In the winter of 2010-2011 (one year after the earthquake), Meike began teaching leadership courses which doubled as advanced English courses and social action/peer support groups. With a very enthusiastic and curious cohort of about 10 young Haitian students, they read Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Mahatma Gandhi, Mary Oliver, Dr. Ben Carson, and many others’ writings. We had lively discussions around culture, the role of young people, faith, and other core values and challenges.
They also shared ideas among the group of how each one already was or could be a leader in their own lives and communities. Then, they supported each other and had check-ins on how that was going during the course of the session.
As a culmination of the first session, we crafted the Leadership Guide included here. All of the young people who contributed to it are very proud of it and we will continue to revisit it, revise it, and strive to live by it!
Under the leadership of John Colas, who has continued coordinating the leadership group, the effort has grown into the Impact Youth Association. The Impact Youth Association works on character building, finding financial investment for its members’ projects, and sometimes entertainment as a means to developing leadership skills.
This Fall 2012, we will begin a new leadership session around courage and entrepreneurship.