Global Leaders Share successes and challenges
Eighty-seven delegates representing 72 countries began arriving in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sept. 9, 2001, for the Global Leadership Conference. The GLC delegates came together to learn and share with one another, as well as to participate in the celebration of Habitat for Humanity's 25th anniversary.
Prior to their arrival in Indianapolis, most delegates took advantage of the opportunity to visit with affiliates around the United States. During these affiliate visits, the delegates exchanged ideas about resource development, house sponsorships, volunteer management and more; they also engaged their host affiliates in intercultural dialogues about Habitat for Humanity's global work.
During the conference, delegates attended structured sessions about topics including awareness raising and resource development; cost recovery; governance; and leadership. Open forums set the stage for delegates to explore programs and initiatives in other parts of the world. Panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions allowed delegates to address suggestions and concerns with members of Habitat for Humanity's senior leadership team and board of directors, as well as with one another. Delegates networked and built relationships during lunches, dinners and receptions.
At the conclusion of the GLC, delegates moved into meetings with their respective area offices for the Area Leadership Conferences. Each evening, delegates took part in the events surrounding the 25th anniversary.
Despite the terrorist attacks on the United States that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001in the midst of the conferencethe GLC continued, as did the many events planned for Habitat for Humanity's 25th anniversary. Habitat for Humanity's leaders determined that the evil acts of a few people should not outweigh the joy, hope and love Habitat for Humanity had brought to families throughout the world during its first 25 years.
Of the decision to continue with the events, Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity's president and founder, said, Habitat people are people who care. We draw strength from our God and from one another at a time like this when there is so much sadness in our land.
GLC delegates drew strength from one another and derived value from the conference regardless of the turmoil surrounding Sept. 11. And despite the differences revealed among Habitat for Humanity's programs around the world, there was a strong sense of unity. As Koome Kiragu, GLC delegate from Kenya, eloquently described it: Everything is differenteverything but the spirit!
'Habitat Academy' Develops Leaders
Habitat for Humanity's Africa and the Middle East area developed Habitat Academy in 1999 to develop partners ready to take on leadership roles in their areas of responsibility throughout the organization. Since its formation, Habitat Academy has grown to provide courses in finance, public relations, construction, management, governance and other topics to more than 200 staff members and volunteers in Africa. Sixteen courses are planned for the coming fiscal year.
By stimulating personal and professional growth, Habitat Academy seeks to help partners master skills and lead others to achieve Habitat for Humanity's goals. Habitat for Humanity University, a program currently under development at Habitat for Humanity International, will enhance the leadership abilities of Habitat partners worldwide.