Leadership Consultative Workshop, Kigali Rwanda

Narrative Report On Leadership Consultative Workshop; Kigali-Rwanda
17th -19th July 2018.
Project period : 2015 to 2018
Reporting period: Feb to Sep 2018
Date of report: 7th September 2018
Author: Maxwell Ray Omondi

Project Funded by: The United Church of Canada

Introduction

The training involved 34 youth leaders from SCM MESSORWA and RAJEPRA. The objective was to encourage and enhance the capacity of the National Student Christian Leadership in colleges and universities by focusing on the increasing need to build Capacity of SCM leaders and their members in order to provide sound leadership that is founded on Christian principles which includes but is not limited to love of God and neighbor, trustworthy, faithfulness, and commitment to God’s mission.

The training examined various topics relevant to the national leaders including; Scriptural conceptualization of leadership, Unity and Reconciliation, Social Transformation, Gender Equality, Poverty and Unemployment, Role of the youths in peacebuilding and Movement building.

Bible Reflection by Bishop Samuel Kiyanamura
Reading; Exodus 33:12-18
The theme of the training was “Break out of your shell”.


Opening remarks were done by Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, he mentioned that as leaders we have to pray and ask God to show us his plans.

Exodus 33, 12-14: Moses said to the LORD, “Look, You have been telling me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have found favor in my sight. Now if indeed I have found favor in your sight, please let me know your ways, that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Remember that this nation is your people.” And the LORD answered, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”…

God had seen the potential in Moses' leadership, and promised that His favor would rest upon him. This gave Moses the ascertainment that God was with him and would go with him. God revealed Himself through the various signs. God used the strength that lied within Moses. This therefore indicates that God uses what we have to bring his redemption and establish his plan. The Bishop further urged the participants to depend solely on God, dwell upon His presence for guidance, counsel and blessings. Moses was defined with humility. Humility increases teach-ability, hence it is important to incorporate humility in every aspect of leadership.
The bishop concluded by reflecting on Joyce Meyer’s quote; 'Gifts are given but Character is to be developed.' This encourages everyone at all levels of leadership to develop and embrace good character that leads to good leadership.

SESSIONS

The training had numerous sessions and steamrolled as planned. Facilitators were well prepared and students were ready to learn. This led to a participatory and interactive workshop.

The training lasted for 3 days and 6 topics were covered.

 

 

Topic 1: Poverty and Unemployment
Facilitator:  Niyonsenga Theodomir, MP- Rwanda
Vice Chairperson WSCF- Africa Region

 

Poverty alleviation is the church’s responsibility and the fight to end poverty starts within the community.  When we do what God has created us to do, we help others: Serve the church. Work hard at the work place. Love our family, friends, and neighbors well. Jeremiah 29:14 'for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'

2 Timothy 2:15 'Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.'

Unemployment and poverty are the two major challenges that are facing the world economy at present. Theodomir pointed out that as youth and future church leaders we have to fight it through:

1. Self-awareness and self confidence  
Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands his/her own character, feelings, motives, and desires. There are two broad categories of self-awareness: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness. Having self-awareness means that one has a sharp realization of their own personality, including their strengths and weaknesses, their thoughts and beliefs, emotions, and motivations. If one has self-awareness, it is easier for them to understand other people and detect how they perceive.

2.  Management skills and effective communication
Management skills overlap with leadership skills, as both involve problem-solving, decision-making, planning, delegation, communication, and time management. Good managers are often good leaders. And yet the two roles are distinct. In general, management is about organization. He outlined various key points packaged with good management.

Set the context-the role of a manager is to create a shared vision for the entire team. Make sure employees understand the big picture and how they fit in.

Listen- To make communication effective, one needs to learn what’s working well, what’s not, and most importantly, how things can be better.

Use calls-to-action- Clearly communicate the actions that should be taken. Be specific and give examples. Without a call-to-action, your message is just information.

3. Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship, a key driver of economic empowerment which the government is encouraging and targets the country’s youth; the group hit worst by unemployment. Government commitment in empowering its people financially and economically has immensely improved livelihoods in Rwanda.

 Theodomir who is a member of parliament, explained the participants about the BDF Business Development Fund; which is a program set aside by the Rwandese Government to enable the youths to develop and establish themselves. Through this annual financial year the government has set aside approximately 10 Billion Rwf which is equivalent to USD 1,137,986.71. He also explained on how the youth can access the funds and develop themselves.

 

Topic 2: Unity and Reconciliation, Social transformation
Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Samuel Rugambage

 

1 Timothy 4:12, ESV: 'Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.'
Rev Rugambage used this verse to show students that even though they might be young, they have to be a good example.  He took the students through the history and consequences of bad leadership that led to the worst Genocide against the Tutsi in the history of the country in 1994.

The Genocide led to;

  1. Mass killing leading to mass deaths
  2. Increased number of orphans and widows
  3. A big number of AIDS victims
  4. Destruction of infrastructure
  5. Poverty
  6. Trauma and mental problems among many others

 He led the participants to a discussion on the effects of the genocide and drawn the conclusion;“we must build the Rwanda we want”.This is through;

  1. Avoiding division teachings by malicious leaders.
  2. Building on unity and the capacity of the young people who will make up the population in future.
  3. Adapting good leadership values, principles and mechanisms.
  4. Upholding on patriotism.
  5. As young Christians it is important to uphold on the word of God; Mathew 5:16 '…in the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.'

 

Topic 3: Gender Equality and Leadership
Facilitator:  Rev Kandema Julie

 

Rev Kandema used a participatory method.

Participants actively participated because they had different understanding on different terminologies used when speaking about gender equity and equality.
She explained various steps taken by the Rwandan to improve the lives of the women. Rwanda is among the few nations in Africa which has high number presentation of the women in the parliament.

She encouraged the female participants to believe in themselves; break out of their shell and start practicing good leadership. She encouraged ladies to vote and vote for fellow able ladies as well as participate fully in the matters of governance that requires public participation.
She encouraged participants have to learn their rights, rules and regulations; and obey them. She also emboldened the male participants to respect the female counter parts to avoid gender based violence and promote harmony.

 

Topic 4: Biblical concept of Leadership in the contemporary society
Facilitator: Rev Pierre Claver Bisanze

Leadership and management


Some people define leadership as the art of painting a vision, creating a path, gathering the resources, guiding people to new places, and creating growth in the individuals and organization. A LEADER is a person who bring people to attend a fixed purpose (3p).

Management is defined as a system established to ensure a smooth Administration of a given organization; the church in this case. It is defined after the responsibilities of Managers: “planning, budgeting, giving accepted values and principles, decision making, and use of material resources”

In the Bible there are many references about management. The most famous one is Genesis 1:26-30; in the beginning God gave to man dominion over all the earth. This delegated authority and accountability associated with it formed a stewardship. He explained different modes of leadership portrayed in the bible which cut across good and bad leadership.

Leadership in Old Testament


Good model
Moses: Shared Leadership (Exodus 18: 13-23)
Nehemiah: Holistic leadership with 3h: Head, Heart and Hand.
Lordship, Kingship (good and bad kings)

Bad model
King Rehoboam 1Ro 12:1-15
Contrast between youth and old men
Though the Old Testament the consequences of bad advice lead to division and rebellion against God.

Leadership in New Testament

Jesus style:  Servant leadership (Luke 22: 24-27; John13: 3-5, John 13; 12-17)

In John 13: 12-17: When He washed His disciples’ feet and this included Judas Iscariot whom was due to betray Him, but still treated Him with all fairness and kindness.

He motivated student to be like Paul, with a goal minded leadership. The final Goal of Paul was heaven (I press towards the goal). He wrote his letters from the prison: “for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Ph 3:14)  

Goal-minded leaders make things happen. They inspire the people to give the best of their ability. They awaken the sleeping talents of individuals. They live according the word of God. The Bible is the foundation church oriented goals.

The Effective biblical leadership be as follows:

  1. Make sure that the leadership style is adapted to the current context.
  2. Integrity and Transparency
  3. Build strong and united teams (Employees, Administrative staff, senior management team).
  4. Put a particular emphasis on the effective communication
  5. Shared Leadership Exodus 18:13-23
  6. Holistic leadership: Head, Heart & Hand portrayed by Nehemiah.
  7. Leadership adapted to Jesus model and teaching: “service”: Serve God and His people (Luke 22: 24-27; John13: 3-5, John 13; 12-17)
  8. Biblical leader must influence the contemporary society.

 

Topic 5: The role of youth in peace building
Facilitator: Rev Samuel Mutabazi

 

The session commenced with different definitions illustrated by the participants in their own understanding of peace.

  1. Being happy
  2. The absence of civil war
  3. When people have food to eat
  4. The state of mind where people are not disturbed by anything
  5. Having Good relationship with God.

Where there is no peace, there is no bread. Meaning in situations of different conflicts it may result in poverty and hunger.  This happens to be one of the greatest challenge Rwanda is facing up to date since the greatest conflict of all times in 1994.

He mentioned that participants as they are young, they are called to be peacemakers and keepers wherever they are.

Rwanda has a youth representation of more than 50%, this should not be seen as a challenge, because youth is the strength of a nation. Youth play a big role in the development and growth of a country.

He then, raised concerns of community based conflicts in which the youths should be involved as peace makers and not perpetrators. Participants were encouraged to seek peace among their different communities and be ambassadors of the good message of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

He concluded by depicting that the youth have a big role to play in conflict resolution and that can only be achieved by bearing the tag of good leadership in their names.

 

Topic 6: Movement Building
Facilitator: Retired Bishop Augustin Mvunabandi,
The Founder of Messorwa and co-founder of Rajepra.

 

He shared with participants the history of the church in general, starting from the birth of Protestantism. He shared with participants why Luther created Protestantism and together discussed on how to be good leaders in churches we belong to.

He mentioned that both movement were founded by group of students in secondary schools and University with a purpose of not only saying that they are Christians but also to do some good work for them and the whole community they belong to.

This session was engaging and participants outlined different ways in which they can be involved promoting the wellbeing of the society. The students recommended the following as a way of maintaining the sustainability of the program.

  1. Trained students and SCM leaders to train other members
  2. To organize small trainings in as many Schools possible
  3. SCM leaders to organize meetings with senior friends and discuss the future of SCMs

Conclusion

The three day training workshop covered quite a number of topics. The participants were exposed to various dimensions of leadership within this period. The facilitators having different professional background brought with them important opportunities and platforms that would enable the student leaders to become better at all levels of their daily operations.
These cut across; political, social, economic and spiritual. This echoed the words of Martin Luther King,“if a man called to be street sweep, he should sweep the streets as Michelangelo, or Beethoven composed music or as Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth pause to say, here lived a great sweeper who did his job well.” Thus encouraging the participants to utilize their talents and do everything as though they were doing it for the Lord, with honesty and integrity tucked in their belts

Acknowledgement from the SCMs
 “We acknowledge WSCF Africa for having organized such training, it was for sure a good occasion for SCM leaders and students to seat together and learn. It was an opportunity to learn about the history of the 2 movements and discuss together how we are going to build them, to have one of the strongest SCMs. We acknowledge WSCF Africa region for having chosen Rwanda SCM for this training. We acknowledge all facilitators for taking their time and share knowledge with participants. Without participants this training wouldn’t have been possible, we are indeed grateful and blessed.”  



Participants photo with Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, Rev. Pierre Claver, Rev. Samuel Mutabazi and Interim Program Director.
Participants photo with Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, Rev. Pierre Claver, Rev. Samuel Mutabazi and Interim Program Director.

 

Poverty and Unemployment session by Hon. NYONSENGA Theodomir, PM.
Poverty and Unemployment session by Hon. NYONSENGA Theodomir, PM.



WSCF – Africa Regional Office
AACC – Ibiam House, 4th Floor, Waiyaki Way – Westlands
Website : www.wscf-africa.org