlackBerry Global Creative Director, Alicia Keys. “It’s important to connect the dots for young women in secondary school and university, and show them that careers in science and technology are within their reach. And when women do land these jobs, it’s vital they receive the mentoring and support they need to advance in their careers. I’m proud BlackBerry is demonstrating leadership in women’s education, both in school and in the workplace, and giving back to its most loyal users in such a profound way.”

Applications are now open to candidates in Nigeria, who are interested in the scholarship,and will close at 10pm Western African Time on June 26th, 2013. The scholars will be selected by a panel of inspirational and accomplished women, led by Alicia Keys, who will recruit candidates based on their academic merit and passion for entering the mobile computing industry.

READ: BlackBerry Jam Sessions Continue To Roll Out In Africa

This scholarship program is the first step in BlackBerry’s long-term commitment and multi-tiered strategy to engage young women at every step of their education from secondary school to university, and as they rise through their careers. As more than 55% of BlackBerry customers are women, BlackBerry aims to champion this generation of female leaders as they strive to achieve their ambitions in this highly competitive industry.

For those interested application is now open and will close at 10pm Western African Time on June 26, 2013. For more information about the program, eligibility requirements, and how to apply, visit blackberry.com/scholars. You can also join the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag #BBScholars.

[Source:  http://otekbits.com]

Call for Applications: Commonwealth News Internship for young African Journalists

Location: London, UK
Duration: August to December 2013 (approximately 5 months)
Closing Date: 23 Jun 2013

The Communications and Public Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat is seeking a young journalist from one of the following countries in Africa to undertake a five month paid attachment with the Secretariat in London from August to December 2013.

The candidate must be a citizen of one of the following countries:

· Botswana · Nigeria
· Cameroon · Rwanda
· The Gambia · Seychelles
· Ghana · Sierra Leone
· Kenya · South Africa
· Lesotho · Swaziland
· Malawi · Uganda
· Mauritius · United Republic of Tanzania
· Mozambique · Zambia
· Namibia

The attachment provides an opportunity to gain work experience and training in the productionand dissemination of news articles for our websites and publications, social media platforms, general publicity materials and our e-mail news bulletin, Commonwealth News.

Requirements:

1. The candidate should:

· be under 35 years of age (at 23 June 2013);

· be fluent in English;

· be a journalist with between three and five years experience working with an English-language newspaper, news agency or national information agency. Recent graduates in journalism or a related discipline, who have less than three years experience but show promise and ability as a news or features writer, will also be considered;

· have experience of using social media platforms professionally, including Facebook and Twitter;

· be computer literate, including experience using Microsoft Office suite;

· preferably have some experience in photography;

· preferably have a knowledge of the Commonwealth and of development issues; and

· preferably have lived in or visited a developing Commonwealth country.

The attachment:

The successful candidate will be working at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and will be paid an allowance of approximately £1,800 per month (before taxes and deductions). A return air ticket (economy class) will be provided, as will additional reimbursements for short-term accommodation expenses on arrival to the UK and visa costs.

If the successful candidate is in full-time employment, his/her employer will be requested to provide a guarantee that the candidate will be able to return to his/her job after the attachment is completed. While working at the Secretariat, the intern will have the opportunity to report on Commonwealth events for their news organisation, after having fulfilled his/her daily duties as required by the internship.

How to apply:

A résumé, covering letter (including full address, country of citizenship and contact details), and a copy of your passport page featuring your photo should be sent via e-mail to the Online Editor at p.cooke@commonwealth.int no later than 5pm (GMT) on Sunday, 23 June 2013.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a written assessment and provide samples of their published writing. Selected shortlisted candidates will also be requested to undertake a phone interview.

Apply! VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort for Africa’s most promising Entrepreneurs

VGCWe’re pleased to announce that applications are open for VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort, a unique opportunity for Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs to raise capital. Selected entrepreneurs will receive, among other things, targeted coaching and dedicated access with personal introductions to the VC4Africa investor network, Africa’s largest network of SME investors. Application closes Wednesday June 12th. 

What are the criteria for participation?

Ventures that apply to be a part of VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort must have a solid business plan, clear market strategy, a working pilot, and a skilled and experienced team. A chamber of commerce registration and complete documentation is a must. See the 5 steps to fundraising on VC4Africa and take a look at the VC4Africa Quick Scan to test in how far your venture meets VC4Africa’s key criteria. Saskia Reus, Head of VC4Africa’s investor services expands, ‘Bottom line, we need to believe in your business opportunity in order to explain the opportunity to investors. We need to be convinced to such an extent that we would want to invest our last money in your company.’

quickscan

Will you be the next success story?

Application closes Wednesday June 12th and the entrepreneurs selected for VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort will be announced one week later. Selected entrepreneurs will get about 2 hours per week of coaching and feedback on their plans and financial projections within a 3 month period. VC4Africa will provide featured interviews and other promotion of the June 2013 Cohort. The VC4Africa team shares best practices in the market and increases skills in for example finance and marketing. In addition to that, VC4Africa actively connects with investors that match the entrepreneur’s profile, facilitates the introductions and answers initial questions from either party. After introductions to the investors, entrepreneurs also receive support in navigating the deal closing process, and have discounted access to VC4Africa’s network of partners. The final output is a term sheet the entrepreneur can use for closing a deal.

How to apply?

To apply for VC4Africa’s June 2013 Cohort your venture has to be registered on the VC4Africa platform. After you’re signed up on VC4Africa and have created a venture profile, check out the 5 steps to fundraising on VC4Africa, make sure to complete theVC4Africa Quick Scan and to upload all relevant documentation to your venture profile. Only investors registered as part of the VC4Africa Investor Network can access these documents.

To complete your application, you have to register an intention to raise a round of funding. You’ll find a “Fundraising” box on the right side in your venture profile. In this box, click “Get started” to apply. You need to indicate the financing stage of your venture – Seed, Start-up, 1st round (Series A), 2nd round (Working cap), 3rd round (Mezzanine) or 4th round (Bridge). You also need to indicate the financing type – Equity, Debt or Hybrid and your capital needs (between USD $10,000 and USD $1 million). Selected entrepreneurs will receive targeted coaching to reach their fundraising goal.

Your application is complete when you have completed the above mentioned steps.

For more information, visit: VC4A Website:

 

 

Call for Entries: African Story Challenge for digital story tellers

ASC logoInterested organizations are invited to participate in African Story
Challenge Programme which encourage innovative, multi-media
storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of
Africans. The goal of this program is to contribute to the building of
a strong media sector able to deliver content that matters to the
African public.

 

 

Thematic areas-

Agriculture and Food security
Diseases: Prevention and Treatment
My Africa 2063
Maternal and Child Health
Business and Technology

Eligibility & Criteria-

This competition is targeted at African journalists from around
the continent, whether applicants are Anglophone, Francophone,
Portuguese – or Arabic-speaking. Entries will be accepted in English,
French, Portuguese and Arabic.
The competition is open to media organisations, online
contributors with demonstrated followings, or affiliated freelance
journalists.
All participants, including freelance journalists, will have to
ensure they have at least one confirmed outlet (TV, radio, print or
online) for their work.
This competition is only open to Africans, either in Africa or in
the diaspora.
Anyone one aged 18 and above can apply
Deadlines-
14 June 2013 for Agriculture and Food security
23 August 2013 for Diseases: Prevention and Treatment
9 December 2013 for My Africa 2063
21 February 2014 for Maternal and Child Health
23 May 2014 for Business and Technology

For more information, visit this link /    http://africanstorychallenge.com/

Call for Applications: Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Internships

Osiwa logoThe Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is an advocacy and grant making Foundation that forms part of the global Open Society Foundations Network. OSIWA is based in Dakar, Senegal with country offices in Abuja, Monrovia, Freetown and Conakry.
The Foundation works in the following thematic program areas: economic governance; political governance; and law, justice and human rights. OSIWA’s work supports the creation of open societies in West Africa marked by functioning democracy, good governance, rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation.
OSIWA seeks an Intern for any of its offices in Dakar, Abuja, Conakry, Freetown and Monrovia who will work with the various thematic programs, country offices, and units to meet the Foundation’s objectives. The internship is envisioned to:
1) provide interns with greater insight into the work of a grant-making institution;
2) deepen interns’ knowledge about OSIWA’s thematic issues; and
3) provide interns with the opportunity to network with diverse actors in the sub-region.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AN INTERNSHIP AT OSIWA WILL NOT LEAD TO EMPLOYMENT.
Internship positions are available in the following programs and units. Tasks will include those described below. Other tasks may be assigned as needed.
Economic Governance, Political Governance, Law, Justice and Human Rights
• Conduct in-depth prospective partner research and support due diligence processes.
• Support the management of approved grants, and provide research and analysis where required.
• Research emerging themes, trends and directions in OSIWA thematic areas and synthesize key policy documents/reports.
• Support the development of program strategies, work plans and activities.
• Manage relationships with OSIWA partners, grantees and other stakeholders in a professional and collegial manner.
• Assist with the organization of conferences, meetings and other programmatic events.
Monitoring and Evaluation

• Assist with the review of project documents (recommendations, M&E plan, PIP).

• Help review/assess projects reports and produce missions’ reports.
• Provide timely support to program staff and partners to for project implementation and delivery.
• Perform performance reviews of partners, programs and the Foundation as a whole.
• Assist in the organization of M&E field visits and participate in such missions.
• Help build the capacity of staff and partners on M&E practices, tools and requirements.
Advocacy and Communications
• Assist with the editing of OSIWA publications and website content including blogs, op-eds and policy briefs.
• Upload activities and events on social media platforms such as facebook, youtube and twitter.
• Provide ideas on innovative ways to disseminate information about OSIWA’s work.
Human Resources
• Assist HR team with the recruitments process: drafting of job descriptions, announcements and advertisements; compilation of eligible candidates lists; and coordination of candidate screenings as required.
• Help maintain staff records to ensure timeliness and accuracy.
Finance
• Assist with month end-financial reporting, balance sheet reconciliation, audits;
• Assist with grant recommendation budgets and grants financial report reviews
• Assist with AR, AP, and bank statement reconciliation
• Work with the finance team on yearly forecasting efforts
• Assist with the monthly tracking of the organization’s physical inventory
• Support the payment processing team
• Perform data entry duties and post journal entries
Grants
• Assist the grant unit in the review of project recommendations and grant contracts
• Help maintain updated grant records in the Grants Management system (GMS)
• Help update grantee contact information on GMS working in collaboration with the program staff
• Update grantee mailing list
• Develop approved grantee list; maintain proper documentation for approved grantees in GMS
• Follow up on grant payments swift codes and liaise with respective programs
• Assist colleagues to upload documents on GMS
Qualifications
• Registered in university/college or have completed university within the past two years;
• General knowledge of democracy, governance, and security issues in West Africa;
• Studies relevant to International Relations, Law, Political Science, Economics, Business, Finance, Accounting, Project/Program Management, M&E, HR, Communications, etc.
• At least 6 months of volunteer or work experience; experience working with non-governmental organizations at a community, national or global level preferred;
• Fluency in one of OSIWA’s two working languages (FR/EN), with a working ability in the other;
• Strong research, analysis and writing skills;
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
• Willingness and aptitude to learn, ability to take initiative;
• Ability to work under pressure, multitask and deliver in a fast-moving environment;
• Extensive experience with Internet resources and electronic databases;
• Proficiency with Access or another contact database
Salary: None. However, stipends may be offered to cover local transportation for West African candidates based in any of the countries OSIWA works in. All other associated costs including air travel, accommodation and insurance are the responsibility of the intern.
Start Date: Negotiable
Duration: Negotiable
Location: Dakar, Abuja, Conakry, Freetown or Monrovia
To Apply: Send resume (in English), cover letter explaining your background, your research interest, and why you think OSIWA would suit your needs and a brief writing sample to: osiwarecruitment@osiwa.org

Include job title and office location in the subject line, i.e.OSIWA Internship, Dakar
Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis all year round.
Note: Internships will be awarded on competitive basis. Due to the number of applications received, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by OSIWA. No phone calls, please.

Register! TBLF 2013 Career Day in Calabar!

TBLF LogoThe Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF) is pleased to announce the theme of the 3rd Edition of its Career & Founder’s Day scheduled to hold on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 at the Cultural Centre, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.

Following a successful 1st & 2nd editions; the theme for this year is “The Crisis of Leadership”.

The Career Day seeks to inspire and empower young people in choosing the right career paths and making informed decisions. The aim of the event is to provide a platform for young Nigerians and graduates who are; seeking to enter the job market, at the start of their career or aspiring to be entrepreneurs, to learn from accomplished entrepreneurs and professionals (home and abroad) that have made major achievements in different sectors in the society. The Career day event will also offer a message of hope, while providing participants with practical examples to help them shape their leadership abilities, inspire their creativity to become thought leaders in their personal, educational and career lives.

Adopting the TED-talks format the event will be a charged exchange of ideas and knowledge that will focus on understanding the crises of leadership in all sectors of the economy and assisting young people re-learn practical leadership skills relevant to their Careers and businesses, and the essence of innovation and sustainability. This year’s Career Day event is a unique; as it aims at bringing to young people firsthand experience of interaction with young Nigerians who have shown outstanding leadership examples in their careers and businesses in different sectors of the economy; spanning through Health, The Media, Management consulting, and Civil Society as well as the Public Sector.

Our speaker’s line up includes:

Ola Orekunrin, Founder/CEO, The Flying Doctors, Nigeria

 

Emilia Asim-Ita, Senior Consultant , Strategy and External Relations, ThistlePraxis Consulting Ltd, Lagos

Oluseun Onigbinde – Ashoka Fellow and Founder, BudgIT, Lagos

 O’Seun Odewale–  Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, USA & Personal Assistant/Adviser to the Executive Governor of Ekiti State

While the welcome address is to be delivered by The Ag. Director of TBLF/Lead Consultant, of  ThistlePraxis Consulting, Mrs. Ini Onuk.

Speaking at the Media briefing, Ms. Esther Eshiet, the Programmes Officer at TBLF said “We are excited to be presenting the third edition of the Career Day event; we are gathering some of the best and brightest young minds in Nigeria to share their personal and professional experiences of leadership with their peers. We are adopting a peer –to- peer approach to present to young people practical examples of leadership exhibited by their peers to enable them avoid the pitfalls of history”

The 2011 edition of the event was with the theme: “Leading the Change” it featured Fela Durotoye, C.E.O, Visible Impact, Kunle Soriyan, President, T.O.S Company,  Peter Bamkole,  Director, Enterprise Development Centre- Pan African University, Thelma Ekiyor, ED, TY Danjuma Foundation  and Cobhams Asuquo, Award winning Producer/Musician.

“Talent, Leadership & Entrepreneurship” was the theme of the 2012 edition which brought to Calabar; Idris Bello, Program Director at Wennovation Hub, Nigeria and President Oxford University African Society, United Kingdom, Grace Nanyonga, Founder, Grana Fish Supplies Ltd, Uganda, Tobias & Titus Igwe, Founders, Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen, Nigeria, Esther Agbarakwe, Environmental Sustainability Advocate, Population Action International, USA, Nnaemeka Ikegwonu – Executive Director,The Smallholders Foundation, Nigeria and Steve Harris – CEO, Edge-E-cution, Nigeria, as well as Emmanuel  Etim – Directorate of Science and Human Resources, Science and Technology, Africa Union Commission, Ethiopia

About The Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF):

The Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF) a non-profit leadership and capacity development Foundation committed to building a generation of young people educated to become compassionate, entrepreneurial and engaged citizens who are empowered to take responsibility for their own lives and for making a difference in the world.

TBLF has concluded a hugely successful Career Day- attended by over 3000 young persons in 2011 and 2012, identified and trained 80 graduates on employability skills via its Graduate Employability Training (GET) for 80 graduates and started an Opportunity Facilitation for its GET Alumni, as well as organized a FIFA Franchised Football project for Youth leaders in Cross River State, enrolled her first and second batch of mentees as well as kick started an Emerging Entrepreneurs Dialogue for aspiring and existing  business owners in Cross River State.

Participation in the Career day is strictly by registration; registration outlets are as follows:

1.      TBLF Office, 2nd Floor, 15a M.M. Highway (FotoStudio Building) Calabar

2.      Lush Signatures, 13 Adak Uko Street, Off  Mbukpa Road, Calabar

3.      KuteCraft, City Clinic Plaza, Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Calabar

4.      MACBITE, Calabar Road, Calabar, Calabar

5.      Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, 89 Uwanse Street, Calabar

6.      Alaba Communications, UNICAL, Opp. Unical Secondary School, Calabar

7.      Softnet Technologies, Mary Slessor Avenue, Calabar

8.      American Corner, Women Development Centre, Parliamentary, Calabar

For more information; please contact Esther on 08105738992 or Antigha on 08185582531. Email: esther@thebridgeleadership.orginfo@thebridgeleadership.org  or visit:www.thebridgeleadership.org

APPLY! GYIN/Columbia Business School (CBS) Youth Entrepreneurship Training Program

GYINThe Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) believes that entrepreneurship is a major solution to fight youth unemployment and create jobs and business opportunities to young people all across the world. We are very sensitive to the challenges that young entrepreneurs face while starting and sustaining their businesses. This is why we’ve reached out to the Columbia University Business School which is well known for educating the world’s finest business leaders since 1916.

We are excited  to launch this summer InVenTed, the first GYIN-CBS program which aims to equip young entrepreneurs with skills and tools they need to start their business and take it to the next level.

Course Description
This intensive online program exposes participants to entrepreneurship concepts and innovation practices by guiding them through the new venture creation process as applied to a venture idea of their choice. Participants, through interactive online lectures, short cases, and self-directed assignments, learn the core elements of venture creation and planning in a specially sequenced modular format. Each module provides the participant with the knowledge and tools required to develop a comprehensive new venture plan. The five modules are:

1) Opportunity,
2) Strategy,
3) Innovation,
4) Leadership, and
5) Execution.

At each stage, participants are exposed to critical terms, tools that support research and decision making, and explanations of how each major planning activity fits into the new venture creation process. First session date in end-June

Who can apply ?
Participants must
1. Be an entrepreneur (small business owner) based in Africa
2. Be under 30 of age
3. Have access to High speed internet
4. Be proficient in English (minimum TOEFL 600)
5. Commit to finish the course.
6. Female entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to apply

For this pilot stage, the focus will be on 3 countries; Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.

How Can I apply?
Download your application here CBS In-V-Ent-Ed Online Program Application 2013

This summer course will feature only 20 participants. One session  (90 to 120 mins) a week from 1pm to 3pm EST
Application Process and Deadline

1. Send your  CBS In-V-Ent-Ed Online Program Application 2013  by June 15
2. Send your application to ajirobadanie@yahoo.com or tiburcec@gyin.org and mention INVENTED as title.

In the application, copy melissa@acceleratecentre.ca