Leadership means different things to different people. We have business leaders, political leaders, and even cultural leaders (often called “influencers” these days). What do all of these people have in common? They all inspire and encourage those around them to achieve their goals and set an example for others to follow.
In the U.S. and other developed countries, we have an abundance of leaders (both effective and ineffective). But in developing countries like Haiti, there is a significant absence of leadership to help the country make positive progress. For generations, corruption, a lack of access to education, years of generational poverty, and dependence on outside organizations have all contributed to the vacuum of positive leadership in Haiti. But thanks to your investment in Overture’s Social Support Model, this vacuum is being filled with effective, equipped and empowered leaders in southern Haiti.
The Overture Social Support Model is well-designed to help identify, equip and build leaders in the communities we serve. As the Model and its 5 Pillars (Education, Nutrition, Housing, Healthcare and Empowerment) are implemented in the community, our teams are on the lookout for members who exhibit qualities of leadership and have a level of respect and trust within their communities. Once identified, they’re encouraged to participate in available programs within the Education and Empowerment Pillars to help them gain the information, skills and tools necessary to become an effective leader. This includes participation in our Young Adult Empowerment Program, Leadership Development Training and working with Overture team leaders who act as mentors and role models.
While all of this sounds relatively basic to most of us, access to this type of leadership development, until now, has been nonexistent in these rural communities. Overture’s leadership training teaches leaders to strive to embrace traits from a biblical context and servant leaders – a leader who is in service to others, encouraging their development so they can achieve success. We empower everyone from the bottom up, so they have the resources and skills to make an impact on others in their home, their community, and their workplace. Instead of dictating actions, we encourage ownership of solutions and extend support so they can achieve their desired outcomes.
This generation of emerging leaders in southern Haiti that are attending our training are primarily made up of relatively younger Haitians in their 30s. These young leaders have seen both the devastation that comes from corruption, gangs and dependence on outside agencies as well as the hope and promise that comes from investing the resources and human capital in equipping and empowering community members to become self-reliant and autonomous. This is what we mean when we talk about the Haiti Promise. The promise that Overture will continue to act as an agent of change and not become a perpetuator of the dependence that is partly to blame for Haiti’s struggles and position. The promise that Haitians can develop their own leaders who will navigate their fellow countrymen to a brighter future. And the promise that this generation can be the first generation to experience the God-desired freedom of self-reliance and independence.
The bottom line, Overture is doing aid differently. Whether it be moving from orphanage to family reunification and strengthening or changing the leadership paradigm to equip Haitians to guide and govern themselves. Those who invest in us are making it possible to be a catalyst for change today, tomorrow and for generations to come.