Today, the Hilton Prize Laureates Collaborative is launching a new program that gives early career professionals and promising students the opportunity to work alongside Laureates of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize on key development, human rights, and public health issues. Tostan and fellow laureates AMREF and Handicap International are partnering together to host the first placement of the Laureates Collaborative Future Leaders program in Senegal.

In this new partnership, the Laureates Collaborative Associate will support planning, development, and implementation of a joint obstetric fistula program being led by Tostan, AMREF, and Handicap International. Each organization has already undertaken efforts to address the challenges women face who live with fistula. Tostan recently conducted a baseline study around fistula with a grant from The Fistula Foundation and identified women with fistula in the Kolda region, with further project plans to support social reintegration. AMREF provides medical consultations and surgeries to reverse the effects of fistula. And Handicap International works on prevention and rehabilitation of women affected by this medical complication. By partnering together, these three organizations, with the aid of the new Laureates Collaborative Associate, will be able to amplify their work and impact in the areas of fistula prevention and rehabilitation in Senegal.

The Future Leaders program will provide participants with dynamic opportunities in the field and at organizations’ headquarters that will shape their understanding and contributions to the development sector. Laureates Collaborative General Secretary David R. Curry shared, “We are confident that in the years ahead, young professionals who have served as Laureates Collaborative Associates will be recognized as a cadre of high-potential, diverse young leaders, who are making significant early-career contributions to their organizations and to the field overall.”

Curry also shared how this new program aims to help young professionals and students overcome some of the challenges they face when building their early career, namely limited opportunities to fill high- impact roles in the field. Curry stated: “We intend that our Future Leaders Program will help address this challenge.”

Beyond contributing to the development of dynamic young professionals and students, this new partnership between the Hilton Prize Laureates Collaborative, Tostan, AMREF, and Handicap International will positively impact the health and wellbeing of women with fistula in Senegal.

The Future Leaders program expects to place additional Associates in Senegal in 2014 to support other joint Hilton Laureate programs now being explored. Also, pilot programs underway in Haiti and Nepal will see their first Associate placements later this year.