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Youth leading the way through YALI

2021-06-16  Aletta Shikololo

Youth leading the way through YALI
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Aletta Shikololo

Determined to make the country proud and contribute to the growing need for leadership skills, the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumni in Namibia are encouraging more young people, especially unemployed graduates, to take part in the programme.Funded by the US government, YALI aims to empower and groom young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

Speaking to Youth Corner, YALI alumna, and advocacy, marketing coordinator of YALI in Namibia, Salimi Gerhard said the programme is significant as it empowers, shapes, and grooms young African leaders to be critical thinkers and problem solvers in their communities.

“For example, there are many graduates who are currently sitting at home but if they take part in YALI, they get the ability to start their own businesses and also train the youth on leadership matters, as it shapes them to fight social issues such as corruption and GBV,” she said.

Gerhard, who has attended a civic leadership programme through YALI in 2018, said the programme has shaped her into the young leader that she is today.

Inspired by the YALI programme, she established a foundation called Smileys Foundation of Hope that seeks to provide less privileged community members and orphanages with counselling and coaching sessions.

“I took part in YALI because I am passionate about community development and giving back to my community,” she said.

According to Gerhard, over 250 young Namibians have taken part in the YALI programme since its inception.

The inaugural cohort will take place from 23 August to 15 October 2021. For the first time, the four regional leadership centres under YALI Africa, are coming together to deliver a continental wide training programme, effectively bringing young people from 49 countries together under one venue for learning.

YALI Africa will provide core training in contemporary African issues, as well as specialised training in three tracks of study: business and entrepreneurship; civic leadership and public management. -

2021-06-16  Aletta Shikololo

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