Contributed by Kahuhu Alphons Koruhama, Mandela Washington Fellow 2016, Namibia
If you want to change something, you have to become engaged, says Alphons Koruhama, the founder of Possibility Thinkers. Koruhama says we are faced with a leadership dilemma in our society today due to the huge gap between the youth and the elders, as well as a huge inequality in gender leadership. The youth continue to suffer as they are confronted by great social ills such as poverty, high levels of unemployment and inequality. According to the 2013 Namibia Labour Force Survey, 41 percent of the youth in Namibia are unemployed; the report also highlights the unemployment rate for females, which is higher, at a rate of 33.1 percent, than that of males, which is 25.8 percent.
Seeing this disparity inspired him to create Possibility Thinkers, which runs a program called Women in Computer Science. The program trains and mentors young women with information and communication technology (ICT) skills in an effort to close the gender gap. Their mission is to work with out-of-school youth to create a just and sustainable world by training students on how to use their knowledge and translate it into a workable vision, from which students can adopt an actionable growth strategy to attain their goals.
Students in the program use cutting-edge technology to build their coding skills and develop scalable and appropriate technological solutions.
The Possibility Thinkers program empowers youth through training that encourages sustained education. Because youth are looking for opportunities to further enhance their chances for employment, the program was developed to include both the technological and soft skills — like building self-esteem, goal setting, financial management, and guidance for students to discover their purpose — necessary for them to find success after they have completed the program.
“Leadership is the capacity to Influence others through Inspiration motivated by Passion generated by Vision, produced by Conviction, ignited by Purpose.” — Dr. Myles Munroe
The mentorship program focuses on getting youth to challenge the status quo by becoming responsible citizens and taking action rather than waiting for someone to do things for them. Koruhama emphasizes that the training helps students face challenges and become leaders. He also encourages young people to focus on their goals, saying, “You can’t influence where you can’t reach, so you must get out of your comfort zone and engage in youth empowerment.”
The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government. YALI Voices is a series of podcasts, videos and blogs contributed by members of the YALI Network.