Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa

by Lima Rural Development Foundation
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Train 6 Young Female Leaders in South Africa
Closing our weekend retreat!
Closing our weekend retreat!

Folks, I'm SO happy to share that last week's intensive management skills training was a challenging, engaging and extremely practical learning experience for our six young female participants! When we closed the training with a roundtable discussion on Friday afternoon, the women said that although they were a bit tired from taking in so much content for five straight days, they were also truly exhilarated by everything they had gained.

There was consensus all round that the Excel-based budgeting skills taught were the most valuable, since none of the women had any previous trainining in either personal or programme budgeting. They felt that they would now be equipped not only to understand how budgets work within Lima, but that they would be much better able to manage their own finances - an essential life skill, especially for the single mothers!

There was also unanimous agreement that the report writing module would be immediately relevant to all of their current (and future) roles. The ladies said they would now be able to create reports for a range of Lima's stakeholders - they now have a much better understanding of how to organize and articulate information from the field in a way that will be appropriate for a professional audience.

Finally, the leadership skills component was a boost to the group's self-assurance working out in the field. All of the women felt that this part of the course was very relevant to their day-to-day interactions on the ground, especially since each of them are expected to lead meetings and coordinate colleagues, farmers, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders. I love that Nqobile said she learned new ways to "engage with the community as a team" in her work.

It was more than evident that the week's training had given the group a big step up in both capability and confidence. Fundiswa, who has been working for Lima for nearly 9 years, exclaimed, "I wish I had had this training when I first came to Lima!".

Following from Friday's discussion, the ladies left Lima's head office and we began our 'women's empowerment' retreat on the north coast of Durban. We spent the weekend comparing African versus American experieces of feminism (check out the TEDtalks from Nigerian author Chimimanda Adichie and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg!), sharing #metoo moments from our personal and professional lives, talking about how to project an attitude of self-respect, and walked through some of the different ways to respond to challenging situations with integrity and confidence.

I think my favorite part of the weekend was taking the group through writing exercises where they completed the sentences, "I am a woman who" and "I deserve to succeed because". Some of their responses:

Thobile: "I am a woman who loves giving to those who are needy, and I am full of big dreams. I think I deserve to succeed because I fully commit myself to every task I take on and I always anticipate to assist others."

Siphelele: "I am an independent woman, and I deserve to succeed because I am confident about my work."

Nqobile: "I am a woman who works very hard in anything I do, and I like to help people. I deserve to succeed because my success is not just for me, but I believe that when I have everything I will be able to impact on people positively."

JoAnn: "I am a woman that is passionate and dedicated about the things that I love, and I should succeed because I am capable of rising to the opportunity."

Linneth: "I am a woman who likes to help people meet their needs and bring peace to people who have challenges. I deserve to succeed because I am determined in my work and I have the problem solving skills."

Fundiswa: "I am a woman who loves to work with people, and I think I deserve to succeed because I am dedicated to my work and I love to develop people in many ways."

The level of committment and compassion among these six young women is remarkable, and I was profoundly inspired by their energy, enthusiasm and genuine heartfelt desire to uplift their communities. When we parted ways on Sunday, I was left with the firm belief that rural development in South Africa is in good hands with women like these at the forefront.

From Thobile, JoAnn, Fundiswa, Siphelele, Nqobile and Linneth - THANK YOU for the opportunity to learn together, grow together and rise in their careers. From myself, as the project's coordinator (and the privileged retreat leader!) - THANK YOU for the opportunity to acknowledge and empower six dynamic young women whom I'm proud to call colleagues. And from Lima - THANK YOU for supporting our work in South Africa!

Thank you to our Global Giving donors from Lima
Thank you to our Global Giving donors from Lima
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Lima's young lady leaders, ready to begin training
Lima's young lady leaders, ready to begin training

Hello friends and supporters,

I'm thrilled to share with you the exciting news that our group of outstanding young women launched their management training on Monday morning in Lima's head office!

Coming together from across South Africa - Western Cape to Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape to Limpopo, Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal - these 6 women are finally sitting around the same table, ready to learn as Lima's future managers. They will be engaged in an intensive week-long accredited training session, covering topics from report-writing to budgeting, team leadership and strategy planning. Stay tuned for a final update at the close of this week's training to hear what the group found interesting and challenging about the experience.

It couldn't have happened without your support! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making a real investment in these talented young women's career growth. 

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Howzit Lima supporters!?!

We hope this message finds you winding down a busy year and preparing to enjoy the festive season. Lima's entire staff is in all-out, flat-out, full-steam-ahead mode as we work towards our annual holiday closure -- we're ready to enjoy a summer break here in the southern hemisphere!

We wanted to touch base with those who donated to our young female leaders' campaign to let you know that our Lima ladies' management training has officially been scheduled for February 5th - 9th 2018! I'm meeting with the training coordinators this week to finalize programme content and materials, then we'll start tackling the logistics of bringing these six young women to Lima's head office in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, early next year from each of their respective field sites throughout South Africa.

We're incredibly excited to gather these young ladies in one place for a week of intensive learning, mentorship and shared experience! We're also reaching out across our network in KZN and brainstorming ways to put together a dynamic women-only weekend workshop for the participants, so we'll update you in the new year about the plan we cook up.

For now, we just want to thank you again for supporting Lima's future female leaders! From all of us at Lima to all of you around the world, we wish you happy, healthy and restful holidays and a positive start to the new year!

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Firstly, we'd like to extend gratitude to each and every donor who supported Lima's first-ever crowdfunding campaign, and more importantly, who supported the talented young women at the heart of our project!

While we may not have reached our overall fundraising goal, we're still moving forward with our plan to offer accredited management training to the six young ladies you met during the campaign. We're adjusting our project budget in line with the funds we raised on GlobalGiving, and we're busy brainstorming creative ways to bring the participants out of the field and into Lima's head office.

We expect to receive the funds at the end of October, so we'll keep our supporters in the loop about when the ladies' training will take place... and we'll absolutely share photos and feedback from the training itself.

Again, a BIG thank you for donating to Lima's young women's empowerment project, and please stay tuned for more updates!

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Organization Information

Lima Rural Development Foundation

Location: Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal - South Africa
Website:
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Lima Rural Development Foundation
Amy Thom
Project Leader:
Amy Thom
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal South Africa

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