Founded 2008

UPI Fellowship Program

Investing in Leaders, Inspiring Change, Impacting Communities


Our Mission:

The mission of UrbanPromise International (UPI) is to identify and prepare emerging leaders to initiate, develop, and sustain Christian-based youth development organizations as they serve vulnerable children and teens in our world’s most under-resourced communities.


We believe:

The most dynamic means for effecting change is through the development of indigenous leadership. Through its fellowship program, UPI provides the means for empowering leaders to impact their communities by establishing and building organizations that effectively meet the needs of local populations.


We are succeeding:

Over the past several years UPI has seen over 34 ministries start,  38 degrees earned, 10 countries reached, and thousands of lives impacted.


There are three phases to the UPI Fellowship Program


01:  Fellows receive training online while serving with a UPI affiliate or ministry partner in their home country. Upon completion of the training, a program proposal is developed and submitted for consideration by UPI. Only a select few are selected to continue on to the 2nd step of the fellowship program.


02:  Selected fellows are chosen to participate in a 1-year or 2-year fellowship program, working toward an organizational leadership certification or leadership master's along with comprehensive leadership training while in the USA. Fellowship students work with a UP ministry in the US to gain practical experience in their ministry field.


03:  Midway through their time in the US, fellows submit their final ministry proposals to the UPI board for affiliation consideration. Successful proposals receive seed funding and UPI affiliation.




Meet Our Fellows

Current Cohort

Ronald Agaba

Mr. Ronald Agaba has been working at YAMBA Childcare. Ronald was one of the two individuals who volunteered to keep YAMBA open while founder Keneth was in the US. He also is a High school teacher in their high school in their village. Ronald has a BA in Secondary Education from Nkumba University. When Ronald returns home, he will be helping with the administration of the YAMBA Primary Boarding School. While he is here in the states Ronald will be working on completing a Masters degree in Organizational Development. .
20222024 Cohort

Madalo Chapola

Ms. Chapola has an undergraduate degree in Christian Education from African BibleCollege, and had previously graduated from the teaching college in Malawi. She was a teacher prior to her time at Rise Malawi. While there she lead their Camp Leaders Program as well as their Afterschool program and Camp Programs. Her passion was teaching the students to read. When Madalo returns home she plans to return to Rise Malawi and open their elementary school. She believes this is the perfect time to partner with Esther and her library project as they start a primary school with a strong reading program.
20222024 Cohort

Madalo(Dalo) Champeni

Dalo graduated from African Bible College in Malawi with a degree in Christian Leadership and Business Administration. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration at Cairn University. She was a beneficiary of Rise Malawi and was sponsored through college by them. Ms Champeni has been ministering at Cornerstone Ministries as a teacher for their Highschool Life Skills classes, as well as the Girl's Choir director. She is planning to return home and start an elementary school in partnership with Cornerstone Ministries in Salima.
20222024 Cohort

Grace Thembulembu

Grace Thembulembu graduated from African Bible College with a Bachelors degree in Christian Leadership and Business Administration and will be receiving her MBA while in the fellowship. Grace was key leadership for development Good Promise Ministries. While working with Good Promise, Grace was responsible for accounting and all the girls empowerment programming. She worked with the respected older women in the village to successfully reenroll 13 girls who had dropped out of school in the 7th and 8th grade. After her community needs assessment, Grace developed a community co-op farming program which will assist with both the sustainability of the ministry, but also the families in the community allowing the necessary food and resources to keep their daughters in school.
20222024 Cohort

Eneless Chikandira

Ms. Chikandira graduated from African Bible College with a degree in Christian Education. Eneless has been working with Love Driven Ministries. She has been the mastermind behind the farm project and their Girl's outreach program. Mr. Adams credits Eneless' knowledge and hard work for the success of the farm. Her program responsibilities have been the girls' programming. She has passionately been running the program for the past year. She plans to return home and oversee the start of Love Driven High School.
20222024 Cohort

Justice Pondani

Mr Justice Pondani has been working at MercyCare Highschool as a teacher and deputy head master. Justice has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Malawi. When Justice returns home his plans are to develop the sustainable farming program at Ntchisi Secondary School, as well as take a leadership role within the school. Justice will be working on his MBA while he is here in the states.
20222024 Cohort

Kwame Owusu-Ansah

Kwame who is our first fellow from Ghana, West Africa hopes to return home to Ghana to open the first Ghanaian UPI affiliate. Kwame who is a licensed Civil Engineer plans on developing his program to focus on leadership and discipleship training, vocational training based on the local needed job skill set, plus Entrepreneurial mindset so those who go through his training will be able to look ahead and determine needed skills for the future.
20212023 Cohort

Esther Chikuse

Esther joins UPI after working for the past few years at RiseMalawi Ministries and is looking forward to returning home in December 2023 to build a library and reading center at Rise Malawi, working to promote reading among the primary school students whom RiseMalawi ministers.
20212023 Cohort

Beatrice Wangai

Beatrice upon completing her Master's in Organizational Development will return home to YouthPromise Kenya to develop the Girls Empowerment Program. Girls' Raising Hands has a mission to raise a generation of healthy and empowered girls. Our focus is to keep girls in Embu, Kenya in school because drop-out rate before they reach 12th grade is so high. We believe that when girls are empowered, they become better women in the society and become part of decision making and this contributes to growth of the society. Our programs include: Hygiene Program, Entrepreneurship, Computer Training, Mentorship
20212023 Cohort

Kelliote Kadammanja

Kelliote will be returning home to YouthCare Ministries and plans to develop an IT Trade Training Program to help the Youth in the program develop skills that will help them become more employable, as well as help the ministry work towards becoming more sustainable.
20212023 Cohort

Margeret "Maggie" Sikwese

Maggie has been working with Seeds of Promise Ministries and plans to return home upon the completion of her studies to develop a Girl's Empowerment Program for Seeds of Promise. Her program name is Atsikana Tingathe and their mantra is ,"Holding hands to help one another up". The focus of the program is to walk with the local young women in the community, giving them the necessary skills and resources to remain in school and complete their education. The girls will also be receiving training in sewing and other entrepreneurial trades.
20212023 Cohort
Alumni Timeline - where are they now?

Our Programs

Online Student Fellowship

Serving 23 Upcoming Leaders 
annually since 2002-03-12
Students take an online course for one year before becoming eligible to be chosen for the US Fellowship Program.

One year Leadership Development Fellowship Program

Serving 6 Students developing programming for existing organizations. 
annually since 1999-03-11
1-year fellowship students participate in: Programming at their UrbanPromise host site Weekly professional development training addresses practical day-to-day strategy for running non-profits Courses at Cairn University, receiving a certification in Organizational Leadership upon successful completion of the program

Two year Entrepreneurial Leadership Program

Serving 7 Students who desire to start new organizations 
annually since 
2-year fellowship program students will: Participate in programs of host ministry Intern one day a week in various departments of the host ministry Participate in weekly professional development training Work with a mentor to develop a program proposal, presentation, and fundraising strategy Study at Cairn University, obtaining an MBA or Organizational Development masters upon completion of program    

Recent Highlights

Main Office: 856-382-1858


UPSEL Director
Sandra Newhall

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