Feb 24, 2020

A Resource Centre to Inspire YoungAfrican Leaders

A Prototype of the LEAP Institute
A Prototype of the LEAP Institute

My engagement with LEAP will remain one of the most significant experiences in my lifetime – Mapple, LEAP’s 2008 YLP Beneficiary

Mapple is a graduate of marine engineering from Rivers State University of Science and Technology. He was born and bred in the coal city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. “Growing up wasn’t exactly rosy but I learnt early to be contented and to live life one day at a time”.

After graduation, while waiting for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2007, Mapple developed an interest in social work, especially in the area of youth development. He was concerned that youths in Port Harcourt lacked mentorship and the empowerment they required to maximize their potentials. He had a very strong urge to do something but didn’t know how to go about it because he wasn’t equipped for such a task.

Burning with passion, he shared his vision with a friend from University – Abassah. Abassah happened to be a beneficiary of LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme (YLP), as he had enrolled for the programme sometime in the past. Adassah then recommended YLP to Mapple and he decided to enrol in 2007.

Recounting the impact of the programme had on him, Mapple said: “Today, I’d say the Youth Leadership Programme is one of the best things that has ever happened to me”.

Three years after going through LEAP Africa’s programme, Mapple published his book ‘Seeds of Greatness’, which is inspiring and equipping hundreds of young people to maximize their potentials, take responsibility for their lives and make significant contributions to the advancement of their immediate communities and the larger society. He also ventured into entrepreneurship immediately after his NYSC in 2008 and spent the first few years establishing a brand consulting firm called Mapemond Resources. Expressing his delight, he said: “My engagement with LEAP will remain one of the most significant experiences in my lifetime”.

Mapple’s story is like that of many young people in Africa, who have brilliant ideas capable of transforming millions of lives and creating a huge impact on a lot of people. But these ideas, in most cases, are abandoned for lack of proper training and structural support because there is a well-equipped institution in West Africa that can provide a holistic training, research and curriculum development for personal, organizational and community development. This the gap the LEAP Institute seeks to fulfil.

LEAP Institute is an oasis for leadership development, training and research, which will help proffer solutions to some of the issues affecting development in Africa. It will be the first fully equipped institute in West Africa with facilities for personal, organizational and community growth to supply training and research and curriculum development.

By 2025, LEAP expects to have impacted 10 million Africans directly and gained quantum leap in building ethical leaders and businesses to drive Africa’s realization of its full potentials. This vision is only possible through the support of both local and international organizations, partners and individuals that share our passion for an Africa that will lead a new frontier for good governance, inclusive growth and economic prosperity.

Positive transformation in Africa may seem like a dream to many, but for us, we believe nothing is impossible when we work together.

We invite you to make the LEAP institute a reality and give access to free and affordable leadership training to young Africans.

 

Thank you!

Feb 14, 2020

Choose To Make A Difference

iLEAD Fellow; Ezekiel
iLEAD Fellow; Ezekiel
Ezekiel was one of the 71 students in Akwa Ibom State we met through the iLEAD. He had his first workplace experience when he interned at Sterling bank for 2 weeks as a motivation to raise our students' career aspirations, and in this time, he learnt a lot on the essence of savings, investments, financial record keeping and budgeting.
Upon resumption to school, Ezekiel observed that he had a number of junior students coming to him asking for money to purchase exercise books for the test. He saw an opportunity to bring in the learning from iLEAD to help his colleagues. He sensitized them on the essence of savings and went an extra mile to start up a cooperative where he encouraged his colleagues to save any amount daily or weekly. Under a month, Ezekiel had 30 students subscribed to the cooperative, with savings as low as N10 (Naira) daily.
In order to have a transparent system, he opened an account with a microfinance bank opposite his school, kept a record of students' savings, and was accountable to the iLEAD Fellow (Corps member) assigned to his school. Right now, students on his project have been able to withdraw money successfully to purchase most of their school needs like exercise books, drawing books, and especially this period of examinations, many have purchased full scalp sheets for exams without having to beg. 
Ezekiel's story is one out of the many stories of this programme which has inspired beneficiaries to lead and champion several initiatives.
And we want to do more!
We want to reach more students in other communities in Nigeria because we believe there are many Ezekiels who need the skills and knowledge the iLEAD offers.
Give today to LEAP Africa to push our work farther.
Thank you!
Nov 18, 2019

The Heart That Still Beats

In a world of limited opportunities for girls, Josephine is pushing her way through life’s
hurdles to give herself and family a better life.
Never having the luxury of options to choose what she ate; Josephine grew up with a lot of doubts about
life. Accepting life as it comes, after losing their dad to the cold hands of death, she and her other siblings
are experiencing life’s hard blows. Josephine was frequently absent from school due to lack of funds for 7
years because as her dad usually came down with crises and the limited funds in the family was
channelled to make him back on his feet. She does not know what it feels like to wake up to see a man in
the house as her dad was always ill. Her mother, on the other hand, had sold every one of their valuables
to just to save her husband – but he eventually died of cancer.


After the death of her father, her mother then became the breadwinner of the family. Even though they
seem not to have anything, Josephine looks up to her siblings and mother – They are all she has. Being
emotionally bruised by the realities of her father’s absence, she is usually uncomfortably shy whenever
she is among friends and they converse about their fathers. She has low self-esteem and could not fully
concentrate on academic activities.


Despite the numerous challenges facing Josephine and her sisters, she draws a lot of inspiration from her
hardworking mother. Mrs David is a petty trader who trades in brassier in the central market in
Eket, South East of Akwa-Ibom State to support her five children.
Josephine aspires to become a lawyer one day, but her dream is constantly threatened by the numerous
challenges she daily experiences, chief of which is how to go through the day without being hungry. As a
routine, she supports her mother in the market to hawk in order to increase sales for her and her siblings
to feed.


Even out of the odds, Josephine is keeping hope alive, nursing her dream of becoming a Lawyer and
finding innovative alternatives to support herself financially. With the introduction of the iLEAD
Fellowship into their school by LEAP Africa, Josephine’s dream is becoming a reality before her eyes.
Before her interaction with the iLEAD Fellowship as a student beneficiary, she lacked the necessary
intrinsic motivation and technical support to actualize her dream. But with modules on entrepreneurship
and enterprise, self-identity, self-confidence, leadership, Josephine has found the solution to bringing her
family out of abject poverty. With the skills and competencies gained from the iLEAD classes, she is
using her mother’s business as an experiment to test some of the principles of entrepreneurship being
taught in the programme. The results she is getting is from helping her mother is jaw-dropping. There has
been a significant increase in sales and a consistent influx of customers.


Josephine is beginning to consider entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to support her education and
dreams of becoming a Lawyer in the future. When asked what changes Mrs David has noticed in
her child, with unrestrained excitement, she replied “Esther na my husband now o. I don’t feel like I have
lost my husband. She dey make my brassier business move well well with the tin wey dem dey teach am
for the iLEAD programme. iLEAD Thank you o!”

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