In high school and many other sectors of life, the general expectation is that whoever serves on the Learner Representative Council (LRC) would serve their year and pass on the baton to a younger student to be elected the following year. The general succession of leadership involves handing over specific duties or responsibilities, both of which require skills transfer and “conditioning” into the discourse of that particular school, organisation or industry.
The above-mentioned discourse is a cumulation of behaviour, language, habits and mentalities internalised by professionals in the workplace and entrepreneurs in industry. As a young person, should you have no access to this space, there is little way to get in to this discourse, and without it, one may be seen as either incompetent or naive. Thankfully, discourse can be acquired by interacting with individuals who demonstrate its mastery and support others during their process of acquisition. Internships, job shadowing and vacation work are great ways to indulge in the process.
Unfortunately, these opportunities are few and far apart and, thus, young people are required to find alternative ways to avoid being overlooked and precluded in the job hunt and in business. Young people seek the professional skills and know-how to form networks and access the necessary resources to fully realise their goals, as well as to contribute to national development.
For those already within the workplace, the strategic and sustainable succession of leadership requires that young people gain traction in their specific industries and regions, changing the status quo and effecting change. It requires young people across the country to be better equipped for responsibility and duties to come. It demands that young entrepreneurs have support as they fail fast, and trial and error to innovatively provide value for customers and beneficiaries alike.
The question of ‘why does APLI do what we do?’ can easily be answered by noting that the above is an issue that needs to be confronted, and that we are the ones who will have to address it. In a society where 20.35% of Namibians are aged 15-24, APLI exists to train the next generation of the economically active for the betterment of national development. The logic is that by teaching skills in personal leadership, entrepreneurship and community development, we assist APLI fellows and beneficiaries to reach their professional goals. They are intentional and driven in the workplace; as entrepreneurs, they provide value in business – and over time, they form fraternities with fellow change makers who seek to develop their own communities.
In the coming years, we anticipate fellows and other APLI beneficiaries putting their best foot forward as they enter classrooms, boardrooms and investor pitches, having gained insight into the nuances of a professional setting. Noting that proactive mindsets are built over time, APLI’s programs feed forward: from the Foundation program directed at high school learners and LRCs, to the Fellowship program targeting individuals aged 18-25. In this, we aim to create a ripple effect of social impact across the country. Our belief is that within reasonable context, no one is ever too young to lead; they are within themselves already great and only need to be connected to great individuals, opportunities and activities that pass on discourse and multiply the effect of their imprint.
2020-02-11 07:14:49 | 5 months ago