Lead Us Today

Vision A generation of engaged and socially responsible citizens in Africa. Mission To inspire, mobilize and empower Zimbabwean young people to work together beyond socioeconomic barriers and lead community development efforts. Values Initiative. As an organization, we believe in taking the initiative to address pressing issues that young people face in their communities. Moreover, we are deeply invested in building the capacity of young people to take initiative in addressing their own challenges. We believe that taking initiative is critical in practicing leadership in communities and is integral in developing young people's capacity to be socially responsible and engaged citizens. I...

Lead Us Today
First Floor, Vanguard House
142 Main Street
Bulawayo, - -
Zimbabwe
011263978897
http://www.leadustoday.org

Board of Directors

Dalumuzi H Mhlanga, Ndulamo Pholi, Tivington Ncube

Project Leaders

Dalumuzi Mhlanga

Mission

Vision A generation of engaged and socially responsible citizens in Africa. Mission To inspire, mobilize and empower Zimbabwean young people to work together beyond socioeconomic barriers and lead community development efforts. Values Initiative. As an organization, we believe in taking the initiative to address pressing issues that young people face in their communities. Moreover, we are deeply invested in building the capacity of young people to take initiative in addressing their own challenges. We believe that taking initiative is critical in practicing leadership in communities and is integral in developing young people's capacity to be socially responsible and engaged citizens. Innovation. The leadership development and civic engagement challenges that Lead Us Today seeks to address are elusive and dynamic - they require non-traditional, innovative, approaches. As such, Lead Us Today values social innovation and uses cutting-edge tools to shape its models and programs. Likewise, the young people we work with appreciate the value of novel, innovative solutions in addressing the specific challenges that they face in their communities. Through valuing innovation in their engagement with Lead Us Today programs, they are equipped with the capacity and skills to address as many dynamic challenges that they face in the different aspects of their lives. Integrity. As Lead Us Today builds other people's capacity to address their own challenges, we make sure to do so with integrity. As we promote initiative and innovation, we make sure that we do so in a way that respects the different values that people hold, while creating space for those values to change in ways that promote personal and community development. The students we work with also learn to be true to their own values and respect those of others to enable engagement on how to embrace integrity in developing communities.

Programs

Our programs are built on the basis of three main assumptions: First, young people do not have to wait until they are grown-up adults for them to exercise leadership and make interventions that develop their communities. Second, communities cannot rely exclusively on external agents such as governments and international development agencies to address their own challenges. As such, communities have to build their own capacity to address their own challenges and bear the main responsibility for their development. That way, external agents can serve as supporters for locally-shaped development agendas and locally-conceived development interventions. Third, development processes require whole communities to examine their shared and conflicting values so that they can change them and align them with their reality as necessary. This process of examining and changing values is a necessary, protracted learning process. Communities need to fully engage in learning new ways of viewing their challenges and new ways of approaching them. These basic assumptions imply that Lead Us Today believes that: Young people have the ability and responsibility to exercise leadership in their communities by mobilizing them to engage in learning processes through which they examine and shift values, mindsets and attitudes in ways that shape locally-conceived development agendas and interventions. Based on these assumptions and the values that shape our work (initiative, innovation and integrity), we have designed a model that allows young people and their communities to learn new ways of thinking and doing so that they can develop themselves. At the core of our model is the Community Learning Center (CLC). The CLC exists to mobilize community members and engage them in learning processes that help shift their values, mindsets and attitudes so that they: 1) learn of their responsibility to define and spearhead their own development; 2) learn what they need to change about their ways of thinking and doing for the purposes of development and 3) learn how to implement self-determined development interventions by acquiring, producing and managing local knowledge. Lead Us Today builds the capacity of young people to spearhead these learning processes through its leadership-training program. We also provide internships for young people so that they can learn of skills and tools that they can apply in mobilizing community members and implementing development projects. In order to exercise leadership and apply what they learn from our training program, young people mobilize their communities to design and implement community development projects. These projects are decided after students have engaged community members in conversations about pressing development challenges that need to be addressed. The conversations that young people have with community members are centered around what communities envision for their futures, their current realities, and what values, mindsets and attitudes need to change so that communities can achieve their envisioned futures. These conversations are then distilled to pragmatic development projects that young people and other community members implement together. In that process, Lead Us Today is directly involved in mobilizing communities through bringing community members together and creating communication systems that keep everyone engaged. We also work with students and communities in a fashion business, which leverages the talent of fashion designers and tailors in the communities. Through the manufacture and sale of the clothing products, Lead Us Today builds student's business skills, empowers local communities economically and ensures its financial sustainability. All these initiatives are meant to feed into the Community Learning Centers, which Lead Us Today clubs serve as. In all, young people drive community development by orchestrating learning processes for themselves and their communities. That way, they assume and exercise their social responsibility and develop their leadership capacity for more influential roles in the future.

Statistics on Lead Us Today

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