With the world currently facing a leadership crisis, Afrika Tikkun challenges the notion that each generation gets the leaders it deserves by creating and developing the leaders it wants to have through its Aspiring Leadership Program (ALP).
Afrika Tikkun’s COO, Leonie van Tonder pioneered this program to benefit individuals for their personal and professional growth. It requires a lot of sacrifice as well as commitment. The six months course covered topics such as the habits of effective people, fundraising, marketing, strategic planning, legitimate leadership and many other topics created to broaden the awareness and capacity of its participants to be effective leaders and people.
“I don’t see the course as a skills development course, but as a course where people can share information with one another and ask questions they would otherwise feel stupid to ask. Through the sessions I had with the participants, I was able to share philosophies that are dear to me of practising legitimate leadership and to care for and grow people” said Leonie.
The challenging course was undertaken by participants in different professional levels of the organisation and to conclude the program the participants were tasked with various assignments. The participants applied topics covered in the course to document the current strategy, come up with new Communications Strategy and an organisational strategy for 2018. This exercise meant that those not normally involved in strategic decision making got the opportunity to influence strategy and champion it going forward.
Afrika Tikkun is especially proud of graduate, 38-year-old Phumzile Mathonsi, a gardener from Uthando Centre. This mother of six joined Afrika Tikkun in 2012 as a beneficiary of the social services department. As a way of thanking Afrika Tikkun for the support she received, she began to volunteer in the garden. The passionate gardener took a computer course while volunteering. Her ambition and determination eventually led to full-time employment for Phumzile as a gardener. When this leadership course was made available, she grasped the opportunity like a ripe fruit.