It seems like everywhere we look in our world today, we’re reminded of tragedy and crisis: the missing Malaysian Airline jet; the mudslide in Washington; turmoil in the Ukraine; our national debt; you name it.
Last week, part of our team at Growing Leaders traveled to Egypt—another region that’s recently experienced turmoil—to meet with key educational leaders and to train 450 youth leaders with our Growing Leaders partner, Nader Sameh. Before leaving, several people asked us if we felt it was safe enough to go. After all, Cairo has been a hotbed of demonstrations, violence, fires and deaths. On the news, it appears to be in utter chaos.
May I share some good news with you?
On Day One, we met with executive staff in the Ministry of Education. These men and women are decision-makers who are attempting to bring about positive change in schools across Egypt. Maged Fawzy, our friend at WellSpring, set up the meeting to talk about our Habitudes® curriculum, and how teaching with images, conversations and experiences has made a positive impact on students. Not only were the educational leaders open, they were excited about the possibilities of hosting a pilot program, using Habitudes in Arabic, and practicing experiential learning in their schools. They recognized the need to teach leadership, character and soft skills in their classrooms, to enable students to be career ready and to forge a new future in their great country. The meeting could not have been more positive!
Next, we participated in a three-day conference, training 450 key youth workers from all over Egypt and the Middle East. These were young leaders themselves, but each led a group, class or department of students. They were extremely receptive, savvy to the needs of the hour and yearning to bring out change in their country. Our forum covered how healthy, values-based leaders have changed history. The attendees recognized they’re at a pivotal time in their nation’s history and must prepare youth to lead differently than their elders. Our Habitudes have been translated into the Arabic language, so we sent the leaders home with a plan to use them as they mentor students and equip them to be young leaders.
With all due respect to major news networks, this is the kind of news we just don’t hear on television…and I thought you’d be encouraged to know. The people I’ve just described are different. They are leaders who…
- Instead of sitting on the sidelines critiquing their problems, get up and act.
- Stop groaning about what little one person can do…and instead find out.
- Refuse to see themselves as adversaries of outside groups and work together.
Be encouraged, and be the change you want to see in your world!
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