The end of the beginning

Just as fast as it started, the 2010 Leadership Development Program is very quickly nearing its second stage (a year long follow- up). The students are enjoying free time right now after a very challenging day that involved a lot of work on everyone’s part. Evoking critical thinking skills after fifteen years in a school system based on rote memorization is not easy – especially when your French is as bad as mine.

At the same time, I can confidently say that the students are really coming along as leaders. They have truly internalized some of the most important lessons and are drawing connections between different leadership modules. Last night (when I was trying to sleep), the boys kept talking loudly in their rooms. I had a hard time understanding their exact sentiments (see above), but one word kept being repeated: “le leadership.” It was annoying… but I really can’t be upset at the end of the day despite my lack of sleep. I am very proud of what this program has achieved and I look forward to making a good program great over the next year.

A special thanks to Malivo and Masani, two scholars with Giving Back to Africa – another organization doing great work in the Congo. The two young men took time out of their day to stop by our program this afternoon and did a wonderful job of tying together the themes of the LDP with reference to their concrete experiences. Thanks as well to Ann Marie Thomson for helping set this up. Expect another report after we finish tomorrow and I finally catch my breath.


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