Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
When I first walked into the doors of the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, I was enthusiastic and eager to improve my leadership skills at a personal level. During the introduction phase of the program, the team at the Center reminded us that we had ‘a great weight on our shoulders’ to ensure that we replicate the lessons learned and impact other youth in our respective communities.
This statement struck me as profound. Immediately I realized that the program was not just about me, it was about making a difference in my community after the program. My experience at the Center helped me realize the role I am expected to play to help my country, which I believe is leadership by helping others improve their skills.
When I got back home to Democratic Republic of Congo after graduation, I came up with an idea to produce a talk show that focuses on leadership in all sectors. I am proud to report that the talk show entitled Afrique Prolead (which means Productivity in Africa through Leadership) is now being broadcast on a national television channel. The 45-minute show runs four times a month and so far we have produced nine shows, seven of which have already been aired.
As a host of Afrique Prolead, I engage with both established and upcoming leaders to discuss the issues in our society, and identify ways leadership can help alleviate some of the challenges. I also use this opportunity to share some of the leadership principles I learned through the program. The show has been well received, and the feedback has been amazing. People from across the country call in to contribute to the discussion. In my view, the show has awakened a passion and commitment among the Congolese people to make a difference, no matter how small. Already plans are underway for alumni from Republic of Congo to take part in the talk show.
My time at the Center offered me many opportunities as an alumnus as well. Following the program, I was selected to attend a Tech Camp organized by the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin. The experience was exciting and enriching because I was not only able to understand the electoral process in Benin and Niger, but I also gained knowledge I want to utilize in improving the electoral process in my country. I attribute this experience, and the many others I anticipate having in the future, to my participation in the Center.
I thought I was taking part in something that would last twelve weeks and then I would move on to something else. What I found is that the Center’s effect on my life, and through me the lives of others, will last a lifetime. The great weight is on my shoulders and I am using it as motivation to share my leadership passion with others.