May 30th 2014
Close to 25 years ago, UrbanPromise created a program called StreetLeaders. Our staff realized that teenagers from under-resourced communities were looking for more than just fun and games--deep down these teens were searching for meaning, purpose, and an opportunity to make a difference in their own communities.
To everyone's surprise the program took off. Teens, who formerly were recipients of ministry, were now asked to become part of the ministry. They were trained to be tutors, mentors for younger children, coaches, and role models. They embraced the challenge and began to live into their new roles. The results have been phenomenal. Not only for the teens themselves--increased self-esteem, confidence, leadership--but the impact on younger children in our communities has been profound. " leaders, leading today" became our mantra.
So to meet the first cohort of StreetLeaders in Uganda yesterday was truly inspiring. Each day after school these young people show up to a local AfterSchool Program. They tutor, they mentor, they supervise younger children. But more importantly, in the process they find their voice, their calling, and God's vision for their lives. These teens also discover the joy of service.
I can only imagine that within the next 5-10 years a new generation of leaders will emerge from the slums of Uganda. Leaders who are academically astute, leaders who have learned the essence of servant leadership, and leaders who have experienced, first hand, that their lives can make a difference. --Bruce Main