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Cameroon-born, Estella Bih-Neh Nsoh , a medical student at Buea University, recently participated in the All Africa Conference in Cameroon back in May 2012. Estella met the ideas of Initiatives of Change (IofC) when she was a student at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. Now back in Cameroon she applied to attend this conference. She writes:
‘Every time I feel that I have encountered the most revolutionizing moment in my leadership journey, I find myself at another breath-taking event which reinforces my beliefs, to make me a better person - I guess one can never really learn enough.
The first thing I couldn’t help but notice during the conference was the emphasis on morality and discipline in daily living. This I believe is the fountain of all the ethical leadership that many countries especially in Africa seek. In the past, I was motivated by slogans such as: “Be the change, you can become the person you want to be, if you believe it, then you can do it”......and so on! However, each time I started believing, the motivation waded off because I probably lacked enough willpower to persevere.
'Initiatives of Change's motto to ride on the “horse back” of morality, discipline and drawing strength from a supreme being are just the ingredients I lacked to spice my motivation.
'Not only did I prioritize morality, IofC taught me how to tap my own strength, and be my own role model by taking moments of quiet time. The gift of quiet time is the most valuable asset I have acquired this year and I am passing it (on) to all my friends who did not have a chance to attend the workshop.
'During my quiet times, I am able to look past the trivial things of life and focus only on the bigger picture - and that is “being an example in whatever I do”. I have learnt to forgive easily, and appreciate sincerely all the things that make me who I am.
'In fact, my new definition of leadership is to change myself to work optimistically for the things that are just. In that way, I will be able to inspire others in my work and build a better community.’
Felix Tetteh, a student in Business Administration at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana and also an alumna for the Africa Leadership Academy, said of the conference, ‘I spent four days on road to get to the conference grounds. And I believe coming to this conference has been a blessing. What it (the conference) actually did was to challenge us to act on what we have been hearing all along because there is an “African dream” that actually needs to be achieved and we have to make it happen.’
Who we are: Initiatives of Change (IofC) is a world-wide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.
Purpose: We work to inspire, equip and connect people to address world needs, starting with themselves, in the areas of trustbuilding, ethical leadership and sustainable living.
Omnia Marzouk, President, IofC International
'Nothing lasting can be built without a desire by people to live differently and exemplify the changes they want to see in society.'