Support Girls Leadership Mentoring & Training

by Develop Africa, Inc.
Girls planning towards a summer of field work
Girls planning towards a summer of field work

Develop Africa’s Leadership mentees are yet again preparing for a Summer of leadership activities and field experiences.  Mentees are currently meeting with their Coordinator, Ms Juliana Thambi to discuss their plans for their upcoming field work.

Each year mentees are required to participate in a leadership field work in a chosen field. Last year, the mentees volunteered for 10 work hours in different organizations and schools and put their leadership skills into practical use. The leadership field work was a great success as the mentees were able to hone their various skills and to give back to their community.  

At the end of the leadership field work, an award will be made to 2 outstanding mentees in the form of  an award for excellence in seven core areas of leadership namely,  Community and local Leadership , Health Leadership, Academic Excellence and Distinction, Innovative, Creative and Forward -Thinking Leadership ,  Spiritual Leadership, Youth Leadership and Service to the Nation.

The dispositions and competencies to be achieved from the fieldwork serve as an excellent tool for personal growth and the development of leadership competencies for the mentees. This is the most exciting part of our program said one of the mentees. We get to put into practice what we have been taught.

At the end of the three years, there will be a follow-up conference / symposium for mentees to display and demonstrate professionalism, spirituality, community and innovative leadership activities and initiatives they have been engaged in and reflect on the three year mentorship program by submitting a final leadership portfolio.

Let’s wish our mentees a very productive summer season of Leadership field work. Thank you donors for making this possible through your gifts.

For aditional information about this project please see our project - Empowering the next generation of leaders.


Juliana in group photo with girls at FAWE lab
Juliana in group photo with girls at FAWE lab

Juliana Thambie Sesay, Develop Africa’s Leadership mentee and the Coordinator of the Girls Leadership Mentoring program in Freetown, Sierra Leone paid a visit to Develop Africa / FAWE  computer lab in Freetown. She had an opportunity to meet the girls and share a word of motivation with them.

On Juliana arrival at the FAWE School, Juliana was first taken to the Principal's office to be introduced. Mrs. Jojo, the Principal, made a brief welcome statement and offered her thanks and appreciation to Develop Africa for the smooth running of the computer lab and tutoring program. She expressed how grateful she was to Develop Africa for its computer lab and tutoring operations at her school, noting that computer lab is a rare facility in government schools.

Juliana visited a classroom of Class Six pupils. After a brief introduction, the children gave her a warm welcome. She then encouraged them to continue to excel with their computer tutoring lessons.  Juliana encouraged the girls to make the most of this opportunity, challenging them and telling them that they never know what some of them might become through the tutoring skills they have acquired, if they put what they have learnt into good use.

Juliana visited the lab and observed that some of the children had already been tutored on certain math and basic language skills and were making progress.  Juliana conducted a tour of the class and observed the students involved in the tutoring program.  She proceeded to the back of the class and some of the girls moved to the front of the class to demonstrate what they have learnt. She then did her rounds and visited each of the girls engaged in the computer tutoring program to see whether they are in line with what their friends and other students were doing. At the end of the class/ tutoring session, group photos were taken with the children and they bade her farewell.

Here’s an excerpt of what Juliana’s reflection on a Social Media Network site about her visit to the Develop Africa/FAWE lab as a leadership mentee and Coordinator of the program.

Visit to the Develop Africa computer lab at FAWE. – “This visit took me back to memory lane. I remembered way back in primary school when we use to have visitors in our school, we look at them with so much respect and admiration and some of us were determined to be like them. When I see the look in these children’s' eyes I realized I have so much to thank God for. I may not be rich, may not be where I wanna be in life but yeah I have made progress. Thank you Aunty Jasmine for this opportunity.”

We are so grateful to YOU our donors and supporters for your on-going support that make it possible for us to provide this on-going training. 

Thanks so much for all you do!

In just over a month, YOU have the opportunity to have your donation matched at 30% on Wednesday, May 7th.

  • 30% matching
  • Donations up to $1,000 matched
  • Matching begins at 9:00 am (EST) 

Please add this to your calendar and JOIN US raising a new generation of leaders!


smiling girls and Juliana
smiling girls and Juliana
Christiana - 1st place
Christiana - 1st place

We are delighted to report that Develop Africa’s Girls Leadership mentoring program has witnessed a very successful year with mentorship training, workshops and leadership activities. A core component of the Girls Leadership Mentoring program is a practical leadership field experience titled “Leadership and Creativity Field work”, undergone by each mentee. Each year the mentees will undergo a practicum field work on leadership and creativity.

This year from June- October, 2013 the mentees undertook a practical leadership and creative field work project in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This field work project is a required mandatory part of their mentoring program.  This activity gives each mentee the opportunity to put into practical use their leadership knowledge and skills.  Mentees were asked to complete their field work on the three components of Leadership: namely Spiritual Leadership, Health Leadership and Community Leadership.  They were also a required to write a reflection paper of two to three pages summarizing their field work experience.

The mentees were excited about the opportunity and eagerly undertook this activity.  Several mentees undertook leadership field work in non-profit / community based organizations, such as Youth for Christ, in after school programs at Door of Hope and in local schools. They performed volunteer activities for these organizations for a minimum of 10 hours and put their skills of creative leadership to work.  

Dr. Jasmine Renner, the lead mentor frequently checked on their and from time to time provided guidance, assistance and clarification when required. Several excellent reports emerged as a result of this practical field exercise.  Mentees were activity engaged in giving back to their communities. In October, 2013, the mentees submitted their final required field work write-up and it was reviewed and judged by a panel of individuals in the US. In December, 2013, an announcement was made about the results of their Leadership and Creativity fieldwork with three mentees emerging as to the top awardees of the Leadership and Creativity award.  The following were selected to be awarded the "2013 Creativity and Leadership Award."

1st place - Christiana 2nd Place - Juliana and Angella. There was a tie between the two mentees. We like to congratulate these three finalists for a job well done.  They will all receive a leadership plaque award and gift prizes, in 2014 during a short ceremony to be held in Freetown, Sierra.

All three of their final submissions will be turned into a mini display book and shared with the other mentees so they can see their exemplary field work in Leadership. 

Thank you sponsors for helping to make this possible and for investing in the lives of our upcoming leaders.

Great Time to Give:  We are so grateful for your previous support that has helped us touch many lives like these 3 budding leaders.  We wanted to let you know of the great opportunity that GlobalGiving is offering right now.  

From now through December 31st, GlobalGiving will be offering a one-time 100% match on all new recurring donations up to $200 per donor! To qualify for the match, you must give at least four consecutive months. 

In appreciation for your support, we will be featuring a list of all new recurring donors on our website.  We will also send to you a free Develop Africa coffee mug or T-shirt (you decide which one).   

Please sign up now - as this offer expires at the end of the year.  This would help us support many more kids that are on our waiting list.  Thank you for giving the priceless gift of education!

Sign up for a recurring donation

Group photo of attendees
Group photo of attendees

The above report title is a quote from one of the attendees.  No doubt - the conference was a huge success!  Here's more on the conference that you helped to support.

The first face-to-face annual Girls Leadership Mentoring Workshop / Conference for its leadership mentees took place in February 2013. The conference was held at the Hill Valley Hotel Conference room in Freetown, Sierra Leone. There was a total of sixteen (16) conference attendees consisting of 9 leadership mentees, 3 Develop Africa Coordinators, 3 mentors and trainers and a guest from the United States. The conference presenters and mentors included presenters:  Dr. Gladys Palmer, Ms. Adeyinka Wyse and Ms. Melody Davis.

Dr. Gladys Palmer facilitated the morning session one “Leadership and Anger Management.” The session was psycho-educational in nature. It entailed self-evaluation and group work on the issue of anger management.   The session was designed to encourage participants to own their feelings and recognize the physical cues of anger in order to effectively manage it. The session lasted for two hours including a question & answer time. 

The afternoon session, “Empowered to Lead”, was led by Melody Davis and Adeyinka Wyse from the United States. This session was designed to put the leadership mentees in control of educating and empowering themselves to lead and take action on key issues that affect their lives. The mode of training included group work and individual activities. A collaborative approach was also utilized in this session. 

During the break-out times, the mentees, mentors, trainers and facilitators had a great opportunity to network, interact and connect on a personal level. The conference was reported to be very informative, educational and inspiring.

Here are some of the comments from the leadership mentees regarding the conference and workshop:

“Wow, the conference was superb.  The facilitators were awesome. We learnt a lot.  May God bless you Jasmine for giving us this opportunity to meet with such an inspiring personalities. Love you all plenty.” ~ Isatu K.
“I really have enjoyed the conference. Thanks very much Jasmine for your relentless effort.” ~ Dorhen S.
“The conference was awesome, inspiring, awaking and wonderful. I felt empowered. Thanks Adeyinka, Melody and Gladys. Thanks to Develop Africa and Jasmine, it was powerful.” ~  Hannah S.

“I'm so thrilled! Could have sat there and just enjoy learning new things, but all the same, it's ended. It was awesome! What a wonderful thing to learn so much and still want to continue learning.” ~ Gracie G.
“The conference has ended. It was educating and we all had a fabulous time today. Thank you for the opportunity. Loads of love.” ~  Angela L.    

We are so grateful for your on-going support that made this possible.  

We are excitedly loking forward to expanding to another country this year?  Your donation of $25 or more today will hekp make this possible.  

Want to help us do even more? you can now easily create a fundraiser here on GlobalGiving and help us raise funds for more training.  This is a fantastic way to invite your friends and family to join you in making a difference. You can start your fundraiser here - today!  Let us know if you have any questions or need our help setting this up.  

Thanks so much for all you do!

Girls having fun
Girls having fun
Attendees in between training sessions
Attendees in between training sessions


Girls in Mentoring Program
Girls in Mentoring Program

Dear friends and supporters-

Here's and update on the first Leadership Online Reading and Discussion Circle that took place on Saturday January 26th

All leadership mentees were present and participated in the one hour online reading and discussion circle. The facilitators of the online book reading and discussion circle were Drs. Crystal Hurd and Jasmine Renner.  Two books  namely on Think Twice You Can Be Creative by Jasmine Renner  and Self Leadership by Pentti Sydanmaanlakka  formed the main discussions of the reading circle.

The books were assigned in advance to all leadership mentees for reading, reflection and preparation for the online book discussions.  In addition, several pre-teaser questions based on articles from the books were sent to the mentees about a week in advance of the online session.

The Reading and Discussion Circle was vibrant, engaging and very successful.  Leadership mentees engaged in lively and constructive discussions about leadership skills and challenges from excerpts of the books.  The mentees posed questions to mentors, interacted with mentees, provided examples and illustrations of self-leadership and creative leadership as it applied in Sierra Leone and discussed several issues pertaining to creative and self-leadership. The mentees also discussed how to effectively execute and utilize their leadership and creativity skills inspite of the challenges they face in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Crystal Hurd, a guest mentor, posed several questions on Self Leadership such as: In your own words “what is self-leadership?” and “What qualities do you need to be an effective leader?”   The mentees engaged in a vibrant discussion and provided examples of what self-leadership meant to them.  Dr. Renner also posed questions on Creative Leadership such as: “Name one or two things that you feel you are creative and can do?”, “What are some main challenges preventing you from doing it?” and “List three things you will like to invent before you die?”   These questions spurred interaction, engagement and online networking and activities amongst mentees and mentors and fostered a vibrant online discussion and reading circle.

The Online Reading and Discussion circle was reported to be a huge success as mentees familiarized themselves with guest mentors and networked amongst each other. Each mentee was required to do a follow-up reflection of the questions and the online activity in their designated Leadership Journal.

Thank your supporters for your donations and support of this program. Together we are making a difference in the lives of these promising youths.

We are excited to also report that our projects are participating in the Give Forward matching campaign. The campaign will begin on April 9th and run through the 16th or until matching funds run out. Microsoft is offering a 50% match, with $100,000 in matching funds available!  Our current projects are available here. It's a great opportunity to supersize your donation - making it go further.  Please join us in transforming the lives of many youth. Save the date - and be sure to donate early on on April 9th to secure matching funds.  Thanks so much for your support!


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Organization Information

Develop Africa, Inc.

Location: Johnson City, Tennessee - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
DA Team
Johnson City, Tennessee United States

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