Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
by Heidi Mumia, Kenya, Cohort 2
My YALI RLC EA story begins at age 33 when I got accepted into the program. I was at a fairly advanced stage in my career having accumulated work experience of about 8 years. Though I was working hard and had a few achievements in my name, I felt I was not fulfilling my purpose. I had a burning desire to impact the community I worked in.
My journey of transformation began with self-discovery. At the Center, a number of sessions have been designed for participants to master themselves, their purpose and ability. Before I joined the program, my interests were all over the place and it was difficult for me to train my focus on a defined leadership path. It is through YALI RLC EA that I got the opportunity to look at myself introspectively and define my own path based on who I am.
The program gave me confidence in my identity as a leader and gave me the skills to fit the bill. As a leader in the public sector, it is imperative that I inspire confidence in all the stakeholders I interact with. Leadership communication, public speaking, pitching and stakeholder management are very important skills which have gone a long way in enhancing my voice as a youth in the industry I work and hence expand my circle of influence.
As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. The best way to transform our communities is to equip young leaders to approach challenges in a new way. Through the program, I was exposed to new methods of finding solutions through design thinking, learning more about the social transformation criteria and strategic thinking in general.
Having participated in the program for 12 weeks (initially the program ran for 12 weeks and later changed to 4 weeks), there were many memorable moments but what still stands out for me is how everyone we interacted with brought their authentic self hence allowing for very open and safe interaction. I really valued the evening sessions with industry leaders from the Civic, Business and Public Management sectors and they all shared unreservedly their journeys and gave us insights on how to navigate in the same. I am grateful for the opportunities for personal development and networking the program provides to its alumni. I am still in contact with all my cohort mates and I have had invaluable opportunities to share experiences and collaborate with other alumni through our Country Chapter and it is a very fulfilling experience.
Working as a facilitator has been a rewarding learning experience more than it has been a teaching experience, not to put into practice what I learned. As part of my role, I am required to contextualize the curriculum into the East African context and that has made me learn a lot about the governments, leadership structure & culture and power relations in the East African region. I always keep myself updated on the current affairs in the region. My experience as a facilitator has not only enhanced my professional growth but it has also instilled the value of stretching out my hand and lifting up the leaders behind me and hence the path of youth development and mentorship has since become one of my greatest passions.
I encourage every young leader, especially those who feel they are stuck and need to amplify their voices and impact in the spaces they work in, to consider applying for the program and watch their lives and work transform!