The Starling Collective Fellowship from Giving Tuesday is a six-month programme which exists to support grassroots changemakers from all corners of the world, equipping them with the tools they need to turn bold ideas into impactful action. It is based on the belief that changemakers, organisers, artists, and activists know best what their community needs, and provides the necessary support to innovate and implement change. With a commitment to breaking down the barriers that often sidelines non-traditional movement builders, this programme raises the voices of passionate people and gives them the platform they deserve.  


Last year, fellows were selected from 1,400 applicants which came from 89 countries, more than half of these coming from the Global South. 50 were selected, comprised of changemakers from 35 countries, with some as young as 14 – hinting at the ongoing commitment to generosity from the leaders of tomorrow.  

Here are some examples of the talented fellows which stepped up for their communities for Giving Tuesday 2022, kicking off with an example from the UK.  


Ellie Robinson-Carter – United Kingdom  

After her grandfather passed away as a result of dementia, Ellie decided to launch The Photobook Project. This is designed to empower people living with dementia, their carers, and their communities through capturing experiences. With tools including single-use cameras, she works with intergenerational groups aiming to challenge the stigmas associated with dementia. Ellie’s commitment to raising awareness for dementia and breaking down the barriers is helping to foster a dementia-friendly generation, one where people are better equipped to understand and offer support.  


Cristina Simionescu – Romania 

With a belief that understanding the interconnections between nature will help people to become more caring and empathetic, Cristina is building and implementing educational opportunities relating to the environment. Her aim is to inspire civic participation in environmental initiatives across Romania, using science, local biodiversity and responsible consumptions as tools. From this, Cristina hopes to inspire young people to follow in her footsteps and become agents of change within their own communities. 


Jehan Chreiki – St Lucia  

Equipped with a passion for highlighting the potential and talents of the Caribbean people, Jehan co-founded Le Bank. This is a pan-Caribbean time-banking app aiming to uplift islanders by giving them access to skills, time and talents designed to help them reach their full potential, despite the limited resources and remoteness that comes with small island living. She hopes that the app will help to empower people and enhance their social mobility, in addition to helping identify sustainable sources of income.  


Raquel Alvarez Charqueño – Mexico  

A human rights lawyer and co-founder of the Network of Lawyers, Raquel is dedicated to supporting women who are victims of gender-based violence. The Network, which is comprised of women lawyers are particularly committed to reaching and providing their free legal assistance to children, adolescents and women without the means to pay for legal services. Raquel is putting her skills to good use, doing fantastic work which deserves to be celebrated.  


Wardah Noor – Pakistan  

Social activist, research, aspiring lawyer, and founder of KhudKaar, Wardah is a beacon of hope in Pakistan. KhudKaar is a social enterprise fighting against poverty, with a mission of generating economic activity equating to half a billion US dollars per years in Layyah by 2030. Wardah works with youth in neglected regions, particularly women and minorities, to help them secure brighter futures through employability skills, education and employment opportunities, in addition to supporting their social and cultural development.  


Tande Elias Agobe Ruben – South Sudan 

A community volunteer in Juba, Tande highlights the stories of visually impaired students to fight for positive change, primarily through improved, and accessible, education. He mainly focuses on marginalised groups, working to increase their capacity to understand their rights and help them to reach their full potential. The tools which Tande utilises include media, redio and outreach programmes which empower communities to rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient.  


These are just a few examples of the inspiring individuals who have taken it upon themselves to make a splash in their communities. You can read about the rest of the Starling Collective fellows of 2022, and meet the alumni from previous years.