Innovative projects for refugees, former child soldiers, and host communities in northern Uganda
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Jun 2015 09

GRG’s Groups Take Charge After Leadership Training

Posted in News

By Alany Joel

As 2015 rolls forward GRG is preparing to graduate all 21 groups in the next 12 months. One of the main focuses in 2015, therefore, is leadership training—ensuring that the groups have strong leaders and the needed structures in place to elect new leaders in future, to manage conflicts within the group, and to plan and execute their own activities independently.

From February through April GRG conducted the first leadership training with each group. The theme for our leadership training program is drawn from the African philosophy Ubuntu (“because you are I am, because I am you are”) to encourage servant leadership, democracy, problem-solving and innovation. These trainings bring together members to evaluate their group leadership. For our stronger groups, the training was an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the group and to discuss where improvements can be made. For our weaker groups—those where conflicts between members are interrupting progress or that lack committed and strong leaders—subsequent training sessions are ongoing through the summer to ensure that the problems raised in the first session are effectively addressed. For GRG’s weaker groups it is important to ensure that the leadership training is building self-reliance and an understanding that the group is capable to transform their community. Using local examples of leadership, our groups identify the characteristics and impacts of effective leadership to bring peace and reconciliation.

“Our group is strong because we work together. If we don’t each work hard to make our group something good, then we can’t blame GRG or our chairperson when we don’t get our harvest out of the garden or we fail to fix the problems all around us,” explained one participant.

The effects of over two decades of war have made many people dependent on outside assistance. GRG engages its groups to help them to confront this dependency and to offer an alternative model for community transformation—one lead from the grassroots. This leadership training encourages each and every member to take on a leadership role and address the problems that remain after the war.

The positive effects of leadership training can already be seen. Group members have dedicated themselves to new and ambitious projects for 2015 and three of our groups have decided to elect new leaders. Lubanga Tek, one of our weaker groups in Amuru District, is quickly becoming one of the most united and committed groups that GRG work with. During the leadership session, group members complained that their youngest children were not attending school because the walk to the nursery school was too far and the group asked GRG to build them a school. After a reminder that GRG doesn’t build schools, the members instead requested assistance to build their own school. One member volunteered his land and GRG partnered with the group by providing the members with brickmaking tools. The group has since drawn up a calendar for brickmaking and begun to construct the school with each member allocated a work quota according to their capacity. The group plans to have the school completed this month with classes beginning before the end of the year.

GRG’s leadership training is just one of the many components to prepare for graduation and the transition to independence for all 21 groups. Leadership training is helping the groups gain confidence and to become role models in their communities. To help GRG’s groups reach their graduation objectives please donate online.

 

 

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