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“Five weeks on a youth leadership course deepened my self-awareness”
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“Five weeks on a youth leadership course deepened my self-awareness”

A training session sponsored by the Discovering Young Leaders Program underlines the fact that self appraisal is the first step for community development, writes Biodun Awosusi, 26, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria. He says every youth leader must understand himself in order to make a meaningful impact on society. 

Five weeks on a youth leadership course deepened my self-awareness.

The Discovering Young Leaders Program 2012 left a similar legacy of valuable skills and important insights for other participants as well, according to responses from people in my network.

“I learned a lot during the training. I know myself better. I have new wiki skills. And I gained insights from panellists which will be useful for my educational project for young secondary school students,” says participant Olufunbi Falayi.  “The program impacted me greatly.”

The online course at DYLP was a first for Kenyan law student Jacinta Ngumo.

“This has been amazing,” she says. “I have definitely improved on my personality through the profile report, and through the discussions I have learned to approach particular youth challenges in a new way.”

One of the key features of the training was the Clarity4D youth profile report. We all answered ten sets of questions through self-appraisal. The report based on those answers highlights the strengths of each person and areas of potential growth. Virtually every participant judged it to be a near-perfect personal description.

The training session clearly emphasized that self appraisal is the first step for community development. Every youth leader must first understand himself before he is able to make meaningful impact in society.

“This course also helped me to reflect upon my life and make certain decisions, “says Timothy Kwakye Karikari of Global Media Alliance and a course participant.

“I realized that if we want to succeed in our various activities in life, dedication is key. I was motivated by the number of like-minded people I met on this platform. For once, I was sure of myself that I was not the only one in this youth business. We can always come together and fight for a common goal.”’

More than 200 young leaders experienced similar personal development and youth leadership training through the recent ‘Discovering Young Leaders Program’ offered by Youth Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat and hosted by the Commonwealth Youth Programme, Africa Centre.

The DYLP program featured youth leaders, youth development experts, leaders of national youth parliaments and national youth councils from over 50 countries. Victor Mensah, Wale Salami, Andrew Tandea and Brian Sikute coordinated a five-week online training that featured use of wiki tools, email, Facebook, and other social media.

The discussions were enriched with real life examples drawn from the communities of the participating young people. They were deeply engaging and very informative. Panellists were on hand to guide discussions and ensure that participants reach meaningful conclusions.

“I would like to say that this five-week journey has very enlightening, enriching, mind-opening, motivating, fun and definitely life-changing,” says Ugandan doctor Mbiine Ronald.

Among the excellent panelists anchoring discussion sessions during the course are Ms. Katherine Ellis, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Director and Head of Youth Affairs Division; Mr. James Odit, Africa’s Regional Director at the Commonwealth Youth Programme ; Mr. Johnson Abbaly of the Youth Development Sub-Committee for Nigeria’s Economic Summit Group; Dr. Gabriel Elisante, Tanzania’s Director of Youth; youth development consultant Mr Henry Charles; and Ms Nellie Munala of the International Award Foundation among others.

Picture: Reflection of Commonwealth flags © Commonwealth Secretariat

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About me:

I am a highly motivated young medical doctor, content developer, youth development expert and social entrepreneur and an alumnus of the inaugural Discovering Young Leaders Program (DYLP 2012) of Commonwealth Youth Programme-Africa. I was a task force member for the Youth Summary of the UNESCO EFA 2012 Report and a postgraduate student of the UniversityofLiverpool, where I am studying International Management of Health Systems.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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