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Building Together a Sustainable Tomorrow – Habitat for Humanity Leadership Conference 2010

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A group photograph taken at the Leadership Conference.

Pretoria, 6 November 2010. The AME Leadership Conference was held at the St George Hotel and Conference Centre in Pretoria, South Africa from 1 – 6 November 2010. The Conference theme was “Building Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

National directors, area office staff and delegates from HQ attended the event. There were a total of 57 people in attendance. The region was excited to welcome the Chairman of the Board, Ken Klein to the conference this year. Ken brought us greetings from the International Board and noted how the passion for the mission of Habitat was alive at the conference and could be seen in the footprint of Jonathon Reckford and our organizational leaders around the world.

The purpose of the conference was to celebrate the organizational achievements of the past year, while taking time to reflect on the collective experience in the region to enable the organization to build together for a sustainable tomorrow. The four-day program aimed to encourage the exploration of the conference theme, share knowledge and generate new ideas as the organization moves forward with its Strategic Plan. Delegates also attended the South African session of the two-day Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This summit provided an opportunity for delegates to be spiritually uplifted, motivated and inspired.

The theme for the conference “Building Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow” was chosen based on input from area office staff and national directors throughout the region. The first part of the phrase “Building Together” reflected how we were bringing the leadership team in the area together for a time of team building. We wanted to build relationships, understanding, skills and knowledge. The second part of the theme “Sustainable Tomorrow” began with the question: “As a NGO how do we build a sustainable future?” We discussed sustainability from different perspectives, namely financial, ecological, organizational, social and operational sustainability. We also looked at sustainability from the perspective of the families that we serve

The program included sessions on:
• Building Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow - Reflections and Way forward for AME
• Financial Management – Best Practices
• Subsidy and Sustainability
• 8 poster presentations from national directors and area office staff detailing case studies of transformation, scale and innovative programs in the region
• Parallel sessions on interviewing skills, donor protocols and building effective governance
• Strategic discussions on two core programs in the region housing microfinance and orphaned and vulnerable children
• A leadership development session was facilitated by Alinda Nortje from Free to Grow
• Feedback from the Finance Conference that took place earlier in the year
• Grants Management
• Mission Alignment
• Regional meetings
• Devotion sessions, welcome dinner and award presentations
• Team quiz on Habitat trivia, shopping, ten pin bowling, volleyball and basketball
• Global Leadership Summit

In lively and interactive sessions, leaders shared innovative ideas and success stories on, organizational transformation, financial literacy, urban development, creating new partnerships and redefining the traditional Habitat program to address some of the most pressing issues in Africa and the Middle East – using microfinance loans for creative housing solutions and partnering with community-based organizations to provide support for a burgeoning population of orphans and vulnerable children.

Reflections on the Conference:

• Participants felt that it was well organized and provided a time for rest, reflection and building a stronger team of leaders within the region.
• The conference was interactive addressing the theme in many different ways
• The practical sessions allowed for sharing of knowledge and experience.
• The variety in presentation style and method of delivery kept the participants engaged and interacting with each other.
• It furthered the strategic goal of developing our leaders to enable them to serve more families and implement the strategic plan.