in pursuit of purpose

The last time I had this feeling was 7 years ago in 2012. I felt joy, hope, happiness, freedom name it all when I won an award on “role of  youth in building a more democratic Kenya” organized by UNDP, amkeni wakenya and Youth Agenda. I didn’t have anyone to guide and mentor me on my passion, ELF was not there, rather, I didn’t know it existed, but deep in me I knew I had this big drive of participating, contributing and transforming our society in matters of democracy and good governance.

I followed another route which was more of computer based, profit making and money oriented but I still felt am human centered and I needed to go back. It has been a hustle, going back to school and mastering in courses of projects, participating in forums and fellowships, trying to quite but I had no courage until I met ELF 3 months ago.

So, I quit my job. Not today, 1 month ago, Friday 8/11/2019 was my last day.

My 8 -5 job that was making me good money, and with a good employer, yeah I quit it.

Why?

Because passion, conviction and self-awareness is taking action when you can’t see the whole staircase and all you can see is the next step.

For me, the next step was just to leave that office and start working on my dream job. To be a social entrepreneur and participate, work and surround myself in matters of democracy and good governance. To build my own empire, brand and bring transformational leadership to my land. To follow my dreams. To fail at my own thing. To start over. To succeed against all odds.

The training on self-awareness, leadership, good governance and Pan-Africanism, has contributed a lot to the above decision. Your (ELF) approach is so unique from others, it’s beyond skill or practical based and more of pure self-awareness of the potential we have, opportunity which are there and the direction to follow to achieve your born purpose and passion.

Elf cohort 8 gave me a platform to vie for a president though I ended up being male representative. It gave me a chance to lead a group of diverse ideologies, transformed group and am sure they will make an impact wherever they will go. The interaction with trainers and ELF staff was professional, awesome experience and very engaging. Community service was most unique one and successful since even after the attack by bees we were able to unite and deployed organised team work which made us save everyone and as well achieve our objective.

I may not have enough words to thank you, but just know am launching to my passion. As I step out, I may not talk about my future because it may not be very clear, but one day, I will speak about my present which will be my past while in future. Am forever ELF cohort 8 alumnus.

THANK YOU

 

Daniel Gitau

ELF cohort 8 male rep

Ongoza campaign

Leadership is pegged on the ability to influence individuals, families, organizations, communities and even nations. Everything, we believe, rises and falls on leadership. That is why at ELF we are obsessed with adding tools to the toolbox of young emerging leaders to prepare them for sustainable development of their societies.

Since 2012 to date, we have passionately been churning out values-based leaders across the country, deploying them in their spheres of influence to cause impact.

We are looking to raise 105 million during the Ongoza campaign to enable us scale up our program and shape the future of Kenya.

Milestones: 

In our 7 years of existence, 461 young people have directly been trained and mentored, but here is our key milestone; 108 initiatives have been started across the country. These include; businesses, CBO’s, NGO’s, community empowerment projects, pressure groups etc., which have led to societal transformation, job creation and sustainable livelihoods for hundreds of young people.

Our purpose is to build agency within every youth who comes into our program, to capacitate them to look at their environment and become solution providers; It is worth noting that 98% of our alumni are currently employed, running their own initiatives or involved in volunteerism.

42% of the average 65% alumni who join the program while not involved in anything, have started their own businesses and initiatives. 34% have been employed while another 21% are currently volunteering in different organizations.

Our Case: 

Kenya is very youthful country. The median age is 19 years, and about 80% of the population is below 35 years. To a large extent, this youthful population will determine the shape of the country’s future.

According to a survey by the Aga Khan University; 50% of the youth believe it doesn’t matter how one makes money as long as one does not end up in jail. 47% admire those who make money through hook and crook, 30% believe corruption is profitable, 73% fear to stand up for what is right for fear of retribution, while 35% of the youth would readily take or give a bribe.

That is the bad news, but here is the good news; in our 7 years of existence, and 461 directly trained, we have reached 8,000 youths. Each of our fellows is assigned a mentor who walks with them in their journey of leadership. 84% of our alumni have organized or participated in community service initiatives, taking responsibility of their communities. 61% of our alumni who joined the program while employed, took up new leadership roles during or after the program. Our program has the potential of scalability, as 78% of our alumni are currently mentoring at least 5 other young people. And of those who go through the program, 98% recommend others to join the program.

Building the Future: 

We foresee a future where young people everywhere take charge of their society, starting their own initiatives, being responsible and sustainably responding to the challenges around them. We see youth taking over leadership and leading with values, young people who can be trusted to keep their promise, who approach leadership as a service to the people, young people who embrace team work, are proud of their African identity and believe that only the best is good enough for Africa. In short, we dream of dignified societies with values-based leaders.

How:

Our model is based on the theory that an individual is best fit to drive social change in their community only after self-discovery, which in turn enables them to connect with others for impact.

Discover: – to lead others, you must first discover and master yourself. We guide participants through sessions of self-awareness.; life mapping and story telling where they get to share narratives from their personal life journeys. This process enables the young leaders to know their purpose in life.

Connect: – establishing a connection with people is the first step to having influence in many communities. We impart our young leaders with communication, debating and personal branding skills for a good first impression. We also help the leaders to connect to fellow leaders, creating a critical mass of change makers.

Impact: – leadership is about results. We guide our mentees to develop individual and collective agency i.e. the ability to take purposeful initiative, each of them becomes a solution in their societies.

We have tested the above theory for the last 7 years and seen it work, as shown in the data previously shared. We believe that with enough resources, we will scale up our program to all the 8 regions of Kenya and reach 7500 youths in 2020. In 10 years, we should have impacted 1,000,000 youths, in the process we will effectively shape the future of Kenya with young people who are rooted in values and are responsible enough to start their own initiatives.

We are asking for 105 million to scale up our program to the 8 regions of Kenya, where we will recruit 200 young emerging leaders and train them in two cohorts of 100.

Why ELF?

So far, we have received credible commendations, mentions and rewards from the following;

  • In July of 2018, President Barrack Obama mentioned the work of ELF to the whole world. Stating that we are part of Africa’s new stories, dutifully taking part in the work of ending poverty and promoting human dignity.
  • We also received the Diversity and Inclusion Award for “Youth in Leadership”, commending our work in ensuring that young people are equipped for leadership and dedicating ourselves to fostering the inclusion of young people in all spaces in society.
  • Recently, the Voice Achievers Award awarded us with, OUTSTANDING AFRICAN IMPACT AWARD WINNER OF THE YEAR 2019, for “your tremendous contribution to impacting the lives of young people in Kenya by providing them with adequate trainings and skills to become future leaders of today and tomorrow. You have excelled in your various engagements within the country which includes promoting human capacity, engaging in business enterprise and charity works thereby giving positive representation of Kenya to the rest of the world.”
  • During a recent expo by My Leader Kenya dubbed “Vijana na Biashara” we merged winner in the category of organizations that are empowering lives of the youth.

How can you take part in the Ongoza Campaign? 

You can make this possible by:

  1. Attending the gala dinner (Register Here)
  2. Or picking any of our sponsorship packages (Sponsorship package) .

Act now to secure the future;