This past August, the second Annual Leaders Gathering brought together 85 students from five local schools in Uganda’s Nakasongola district to rally around this year’s theme: Living a Life of Purpose. Selected by their schools to attend, these curious and motivated student leaders engaged in an exciting weekend of deepening their leadership skills, collaborating through community service, and peer to peer knowledge sharing.
The students were inspired by a number of influential leaders in the private sector, church, and civil society, who facilitated sessions and small groups to share core leadership skills. LeadMinds board member Rick Maguire (founder of Futurity Resources) shared about designing your life and the action steps towards creating a future you care about.
During the keynote speech, Dr. Eric Kreutter (Cornerstone Development Africa) focused on the event theme and encouraged youth to live life intentionally by using their gifts to serve.
During a panel discussion, students engaged with young entrepreneurs, who shared their stories of harnessing their skills and passion to create impactful change. The panelists included Mr.Robert Katende-whose work has been featured in a Disney movie “Queen of Katwe”, Monica Nyiraguhabwa, Executive Director & Co-Founder, GirlUp initiative, Uganda, Mr. Matthew Maguire, Edge Design and Enock Luyonza, Author, Beyond Walls. With such inspiring leaders and role models, participants gained new perspectives and tools to apply to their own leadership journeys.
One of the facilitators noted that the community work, which involved road repair in a nearby village, taught the students to “move beyond concern for community wellbeing to action,” motivating young leaders to “walk the talk.” In addition to participating in community service, the students also had time to bond over games, worship, and a final evening capped by dancing, food, and a campfire.
By the end of the gathering, students were able to explain a vision and the importance of living a life with purpose. Full of energy and motivation to practice their newly acquired leadership skills, this year’s ALG participants are beginning to live a life of purpose!