25 November 2018
Young adults in Kampala, Uganda, are the first United Religions Initiative (URI) group globally to participate in the Launching Leaders course. Sponsored by URI Cooperation Circles (URI member groups), the course teaches personal development and leadership principles, coupled with individual faith or belief. As Cooperation Circle members of various faith traditions work together developing plans for their lives, interfaith cooperation, understanding, and empowerment are natural products.
“Launching leaders will help the participants as they listen to and learn from each other through sharing purposeful life experiences during the group sessions,” said Kizito Nganda, the local URI facilitator in Kampala. “I believe the mentorship part of the course will inspire and encourage participants to do more with their lives.”
The interfaith Launching Leaders course, offered by Launching Leaders Worldwide, Inc., is a cornerstone of the Empowerment Plus program at Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF). RFBF, Launching Leaders and URI have formed a partnership to work together to bring the powerful course initially to young people in Africa. URI is the largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network in the world.
The Launching Leaders course has been taught in various parts of the world for multiple years. Roll-out for URI is in three URI sub-regions in Africa – Great Lakes, Western Africa, and Southern Africa. The course start-up includes identifying local facilitators, who receive training and all the materials needed to begin – online access to the course and book, a facilitator’s guide, and other support materials. The course is offered at no charge for URI Cooperation Circle members.
Participants learn both online and in-person, identifying their core values, making plans for their lives, finding and adopting mentors, and learning principles and skills that will help them lead out in their own lives and give back to others. Those who complete the full course receive a certificate from Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and Launching Leaders Worldwide Inc.
Emmanuel Ivorgba, PhD, URI’s Regional Coordinator for West Africa, recently completed the course in advance of introducing it to his region. “The Launching Leaders course is designed in such a way that anybody can benefit from taking it – whether a highly intellectual professor, someone just finishing college, or an individual with little formal education.”Ivorgba is initially introducing the Launching Leaders course to URI Cooperation Circle members in Abuja, Nigeria, this month. He then intends to roll out the course for Cooperation Circles in Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast.
Despina Namwembe, URI Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, recently introduced the course to URI’s young adult leadership team with members from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. Southern Africa Regional Coordinator, Karen Barensche, will introduce the course to Cooperation Circles in South Africa and then Malawi.
Ambassador Mussie Hailu, URI Global Envoy and Representative to the United Nations and Continental Director for URI-Africa, introduced RFBF and Launching Leaders to URI, and initiated the global partnership.
“We are anxious to improve the lives of URI Cooperation Circle participants through the Launching Leaders course, and in the process create interpersonal bonds of peace, interfaith cooperation, and understanding,” said Hailu.
For information on starting a Launching Leaders group within a URI Cooperation Circle, please contact Michael Leonard at Launching Leaders Worldwide.