There are not enough genuine fellowship opportunities that offer hands-on training and research that results in sustainable solutions to help women in Africa improve their lives on their terms. We are focused on identifying real-life solutions for challenges faced daily by women who are in dire need of culturally appropriate and sustainable solutions that can scale. Ripples fellows work at the grassroots level to create change that lasts long after their fellowship ends.
Our immersive program gives fellows the chance to live and work in the communities they serve. Fellows receive hands-on practical experience designing and implementing programs that they can apply towards future work experience. Fellowships are based in Ghana with available durations ranging from four to ten weeks. Applications are accepted in December, March, and July for programs starting in March, June, and October respectively.
What Fellows Do
Fellows can select from the following fellowship types based on their area of interest and expertise.
How You’ll Beneﬁt
Ripples fellows receive unique, on-the-ground experience from living in and working with communities in Africa. Additionally, fellows work with Ripples staﬀ to design and implement solutions that create lasting change within the communities they serve.
Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for the Ripples fellowship program:
- 18 years of age or older
- Currently enrolled in or alumni of an undergraduate or graduate program
- Must be able to fund fellowship costs (whether through own means or through fundraising eﬀorts)
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Ripples Farm Co-op (Requires travel to Africa for hands-on experience)
(Development of irrigation systems & Building of dams)
- Business (Requires travel to Africa for hands-on experience)
- Marketing / Business Planning /Financial Partnerships
- Agriculture (Requires travel to Africa for hands-on experience)
- Sustainable farming practices, Scientific collaborations, New farming practices
- Sustainable farming (Requires travel to Africa for hands-on experience)
- Solar / Collaborations
- College/University Faculties:
- Exchange programs
- Medical Outreach (Requires travel to Africa for hands-on experience)
- Develop Programs for Medical Teams recruitment (Doctors, nurses, and staffing)
- Fundraising for medicines and supplies – funds
- Monitoring @ Audit -Increase in children enrollment in school
- Data Analysis (metric), Mortality, Education, Policy
- College/University Faculties:
- Exchange programs
- Shea Butter – Business
- Marketing, Business Planning and Financial Partnerships
- Developing teaching methods
- Teaching Practice
Benefits of becoming a Ripples Fellow
- Hands-on experience
- Carry out research real-time (LIVE, Usable on the ground)
- Opportunities to create sustainable programming
- Help women to transform their lives, save money, support their families and the communities around them.
Ripples Fellowship applicants are required to be:
- 18 years of age or older
- Currently enrolled in or alumni of an undergraduate or graduate program (or equivalent)
- Must be able to fund fellowship costs (whether through own means or fundraising eﬀorts)
- Maintain cultural sensitivity
Ripples Fellowship Program is:
- An opportunity to develop programs that change outcomes for an entire community.
- Designed to put women first and focus all attention on developing solutions from a first-hand point of view.
- Not a vacation, it is revolutionizing the way to combat poverty at its source with sustainable solutions that can be repeated & replicated.
- Strong political and cultural relationships
- A strong understanding of cultural traditions and sensitivities
- On ground operations
- Control of value chain
- Ability to provide real-time adjustments to accommodate
- Women and student centered (mutually beneficial for all parties)
- Finding real solutions that impacts life-changing sustainability for long term success
- Dynamic program co-design based on cultural sensitive pillars
- Manage the process of finding a solution
- Paving the way to avoid conflict
- Provide a real-time view and perspective of Africa first hand
- High-level Security protocols and processes
- Pre-approved locations, facilities, and standards
- Time and flexibility (6-month planning circle)
- Not designed for individuals, best for groups
- Logistics (Africa is a developing country)
- Cultural translation
- International experience
- Help develop resolutions for long term sustainable development
- Long term collaborations with educational institutions, organizations, and corporations
- Potential to expand development into other areas
- Market development and growth
- Creating solutions that cause more problems (more steps, stress, and costs)
- Scheduling is a huge disadvantage giving the travel time and seasonal unpredictability
- We provide security detail for Ripples Fellows as a precaution measure of protection in the event of unexpected political unrest.
- All fellows are responsible for following rules and program guidelines as agreed in their contracts, any decisions
As an American public health student, we study and read case studies and examine data regarding African village people, but to actually interact with those same people who were only statistics in our minds was a life-changing experience.
Meet Our Fellows
Fellows get to choose the duration of their Fellowship. Most Fellows opt for between 10-12 weeks. Fellowship locations are published periodically, so you get to know which countries are available each year. Previous Fellowships have taken place in Ghana, Madagascar and Nigeria.
Your fellowship will include a project that will focus on the identification and solving of a particular problem or issue with respect to the communities in which Ripples works. You will work with the women participants of Ripples programs and services to solve this problem during your Fellowship. These are real life problems that you will provide solution(s) to and test the veracity of the solution during your stay.
You may work individually or with a group of women on a Project. You will be part of all discussions about the project including all discussions about the project prior to your trip.
We will require inputs from your College/University to ensure that all fellowship projects meet the academic requirements necessary for you to earn credits for your College/University Degree.
Ripples is committed to the safety of its fellows and the success of their fellowship experience.
Ripples has personnel on ground in each of the fellowship countries, so you are welcomed on arrival by our in-country representatives, and they are with you throughout your stay in the country. You will be provided with an orientation program as part of your onboarding procedure. Currently, this program is designed to provide information via webinars and online meetings in order to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and comply with CDC guidance to encourage participant safety.
Ripples Fellowship Program was established in 2016 and has accepted Fellows to our programs from Washington University in St. Louis’s Brown School of Social Work since 2016 and Olin Business School since 2017.
We would be honored to have qualified students from all Colleges and Universities for Fellowship Programs in Business, Agriculture, Social Work.
Ripples is pleased to be a Platinum – level GuideStar participant, the highest GuideStar level for our commitment to transparency.
Ripples fellows must be 18 years of age prior to the start of the fellowship program. They must also be either enrolled in or have recently graduated from an accredited college or university, have good grasp of English and possess a laptop or tablet. Additionally, they must be able to fund fellowship costs on their own (either via fundraising efforts or through their own means).
Fellowships are offered three times a year, starting in March, June and October and applications are due a minimum of 6 weeks prior to program start date.
Ripples fellowships are available for four to ten weeks durations and can be customized based on fellow needs and availability. In order for fellows to get the most out of their experience we recommend a minimum duration of four weeks in the field which can be supplemented with research conducted in the country where students are attending college/university.
All Ripples fellowships are unpaid, volunteer positions.
There is a nonrefundable $30 application fee. Additionally, there is a program fee (due in installments) which includes local transportation, food and accommodations. The first installment of 25% will be due 30 days after you’ve been accepted to the program.
The remaining 75% of the program fee is due 30 days prior to the designated departure date as listed on the website for your program month. This means that if you have an alternate arrival date for any given month, you will still be responsible for paying by the same deadline as those starting on the regular date for that month. You are welcome to submit as many payments as necessary leading up to this deadline if the program fee is paid in full on or before the deadline.
Students will be responsible for arranging their own flights to and from the destination country/city as well as researching and applying for visas. Additional travel opportunities sought by the fellow (outside of program requirements) will result in additional out-of-pocket expenses.
Cost includes local in-country transportation, room & board, security, on-ground support, coordination and basic access to wi-fi. (Cost of flights, including in-country flights, are not included.)
Once approved, you will receive an email from Ripples allowing you to make a secure payment online.
Fellows will need to research visa requirements for the country/city they’re traveling to.
Ghana fellows (currently only destination offered) can visit the Ghanaian embassy website here: https://www.ghanaembassydc.org/visas
Ripples will provide an invitation letter for you to include with your application to the Ghanaian embassy.
Travel insurance is mandatory for Ripples fellows and fellows need to research and arrange for travel insurance on their own. Ripples staff will provide suggested travel insurance options for you to consider.
Fellows are required to have health insurance that is covered in Ghana. You will be responsible for arranging your own health insurance and covering any applicable medical expenses while you are enrolled in a Ripples Fellowship Program. Ripples staff will provide suggested health insurance options for you to consider.
We highly value an international culture at Ripples and encourage applicants from all countries.
Our prior fellows have ranged from new international travelers to more experienced travelers. While prior travel experience is not a requirement for the Ripples fellowship, those that have some experience living in another country are likely to adjust more easily to the local culture. With that said, the shorter timeframes for Ripples fellowships (starting from four weeks) lend themselves to an ideal first immersion experience abroad.
Ripples fellowships are currently offered in Ghana only. While we have offices in Madagascar and Nigeria we’re not yet offering fellowships at these locations. Please know Ripples follows a security policy to determine whether or not we feel comfortable sending fellows to certain locations given current events. However, we encourage you to research extensively to determine whether you feel comfortable going to a particular country, region or city. Ripples will never send you somewhere you are not comfortable. We want this to be a great experience for you!
Your first priority as a Ripples fellow is to fulfill your duties as described in your work plan. Ripples has generally been flexible regarding short breaks for travel and sightseeing after the program duration has ended.
The program contacts at the Ripples office in Ghana will serve as your main contacts.
Housing is part of the program cost and is arranged for by Ripples to ensure fellows have ample opportunities to connect with one another. All fellows live in the community they serve which helps foster ties and helps create the ideal cultural immersion experience.
You will most likely need a visitors visa for Ghana but please feel free to research the type of visa appropriate for your stay. Ripples can provide a letter of support to support your visa application.
Vaccination requirements vary from country to country. In addition to completing basic research on this topic, you will need to contact your local travel clinic for more information on their recommendations for vaccinations.
We wish we could hire all of our amazing fellows, but it’s just not possible. Fellowship positions do not turn into staff positions at Ripples, but if there is a position that becomes available we would consider current or former fellows as we would any other applicant applying externally.
Ripples can provide letters of recommendation that reflect the scope of your contributions.