New Generation Leaders Program
Empowering young people to discover who they are and how to lead from within in order to address the challenges facing their communities.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
The New Generation Leaders program is a 5-day, residential workshop created by Dr. Karambu Ringera under her organization, International Peace Initiatives, for her Leadership Action Plan (LAP) during her training at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Dr. Karambu recognized that several of the challenges facing her community, such as poverty, hunger, poor governance and disease, are linked to lack of leadership and accountability, and widespread corruption. Leadership is often viewed as a position of power, authority, and/or influence. Many African countries are experiencing the “Leaders for Life” Syndrome where leaders are remaining in power for three or more terms, leading to corruption, instability, economic stagnation, and ethnic divides.The goal of the NGL program is to inspire individuals to step into the leader in them so that they can inspire others in their communities to bring about change themselves. Dr. Karambu believes that world peace and prosperity can only be achieved through first finding inner peace. Transformation within leads to transformation without. During the NGL program, participants spend time discussing, reflecting, meditating, singing, and participating in team building activities to facilitate self-discovery, healing, and growth. The NGL program not only provides an opportunity for individuals to focus on reflection and relationship-building, but also connects participants to their community and environment. Since 2016, Dr. Karambu and her team have successfully facilitated several NGL workshops at the Tiriji Eco-Center in Meru, Kenya. Individuals from across Kenya as well as from Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, China, Canada, and the United States have participated in NGLs. Due to the success of the NGL program, Dr. Karambu has been asked to facilitate NGLs in other locations including Uganda, Rwanda, and the United States.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
The primary beneficiaries of the program are young adults ages 19-35 in the countries of Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. To date, 900 young people have been trained at 9 workshops in Meru, Kenya and 2 pilot workshops in Uganda and Rwanda. Full NGL trainings are scheduled to take place in Rwanda and Uganda in August, 2018. Participants learn to identify their own strengths, gifts, values and passions and how to turn them into active change in their lives and communities. The families, communities, and countries of these young people benefit from the increased capacity of their young people for creating change as well as their new networks and connections. The trainings also support the mission of the host institution International Peace Initiatives, as registration fees help create financial sustainability for the Kithoka Amani Children’s Home, scholarship programs, and job training.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
We typically understand a leader as someone in a position of power. The NGL program takes a unique, character-driven approach to leadership with the understanding that an individual cannot be their best self if he/she does not know who he/she is. It gives voice to those that previously felt they did not have one, shaping leaders for today, not tomorrow. The NGL program is grounded in the community and takes place at the Tiriji Eco-Center, providing a unique setting that connects participants to their community environment versus occurring in a large conference center. Participants can also see skills being put into practice through the other programs that IPI offers. The NGL program is dynamic and adjusts to the needs of the participants, making the program applicable in a variety of contexts. Unlike other organizations who rely on continual funding, the knowledge and skills that participants gain will remain in their communities, providing sustainability.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Full Scale Roll Out: I have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
The mission of International Peace Initiatives is to promote cultures of peace by supporting sustainable initiatives that improve livelihoods and enhance the quality of life.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
In 2007, I was the first woman in my community to run for political office. I observed citizens buying into the false promises of politicians and leaders giving money to buy votes. Those promises remain unfulfilled and today, our people are in the same place - no good schools, roads, hospitals, or jobs. I promised myself that I would learn how to awaken citizens to the fact that only they can transform the circumstances of their lives. The tragedy of a people is not knowing their power!
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
The NGL program fosters inner peace, outward prosperity, and a reconnection to the planet. By focusing on mindfulness, internal reflection, and healing, participants learn to find inner peace. They build on this foundation to form connections and break down stereotypes which foster new relationships and perspectives central to addressing the complex challenges in the world today. Reimagining leadership can shift institutions away from corruption, poverty and division toward accountability and prosperity. When young people recognize their gifts and power, it has a ripple effect on families, communities, and the country. Alumni of the NGL program are impacting their communities and creating opportunities for a more prosperous future. The NGL program knows that human prosperity is inextricably linked to the planet. The location, Tiriji Eco Center, provides a calming space and helps people see innovation in sustainable agriculture while showcasing the health benefits the planet provides.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
Partnership and collaboration are core tenets of IPI. The New Generation Leaders program has works closely with Mind Transform Africa, Effective Change Consultants, the Africa Dream Movement, and Synergy Youth Kenya to design and execute NGL. Partners help connect NGL to interested participants and provide in-country logistical expertise and operational support. Partners also serve on the planning and leadership team to ensure that the workshops are relevant and meet the expressed needs of the group. The workshops are iterative and adaptable to local contexts, so partner input, participation, and leadership are paramount. Current pilot programs in Rwanda and Uganda were established through existing relationships between IPI, Africa Dream Movement (South Africa and Kenya) and Africa Emerge (Rwanda). Future pilots are being considered in partnership with Creators of Peace in Uganda.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
The NGL program is built not to help people, but to work with people to help themselves. The community that the NGL program serves consists of highly motivated individuals who desire to make positive changes in their own lives and communities. Those participating in the NGL program see themselves as the hope they have been looking for. The NGL community is a sustainable community identifying and utilizing the abundance of local resources instead of relying on outside assistance.
The NGL program works primarily in Kenya and East Africa, with hopes to expand to other countries.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
NGL trainings are currently underway and occur multiple times a year. Full expansion into Uganda and Rwanda will take place in the next 12 months. Pilots in Gambia and South Africa will be initiated in the next 24 months.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)