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Leaders from African Countries Come to Charlottesville to Learn Vital Skills

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The leaders were a part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The leaders were a part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Young leaders from African countries came to Charlottesville. Young leaders from African countries came to Charlottesville.
The group was hosted by the Presidential Precinct. The group was hosted by the Presidential Precinct.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A group of young African leaders, representing 16 sub-Saharan African countries, are in the Charlottesville area gaining experiences that will help them lead their communities back home. 

The group is in Virginia for six weeks to learn vital skills to take back home. The group is part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which is run by the U.S. State Department. The fellows are all accomplished in their communities and countries.

During the program, they are learning about the U.S. Constitution and how to add new languages to their own constitutions to provide better rights for their citizens. They’ve also learned about negotiations at James Monroe Highland on Friday and were joined by former diplomats at Monticello to talk about the role of diplomacy and moving change in their countries.

“I think one of the biggest surprises to us is how fast these young leaders are moving up in their countries and making a difference and creating change as a result of meeting each other and just stepping away from their lives at home,” said executive director of the Presidential Precinct Neal Piper.

The Presidential Precinct , which hosts the fellows, says it stays connected and helps provide funding for when they get back home to advance work in their communities.

In the past five years, the Presidential Precinct in Charlottesville has hosted more than 125 people from 42 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa.