Archive for January, 2012
In this rapidly changing world, with its uncertain economic climate and growing unemployment, there is today – more than ever – a need for inspired leaders. So it’s good to hear of progress in nurturing leadership skills in modern youth.
In an encouraging blog, yesterday, Alison Bradley – international director of the youth charity Mosaic – outlined some of the thinking behind her organisation’s leadership development programme, just a couple of months after their 2011 Mosaic International Summit in Doha.
The programme aims to provide a network through which young people can learn, share resources, and get feedback. But in addition to that it helps those who would otherwise not consider themselves leadership material (because they aren’t famous or wealthy or old enough) to discover and develop innate leadership skills, such as the ability to listen, and the emotional resilience to bounce back from disappointment and failure.
Mosaic is a charitable initiative of HRH The Prince of Wales that seeks to create opportunities for young people, regardless of their background, and to improve their confidence, employability and self-efficacy. By showing them what inspirational leadership looks like, introducing them to role models they can relate to, and persuading them that they too can influence people around them, it aims to develop young people’s leadership ability and equip them to become responsible members of their communities.
As the famous Whitney Houston song reminds us – “Children Are Our Future”. So we need to support initiatives such as Mosaic and the Chreda Foundation, that are working to bring on young people’s talents and leadership traits, to ensure that our future is a positive one.
Ever wanted to watch a live performance by the British band Coldplay? And how about in an intimate setting? On the 8th of February they’ll be appearing at Club Nokia – one of Los Angeles’ newest concert venues – in a benefit show for two local children’s charities: A Place Called Home, & Youth Mentoring Connection.
A Place Called Home is a youth centre that provides “educational programs, counseling, mentoring, music, dance and art classes” and empowers young people to “take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives”, while inspiring them to “make a meaningful difference in their community and the world”.
Youth Mentoring Connection aims to get more adults involved in mentoring young people, by bringing the latter into workplaces, where they can see professionals in action and interact more readily with “busy employees”.
It’s good to see transatlantic cooperation of this sort making a real difference to young people’s lives.
For the last few years 13-year-old Katie Rhoten from Wisconsin has been enriching the lives of young patients at the Eau Claire Mayo Health Clinic. Since she was a patient there, in 2008, and found her ordeal of undergoing treatment for diabetes made more bearable as a result of being given a cuddly toy every time she had to be injected, she has been donating such toys to the hospital in their hundreds, and has encouraged others – including her family and local schools – to assist her. The teen’s generosity has been responsible for cheering countless children who have received treatment there, and the cuddly toys – along with books, games and other goodies – are now a big feature of children’s experience of hospital, thanks to this selfless young lady and the role model she represents. The generosity of donations to her worthy cause has meant that this year she has also been able to support a second hospital, Marshfield Clinic, and she is said to be hoping for an even bigger response next year. She is reported as saying that ”It’s a really good feeling knowing I’m helping the community and helping others”, and that she hopes she “can do it forever”.
With all the pessimism surrounding the world economy it’s good to get some positive news from the World Economic Forum. And, once again, Bill Gates has demonstrated his generosity. He announced at Davos, on Thursday, that despite tough economic times his charity – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – would continue to support the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and he pledged a further $750 million, noting that there was “no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest”. A strong signal to world leaders who may be getting cold feet on charitable giving.
Proof that ‘what goes around comes around’ – that you ‘reap what you sow’. Students at Isaac J. Gourdine Middle School, Fort Washington – a school that was in danger of being forced into the State Turnaround Program (an initiative that replaces more than 50% of the school’s staff, including the principal, and drastically overhauls its teaching methods), due to poor mathematics grades - are set to have free additional tutoring, courtesy of the non-profit Yehri Wi Cry, which was recently the recipient of charitable support through the school’s Blankets for Babies project. Mothers in the ultra-poor country of Sierra Leone often have nothing in which to wrap their newborn babies, and Blankets for Babies will make a crucial contribution to the work of the charity, which was formed a couple of years ago to help such people. As a result, when members of the non-profit organisation learned of the school’s predicament they decided to offer free tutoring services in their spare time, as a reward for the students’ generosity.