This summer, five of our scholars were invited to attend the Africa Youth Leadership Forum (AYLF) in DR Congo! AYLF is an organization that aims to nurture the next generation of African leaders through trainings on leadership qualities, values and principles. This year's theme was "Leadership and Relationship - Peace and Reconciliation."
The event had a big impact on our students. For one, however, her greatest takeaway was a renewed sense of hope.
For, Alice, one of our electrical engineering scholars in Rwanda, it was her first time back to DR Congo since her family fled due to conflict 18 years ago.
At first, Alice said her family was worried about her going to the conference, still scarred by the trauma of the past. But they also sensed this was an opportunity for Alice to return to her home as a rising young leader with the potential to bring positive change there in the future.
When Alice arrived to DR Congo, she was struck by the range of people who surrounded her -- youth who, like herself, were striving for higher excellence, who were choosing to pursue their education, and use their voice to speak about freedom, peace and justice.
Listening to the main speakers, and during discussion groups with fellow attendees, the message was clear to Alice: to be an effective leader, you need to be proactive, accept change with integrity, and make sacrifices to serve others.
"We have to see the invisible to believe the incredible," Alice said. "Sometimes it will seem impossible, but we must do it to serve our community. From my side, I have chosen to be a servant leader. I now have hope that one day I will return to my home and empower my country."
Alice was able to attend the Africa Youth Leadership Forum in DR Congo thanks to the supporters of These Numbers Have Faces - thanks to you!