The decision to take part in the programme strengthened my position on what is possible if we embrace authentic leadership and authentic values. It further raised my confidence, and helped me believe more than ever that I was on track and equipped to lead my team of volunteers in the work of promoting values that enhanced personal resourcefulness, which in extension, positively impacts on the communities we live.
My name is Ndueso Young ; a senior at the University of Lagos, studying for the award of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. I am a dynamic social entrepreneur who has been working with teen girls for 8 years and young women for 4 years, having founded TeenGirls Development Foundation. I connect teen girls and young women to the exemplary model of chastity, personal development, self-leadership and aspiration for lofty heights through chastity campaigns, pro education summits, leadership conferences, and free copies of my books, Staying Chaste for Teenage Girls and More Than Just a Girl.
Raised in a hostile city by my parents, I saw very young people live life recklessly and without caution. I saw girls drop out of school due to teenage pregnancy. I saw mothers care less about the choices their daughters made. I saw brothers bridge their sisters to men who wanted them for demeaning reasons. And I heard about all kinds of abuse that girls were subjected to. However, something in me was never at peace with the trend I witnessed and I never stopped wondering why people could live the way they did. I decided, even before I knew anything about social work that I would, reach out to younger women with a call for chastity, personal development, self-leadership and aspiration for lofty heights.
Right after I finished high school, I formed a team of volunteers and started reaching out to teen girls. At the time, I knew little about running an organization or how to set up such a structure; a name for our team was enough and getting the job done was all I cared about. Since I knew how to organize people for a cause, I applied that knowledge, in addition to my passion, and delved into social entrepreneurship. Sadly, there were no programmes around me that I knew were geared towards practically empowering young minds to take the lead. But I was open to running such a programme, and after a year of active social entrepreneurship, I began receiving opportunities to attend value-adding programmes and trainings in relation to my work. One of such opportunities was with LEAP Africa.
In 2010, I came in contact with LifeWay Magazine, and in it was featured, among other leading women, Ndidi Nwuneli, the founder of LEAP Africa. I became interested in researching about her and her organization. Interestingly, in 2011 there was a LEAP Africa’s call for application for the Values and Leadership Skills Programme (VLSP). It was an ‘aha moment’ for me, to have come in contact with an opportunity for self-development with her organization. Without hesitation, I applied. As hoped, I was selected to take part in the programme in Enugu State, Nigeria in 2012. That intersection was timely, and my experience, revealing, insightful and empowering.
I returned to build on the work I had started with teen girls in high schools and the community I lived, integrating the values and approach I gleaned from the programme into my scheme of work with teen girls, and subsequently, young women as well. The decision to take part in the programme strengthened my position on what is possible if we embrace authentic leadership and authentic values. It further raised my confidence, and helped me believe more than ever that I was on track and equipped to lead my team of volunteers in the work of promoting values that enhanced personal resourcefulness, which in extension, positively impacts on the communities we live.
And yes, there is the sense of belonging to a community of people who are growth-centric and passionate about the erosion of practices that limit our growth as individuals and as a continent. That knowledge has a sustaining power and I am pleased to be among those who want the very best for Africa. LEAP Africa’s drive for the pursuit of worthwhile legacy is indeed contagious.
Have you attended our programmes? Do you have an inspiring story to share? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll love to hear from you!