Practical Leadership Programme (PLP)

Written by Sam Otigo, Eastern Cape Regional Director

Over the years, we have been fortunate to have a pool of fantastic young leaders who have dedicatedly planned and run our summer kid's holiday camps. Some years we have had up to 50 leaders as day directors, small group leaders, and work crew. Through their help, we have witnessed our summer camps grow from 35 kids to 200 kids over the years.

“What can we do to give back to them?” This is a question that has bothered me for years. In 2018, one of our partners, Mark Lawler of Ubomi Centre and I realised we shared the same passion for equipping young people with leadership skills that can help them serve effectively in their schools, and communities and for personal development.

First forward, we did a survey after the 2018 summer camp asking the leaders to indicate if they would be interested in further leadership equipping programme. There was a resounding YES! We henceforth planned for five blocks of workshops between April and December 2019. We covered topics like; personality test, personal leadership, empathy, conflict resolution, and others with a fusion of guest speakers who shared their leadership journey stories with the young leaders.

The impact on the young leaders was amazing in terms of their learnings. The first workshop had 27 leaders, and that number grew to 42 leaders. In total, we took 57 young leaders through this programme in 2019.

The objective is to equip them with practical skills in leadership which they can apply at their schools, communities, and universities. They are awarded certificates after the practical experience of leading summer kids camps. Many of these leaders have used this certificate when seeking employment.

In 2022, we changed tact and handpicked 25 young leaders from different communities and ensured each had a mentor who reported on their progress through the year. We had four blocks of workshops, one in each term. The leaders then went back to their communities to apply the theory under the watchful eye of their mentors who completed an online evaluation form on the leaders’ progress.

What a joy to see the transformation in these young leaders as we witnessed them come up with their leadership storyboards at the last workshop in October.  The change is huge, they are already leading in their spaces. Two leaders from 2019 programme were part of the planning team in 2022 programme – a significant success story! THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT!

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Author: Mercedes Erasmus
Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator
Published: 23 February 2023
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