It's from these fifteen (15) YALI Connect Camps that Ohio University decided to initiate a YALI Connect Camp Alumni Outreach Workshop that required all the Connect Camp alumni both mentors and mentees, to submit a proposal highlighting what they have accomplished since they completed the Connect Camp. In the proposal they were to provide a brief bio of their personal achievements (promotions, recognitions, grants received as well as contributions to their communities in Africa. Ohio University then selected a committee that included two reviewers from Africa, two OHIO reviewers, and some representatives from ECA’s Collaboratory to vote on all entries and select up to three winning reports. The three winners would become the “Medallion Connect Camp Presenters” to share their success stories.
On Sunday 4th March, 2018 all participants and the medallion presenters had arrived at Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa through the support of Dr. Yusuf Kalyango Jr. - Professor & Director Institute for International Journalism E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio university and who is also the Director & Administrator of YALI Connect Camps' Alumni Outreach Engagement Workshop assisted by Mr. Elias Hailemariam from Ethiopia as the workshop coordinator. Ms. Li ping Lo from Department of Cultural Affairs , U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa officially welcomed everyone to Ethiopia and to the Workshop. The group then had a blast doing team building activities and having a delicious dinner for the remainder of the day.
On Monday, the workshop officially kicked off with Opening remarks from Mr. David Kennedy of Public Affairs Office from U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa who was really excited to see the Workshop become a reality. He also got the opportunity to listen to what each and every participant was doing to change lives in their respective communities during the introductions and he was very happy and excited.
Later, Dr. Yusuf Kalyango then took the group through Reflections and Expectations of the YALI Connect Camp Outreach Workshop where he explicitly indicated how important the workshop was to both State Department and Ohio University to help shape and build on the goals of our MWF engagement activities to begin on September 2018. He also took us through an intensive Strategic communication, Development of Goals and Leadership session where he vastly shared his personal and very motivating story as a young boy born and raised by peasant farmers in Uganda, growing up working hard abroad and at the United States, then becoming a very successful scholar climbing academic ladders to a full Professor and a Director of an Institution at Ohio University with many consultation programs in various universities and organizations/government bodies across the world. He shared his writings (books) and publications to participants deeply narrating how self-love for community and family, hard work, teamwork, and determination leads to success..
The next day, a Joint session of Caucus Moderators gave a summary of what transpired on Monday at different caucus then the floor was taken by Ange Imanishimwe of Rwanda to facilitate on personal & Organizational Development who gave an explicit presentation and a wonderful approach on environmental conservation towards tourism attraction.
Mr. Troy Fitrell, Deputy Chief of Mission from U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa expressed his happiness and joy after hearing what all the participants are doing in their respective communities. He was also briefed by each moderator who gave a summary of what transpired on Monday and what would take place as the day unfolds at their respective caucuses. Mr. Troy gave a very motivating closing remarks before issuing certificates of completion to all the participants and posing for a group photo with the entire team. Some other topics discussed were the Bond connecting Social Entrepreneurship and Community development and personal experiences and best practices.
YALI Connect Camp Alumni Outreach was a success and was an amazing way to catch up with past participants and see first hand the great things they are doing in their communities.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM YALI CONNECT CAMP 15 IN ETHIOPIA
We started off the week with songs, laughs, and tears of joy during our first introductions at the YALI Connect Camp 15. Participants have arrived from eleven different countries. Pairs are representing Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Uganda, D.R. Congo, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda. This diversity made for hilarious introductions as everybody first attempted pronouncing each others names. These participants have come ready and eager to challenge themselves as well as each other as they learn and utilized the tools for leadership development. Innovation for sustainable social change, How to reach success with what I have, Open-mindedness and respect for diversity, Working with others with different ideas, capacity building for youth, building mentorship skills, and how to inspire are just a few of the goals that the participants have outlined that they want to work on.
Day two started off with identifying issues that people see in their communities at home. Next, they divided into teams by which issues they wanted to address. The groups imagined what their communities would be like if these challenges did not exist. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, they focused on what works well in their communities and how these strengths may help them to achieve their goals. Asset-based development encourages leaders to look inside their community for help, rather than outside. By focusing on what they have, they can mobilize resources without too much additional cost.
Thursday the participants were back to work in the classroom practicing convergent thinking to solidify their ideas and approaches to solve their community issues. Each group has created a theory of change, or conscious multi-part strategy for reaching their goals. The participants also practiced pitching their ideas to acquire the type of resources they would need. Throughout this ideation phase, participants have been thinking about all of the assets already available within each member of their community. Every community is rich in resources and capital other than money alone. This type of thinking and strategizing is the real tool that participants can take home with them to teach to others.
By Friday this cohort felted empowered and better able to have a positive influence their social or political systems at home. After one last morning session, the participants got ready for our graduation ceremony. After an inspiring ceremony, we had a fun-filled and delicious dinner to close out the week.
Thank you to all who have helped to make this Connect Camp 15 such an incredible success. We look forward to hearing about the incredible work our YALI Fellows will be doing in the future!
See our Connect Camp 15 Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/47974335@N06/albums/72157665258773768
By Kate Hiller
The third Connect Camp is comprised of seven Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) Alumni and their mentees from Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia. The purpose of the Connect Camps is to invest in the next generation of African leaders through intensive executive leadership training, networking and skills building in order to prepare them to create social change in their respective communities by achieving the following goals:
- Give up to 160 young African leaders the opportunity to collaborate, learn, and network with U.S. and African resource experts and with each other during the eight YALI Connect Camps; to develop innovation strategies that build on their professional skills, engage in hands-on experience with low-bandwidth technologies, conduct community outreach, and build their capacity through mentoring, networking, and using strategic civic leadership for social change.
- Use a stimulating canvas model of leadership to develop skills in entrepreneurship and creating social change by engaging in five-days of facilitated interactive sub-group workshops, and fostering mentorship relationships between the Mandela Washington Fellow alumni and their chosen mentees for the Camp.
- Demonstrate some community-oriented enterprises using applied technology that supports innovation and collaboration in community development and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management.
- Develop leadership skills among delegates through mentoring relationships, between themselves, as well as with American and African facilitators.
- Provide participants with opportunities for face-to-face networking and to facilitate a collaborative, innovative project or projects that further YALI goals.
Unlike the YALI-MWF training programs, which take place at about 20 universities across the United States, the Connect Camps are being conducted as follow-on training workshops in four sub regions of sub-Saharan Africa. The first two camps were conducted in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in March, and the fifth and sixth camps will be in Cote d'Ivoire later this year.
From May 3-9, the third cohort of mentors and mentees invited to Namibia worked together to develop new social ventures using a comprehensive, iterative, one-page modeling tool based on the original "Lean Launch" business model canvas, and recrafted by camp facilitators as the "Venture Model Canvas." Camp participants used the poster-sized modeling tool to identify and hone their proposed new ventures value proposition for identified beneficiaries, to decide how the value was to be delivered and what was required for delivery. Participants also enumerated the fiscal, social and environmental costs, and benefits associated with the proposed venture.
The proposed ventures modeled during the camp encompassed a wide range of southern African start-ups:
- "My Hostel, My Home, My Responsibility," a Namibia-based youth boarding school vandalism reduction program led by youth councils and geared toward reeducation and reintegration of vandals,
- "The Green Machine," a mobile, youth-consciousness-raising program in a wheeled truck, traveling to Ethiopian primary schools with a program of competitive fun and education, all centered on recycling and greening the environment,
- A university-based young women's engagement and empowerment entity working simultaneously in Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana,
- A non-partisan Zambian consultancy focused on educating and engaging the electorate in the democratic process (initial emphasis on youth), and
- A Botswanan youth employment service bringing together unemployed youth, educational institutions, and employers in an effort to improve needed skill sets to fill existing jobs in the modern workplace.
In addition to working with the Venture Model Canvas, participants also learned about community mapping through two representatives from the Humanitarian Open Street Map Team, Mikel Maron and Benson Wilder, visited Natures Way, a natural health clinic set up by a MWF, and a textile factory. A facilitator representing the Open Learning Exchange (OLE) from Ghana, West Africa, Kofi Essien, also presented to the group via Skype about his work with low-bandwidth technology in the education sector. Educators from Ohio University, Faith Knutsen and Judy Millesen, spent five days of the training with the participants facilitating on various topics including innovation and leadership for social change and much more.
The young professionals and future leaders have forged friendships across borders that will keep them together for years to come.