YALI Programme 2019 for Cohort 35 was opened yesterday at the Regional Leadership Center in East Africa (RLCEA) in Kenyatta University. The Programme which attracted a total of 7,000 applications, has only 115 participants.
The Cohort comprises young Africans carefully and strictly selected from different East and Central African countries. These include, Kenya, Rwanda, DRC, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Eritrea, Central African Republic among others.
The first day of orientation was a blast! Key points were these thought provokers: one, that ‘Ego is the enemy’ and two, that ‘greatness comes from humble beginnings.’ You got to deal with your ego before you pursue success.
The lead facilitator Sandra Owiti is gifted different; this is a lady who speaks like the microphone itself. I remember her urging participants to learn how to project their voice.
The #YALITransformation and #MyDayinYALIRLCEA is already huge and trending courtesy of the YALI social media guru.
Another key point from Day One is, ‘The universal welcome to someone is a smile.’ It is a language that everyone on the globe will understand without any interpretation.
Then came Mr. Padmore, the Disciplinarian. For him, all that the participants need to do is to make sure they don’t have a bad meeting with him. This is the person who can decide to send you back home immediately.
Later on, the cohort left for Brackenhurst for an afternoon session by the USAID.
Brackenhurst is now a different experience in a cold but posh hotel in the middle of the Forest. “At first, I thought this hotel is too good to be true. All the same the name sounded like we are travelling out of the country to the US only to find such a nice hotel in Limuru, Kenya.” Said Alphonce Juma, a participant from Kenya.
Alphonce is the Founder and CEO, Oracom Group. This young man has created impact in Kenya especially with his youngest company annex, My Leader Kenya. He has managed to reach the youth in all 47 counties having no donor or sponsor. Their language is, ‘everyone is a leader.’
Alphonce seems to have achieved more than one can predict at his age. Kenya is proud of such young people who decided to move and catch up with opportunities without waiting for anyone to hand them over freely. If they did so before undergoing the YALI programme, we can only be more hopeful.
At Brackenhurst, the USAID took the cohort through a discussion on ‘Dynamics between the Private Sector, Public Sector and Civil Society.’ All these are aimed at sustainability and balance of power which creates True Development.
Mr. George Khisa then took them through a practical session before they took a break from the busy but enjoyable first day. Today, the training was on the roles- the aim is to take the trainee off the ground and out of their comfort zones ‘into the air.’
See Day 2: Leaving the comfort zone; the tem building
YALI Cohort 35 Programme has four more weeks to go. It is an equipping moment; Kenya and Africa at large is hopeful. Congratulations to the young Africans who qualified to the YALI Cohort 35!