At Giving Back to Africa, we believe that through our education program children learn five leadership skills that will help them act in positive ways over time. Our program addresses real-life issues through problem solving activities and then applying their new knowledge with community service projects of their own choosing. The five leadership skills GBA teaches are to:
- Identify an issue in your community that matters to you
- Research and educate yourself about the issue
- Analyze the information
- Propose and implement a solution to benefit your community
- Reflect on what you have learned and use this knowledge in your future
Our new series on this blog will highlight the stories of Centre Salisa students learning and applying their leadership skills in their lives, beginning with Jeremie’s story.
One day, Jeremie approached Dr. Jerry Kindomba, Giving Back to Africa’s Program Manager in Congo.
“Is there any way you could find a soccer ball, Dr. Jerry?”
“Why?” asked Dr. Jerry.
“Because,” said Jeremie, “my friends and I have been thinking. We have been looking around and we’ve noticed that there are a lot of street kids in the neighborhood. They are sometimes mean and sometimes they throw rocks at the school. My friends and I thought we would like to learn more about them and we’ve been talking with them. We think that we could be more effective if we could invite them to the school so we can all be together in a quiet place instead of on the streets. And we think we can even be more effective if we could form a soccer club! Not only would this be fun but we could use this opportunity of the club to work with them on their behavior and encourage them to come to school.”
Jeremie demonstrated all the leadership skills with his idea. He identified the issue with the street children’s behaviors and researched the issue by talking with the children.
Next, he analyzed the problem and decided the best solution for talking with the kids was to form a soccer club. By working with the street kids, Jeremie gave back to the community and encouraged the kids to improve their behavior.
Jeremie and his friends started the soccer club and taught the street kids, their teachers, administrators and Giving Back to Africa that the five leadership skills are important. He also taught there is one skill of supreme importance: compassion.