Inspiring tomorrow’s leaders

Pearn Kandola helped design and deliver an international summit for young people with leadership potential. The result? Young people bringing about tangible change in disadvantaged communities around the world.

In 2011, we worked with UK charity Mosaic to create an international summit to help young people develop their leadership potential and contribute to their communities.

Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007, Mosaic inspires young people from deprived backgrounds to raise their aspirations and fulfil their potential.

One of the charity’s key initiatives is its year-long International Leadership Programme. Young people from a wide range of fields and circumstances are invited to do the programme because they show leadership potential and a desire to make a difference. Each programme starts with an international summit to bring them together to share ideas and receive some training.

The 2011 International Summit
In 2011, the 10-day summit took place in Doha, Qatar and was attended by 77 people from 16 countries. It included sessions on leadership skills and global issues such as poverty and sustainability, as well as visits to local projects showing leadership in action.

Pearn Kandola was very involved and Binna Kandola and Stuart Duff developed and held sessions on topics including what makes a leader; structured approaches for developing skills and coaching others; and guidance on preparing a personal action plan.

The sessions were hands-on and energetic with the delegates raising lots of fresh ideas, informed by their varied cultural backgrounds.

Real results
The value of a project like this lies in sustainability. It doesn’t matter how good a development programme is if, ultimately, it doesn’t inspire people to take positive steps forward. Therefore, in order to gauge the success of the event, we commissioned follow-up research in 2012.

Fourteen delegates were interviewed to find out what action they had taken in light of the summit. The results surpassed our expectations; of the 14 delegates spoken to, ten (71%) had already taken positive, decisive action in their communities to bring about change – and more plans were in the pipeline.

Specific examples included:

  • One delegate had become president of an organisation in Pakistan that educates young women about leadership skills. She is also starting an initiative called ‘Adopt a Girl’s Education’ in which she encourages well-off families to support girls through school.
  • An attendee from Afghanistan had developed a project to help nearly 100 people who have the skills but not the funds to start their own businesses.
  • A West Sumatran lecturer had started giving lessons to disadvantaged local children. He had also started a project to host a street performance to foster entrepreneurial spirit and teach students how to organise an event and raise money.
  • Another delegate had set up a fund for 10 children to support them through primary school, helping them to avoid becoming involved in child labour.
  • A delegate from Pakistan is holding extra-curricular lectures at two universities on topics including life skills, management and communication. Two of his students were so inspired they are now raising funds and sending supplies to the struggling village they are from.
  • Another delegate from Afghanistan had returned to his village and raised funds to build a road, linking the village to the main road.

Feedback from delegates included the following:

  • “I used to have a fear that the government would not be cooperative, but when I went to Doha I learned that I had to give it a try … Professor Kandola and others have helped me to realise that I have to be practical and do something, instead of just thinking something or being afraid.” Delegate, Afghanistan
  • “I had always wants to do this type of voluntary work … but before going to Doha I never had the courage.” Delegate, Pakistan
  • “It was always about trying to gain the higher position and the higher income. Before, that was all I cared about. My eyes are open now and I can do much more than gaining millions.” Delegate, Algeria
  • “The Doha summit helped me to understand that I do have a responsibility to my community … My goal now is to make a difference in the society.” Delegate, Oman
  • “I want to be a catalyst for positive change amongst the youth in my country, just like Binna and Stuart … I want to continue the ripple effect and so someone I help will help someone else and so everyone becomes an ambassador of Mosaic indirectly.” Delegate, UAE
  • “I remember a delegate from Bangladesh. He had started a school from a small classroom, giving a chance for poor children to study. What he did really inspired me to do the same.” Delegate, Indonesia

These examples show that the international summit achieved what it set out to do: empowering young people to create sustainable changes that will benefit not only them but also their wider communities.

Making a difference
At Pearn Kandola, we take our social responsibility seriously. We have worked with Mosaic on a range of projects, including the 2010 International Summit and the Mosaic Stars initiative.

All of the work we do with Mosaic is carried out on a voluntary basis, and we relish the opportunity it gives us to use our professional expertise to really make a difference to young people and their communities.

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