IDEALS 2011 - Lessons in leadership from Hulda
Whilst testimonies from past and present students involved in the International Development Through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) programme consistently recognise the value of participation, how do the hosting organisations feel? This year in Namibia, one woman, Hulda Goagoses from SCORE Namibia, received weekly mentions in the student reports for her leadership, guidance and mentorship. UK Sport asked her to tell us her side of the story...
Here is Hulda’s story
At SCORE, we work in schools and communities to empower the youth. In schools we work with selected ‘Youth Leaders” who are learners that attend a sport and life skills training to help them become young leaders in different aspects of their lives. In my opinion, the IDEALS partnership helps the development of the programme, but also shows the students how we ‘do it’ in Namibia and is a platform for them to practice their understanding and knowledge.
I supported the work of the students by being with them a maximum of 3 days per week; I was involved in organising, assisting and guiding the work. I organised meetings and activities with the schools, and tried to make sure the volunteers were not left alone to get confused! As their contact person and a volunteer like them we worked well together. I also think the sense of independence made them work well; I was not always holding their hands! The students did well in situations where there was a language barrier, after all, the participants do not worry about the language when there is a ball and play... it speaks for itself!
One of the best bits about having the students involved was that they shared new ideas; in this instance, through the basics on rugby which was unique to us. Personally, the programme gave me an opportunity to work with a group of people I barely worked with in my life ‘the Special Olympics’ mixed group where the youth have different disabilities and language difficulties! I changed my facilitation style to suit the group, and this paid off. The game was about obstacles, and how you work with life’s obstacles. One participant said he would beat up his younger brother if he does not listen to him; to me, this shows a lack of basic life skills. It was another participant who gave the boy advice that he should not hit his brother, but advise him on what is best to do e.g. playing soccer and going to school. It made me feel so positive that most of the group said they give advice to their siblings and tell them how to take care.
IDEALS is a short programme so I can’t state immediate achievements, after all, development is a slow process. However, we do see increased participation when the volunteers come, and also increased capacity through the sharing of ideas from sport to culture which is a blessing to my organisation.
The success of the IDEALS programme hinges on the commitment and support of individuals like Hulda, who provide guidance, mentorship and advice for students, in turn allowing them to fulfil their own potential. They also get a real opportunity to put their own skills into action through taking on leadership roles and interacting with peers from different backgrounds.
Nikole Smith one of the students from Liverpool John Moore University sums Hulda’s contribution up: “Hulda is brilliant with the kids. She is very enthusiastic and always happy. She encourages every child and ensures each child is involved in the session. She is an inspiring person to work with and I am learning a lot from her.”