Happy New Year, YALI Network!

Happy New Year, YALI Network!

The beginning of a new year is a time of great promise. It is an opportunity to consider who we want to be in the year ahead, and what kind of mark we want to leave on the world. Recently, over email and Facebook, we have been engaged in a conversation about the future of the YALI Network. As Macon Phillips noted, the future of the Network is what each of you — working individually and together — makes of it. At this time of renewal, we hope each of you will reflect on what the YALI Network means to YOU, and think about how YOU will leave your mark.

Here are some of the comments you shared about how you are making a difference and drawing inspiration from the YALI Network!

[I] have hosted not less than 5 seminars to enlighten my community not just about YALI but what YALI encourages them to do to make their environment a better place!

— Jude Dahilo Isaac, Nigeria

I started an international campaign on climate change because of the courses I got through YALI… We hope to have message to reach in every country in Africa on mitigating climate change in the world.

— Author Olden Hamabibi, Zambia

I have greatly benefited from the information on the social media which has inspired me to join politics in my County just to participate in changing the way things are done.

— Augustine Mwera, Kenya

I see a network that will be proactive in solving the problems that Africa and her relationship to the world faces.  A network that will stand the test of time and grow from strength to strength.  One that will take the responsibility to make the world a better place and better another person’s life.  What equips me is to research and seek to understand the problems that my people face … because only through empathy can I come up with solutions that can make an actual impact.

— Anne Wangari Mwangi, Kenya

Man kneeling and women standing around him outside of restaurant (U.S. Embassy Abuja)

We will define and reshape Africa. We will sing our own praises and not let whatever circumstances define what we can or cannot be.  The future and change Africa seeks is engrained in the DNA of network members.  I see hope, I believe!

— Akinte Raphael Abiodun, Benin

YALI is a family and YALI is a movement that embodies changemaking and social entrepreneurship.  I am YALI.  I am Change.

— Chi Mezie, Nigeria

From the networks, education, experience, exposure and the online resources acquired from the YALI Network has equipped me with priceless knowledge that I will use to better the lives of those around me and the world.  My vision and purpose is to empower, inspire and develop leaders one youth, one woman and one community at a time.

— Amani Katana, Nigeria

Education is the only equalizer between the poor and the rich.  I stand with girls by promoting girl child right to education through my own initiative called Liberty scholarships…  My goal is to reach as many as 10,000 girl in the next 5-7 years.

— Liberty Kandulu, Malawi

YALI Network members gathered for a group photo following a Town Hall meeting with Macon (U.S. Embassy Nairobi)

2017 is going to be an exciting year. There will be more new courses, new resources, and exciting initiatives to help you in your communities. Ultimately, though, the success of the YALI Network is dependent on what each of you chooses to do with your knowledge, opportunity, and passion, and we can’t wait to see the difference you will make in the new year! What will your pledge be to help your community in 2017?

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YALI In Action