Facebook recently unveiled Community Accelerator, a six-month program providing training, mentorship, and funding for community leaders from 13 different countries to help them grow their communities.

“We are extremely proud to launch the Community Accelerator, the natural evolution of our Fellowship program. Building community is at the heart of our mission and the program serves to invest in and support the community leaders who offer encouragement, build bridges, and drive change,” explained John Cantarella, VP of Social Good and Community Partnerships at Facebook.

“Our past participants have created positive, lasting change in their communities, which makes us all the more excited to welcome the next cohort through our new, purpose-built program,” he said.

“Last year, participants in the Facebook Community Leadership Program touched the lives of over 580,000 people in Asia Pacific through their community initiatives. In the Philippines, Jay Jaboneta from the Yellow Boat of Hope successfully brought together volunteers, schools, government, and nonprofit organizations from over 130 communities in the first HOPE Summit,” added Clapham.

Back in 2010, Jay Jaboneta learned that there are kids out there who have to swim just to get to school. Moved by the amazing lengths that these kids go just to get an education, he decided to post a status about it. The post caught the attention of people who wanted to get together and see how they can help these children, and thus, the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation was born.

Jay Jaboneta pitching the HOPE Summit during Meet-up 2 of the Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP)

After being selected for the Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP) and going through the training process, Jaboneta found the learnings immediately useful for the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation’s cause.

“The Yellow Boat of Hope started with one Facebook post and from there, we connected with people, and built a strong community of volunteers—HOPE Paddlers, who are passionate about bridging the gap in education. The Facebook Community Leadership Program helped us maximize Facebook tools to grow and strengthen our community while reaching more like-minded people, who are just as determined to make an impact in their communities,” said Jay Jaboneta, Co-Founder and Chief Storyteller of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.

10 years later, the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation has provided over 4,000 boats to nearly 200 communities nationwide and counting.

“Community leaders in the Philippines often tell us that some of the biggest challenges they face are a lack of access, training, and funding. We are excited to continue to invest in and support them through the Community Accelerator,” said Head of Community Partnerships for Facebook APAC, Grace Clapham.

If you run an impactful, established community, are ready to grow using Facebook’s apps, and have the time and energy to invest in this program, Facebook encourages you to apply here: https://www.facebook.com/community/accelerator/.