Our WYLD mission…

Our Mission:

To equip, inspire and support young leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How we do it:

The World Youth Leadership Development (WYLD) Programme is our transferable skills and leadership development training course.

The WYLD programme is an intensive activity and discussion based initial training course. Through peer-learning techniques, we aim to build transferable ‘life’ and leadership skills in problem-solving, communication, creativity, enterprise and leadership with integrity. Designed to work specifically with young people who are growing up in difficult contexts, giving young people the space to dream, the support to achieve and the tools to overcome barriers builds resilience, opportunities and, most importantly, hope for a positive future.

Transferable Skills are learnt behaviours that are necessary within many social contexts, specifically the workplace. They are often the skills that allow theory to be put into practical action. The 2012 UNESCO Education For All report defines transferable skills as including, “the ability to solve problems, communicate ideas and information effectively, be creative, show leadership and conscientiousness, and demonstrate entrepreneurial capabilities” (p.27-8). So what we mean when we say ‘transferable skills’ is:

Problem-solving skills: Intellectual skills that enable you to identify and analyse problems and find creative, realistic solutions.

Communication skills: Also called interpersonal or people skills, these allow you to positively relate to, communicate with, influence and inspire, and to express your ideas and opinions articulately to others.

Creative skills: Includes both practical hands-on or technical skills and creative, innovative thinking around possibilities, solutions and opinions.

Entrepreneurial capabilities: Aspiration and resilience – this is the skill to put creative problem-solving ideas into practice, along with good time, task and resource management and the ability to plan strategically.

Leadership skills and conscientiousness: These concern character, for example, integrity and values, reliability, diligence, decision-making ability, responsibility, and organisational skills. They also cover vision-casting and the ability to lead others.

These transferable skills go hand-in-hand with a person’s self-awareness and self-confidence, and personal values.

So, how does the WYLD Programme help develop these skills?

Well, we believe strongly in peer learning and mentoring.  In everyday life, we learn from each other: when we’re really stuck on a problem, it is normal to ask someone for help, and this is most likely to be someone we know. This is naturally an informal process, but in the WYLD Programme, we practice it a little more intentionally, because we believe that we all learn best when there is a challenge or problem to be solved, the learning is shared, the learning is related to our lives, when we are involved in ‘doing’ and when there is time to reflect. Most of all, we learn best when we are enjoying it – when we are having fun!

But what does the WYLD Programme actually involve?

Our programme involves a lot of activities, discussions, scenarios and challenges. It is run by facilitators, not teachers, and our facilitators are fully trained to support young people to own their own learning. Most importantly, all of our faciliators have done the WYLD Programme themselves!

The whole programme is generally run over a year. At the beginning there are 3-4 intensive training days, and after that, we hold monthly meetings. We also set a team challenge to design and present a social action or enterprise project for the benefit of the local community which, if presented well, will be awarded a small grant and groups then have a year to organise and begin their project. A graduation is held at the end of the year and everyone who completes the programme gets a certificate.

The programme is available at two levels; our Young Leaders are 13-18 years old, and our Leader Mentors are 18-30 years old. We believe strongly in mentoring, and so Leader Mentors are paired with a Young Leader and they spend time together throughout the year in a mentoring relationship, supported by our team. This relationship often continues long after the training has been completed.

In addition to sessions that cover the transferable skills we shared above, our programme includes a number of sessions:

• Leadership: theory and attitudes,
• Leadership Images of Serving, Stewarding and Shepherding,
• Personal Values and Group Culture,
• Being a History-Maker,
• Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building,
• Mentoring: theory and practice.

Our next training courses: 

→ Goma –  September 2021

→ Rutshuru – January 2021

→ Masisi – December 2020

→ Bweremana / Sake – currently planned for November 2021

→ Butembo – currently planned for August 2021

Application forms are made available one month before the training course begins, so if you are 13-30 years old, based in any of these locations and interested in applying, please email Sage at: mentoring@thecongotree.org.uk

If you’d like any more information on our programme; on the practicalities of how it runs, the research and theory behind what we do, or if you’d be interested in finding out about what is involved in hosting the WYLD Programme in your context, please email us at: hello@thecongotree.org.uk

All members and staff of The Congo Tree have to complete the WYLD programme, be involved in mentoring, before they get involved with social action and enterprise projects.

MENTORING

We believe the words of this African Proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together

We train our young people aged 18 years + as Leader Mentors, equipping them to walk alongside our Young Leaders (aged 13-18 years) for two main purposes: as a supportive, accompanying relationship and listening ear, and as a coach who can inspire and motivate towards goals and targets. Please click here to read more.

SOCIAL ACTION AND ENTERPRISE

We believe that all young people can be leaders, in whatever context they are in: with their families and friends, in their schools, workplaces and local community, and beyond. And we believe that good leadership involves being servant-hearted, good stewards of resources, and good role models to others. That is why we encourage all young people to get involved in creative ways to support their communities, through social action projects or by setting up new businesses. In this way, they can tell us about the needs in their communities, and be at the front of creatively designing ways to help. You can find out more about some of these projects here.

So it looks a bit like this:

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