A peer-taught leadership development curriculum designed to strengthen the capacity and confidence of refugee men and women
LEAD with EMPATHY is a leadership development and empowerment program that provides the tools and guidance for refugees and communities affected by humanitarian crises to learn and practice leadership skills. In humanitarian crises, individuals and communities often lack power over the resources and decisions that affect their daily lives. This inequality springs from a spectrum of causes, including: displacement and legal status, economic constraints, and the loss of agency within the top-down humanitarian structure. Through the LEAD with EMPATHY program, iACT aims to empower men and women to break the cycle of violence that is endemic to humanitarian crises and to increase their power and agency over the resources and decisions that affect their daily lives and futures.
The LEAD with EMPATHY curriculum was developed in partnership with Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad as a solution to address inequalities in the decision-making system in their community. The curriculum is rooted in empathy and nonviolent communication and is designed to provide information, tools, and guidance for individual and collective leadership development. Each unit begins with a mindfulness exercise that serves to create a peaceful atmosphere and ensure all participants feel mentally and emotionally prepared and present. The 30-unit curriculum begins with understanding empathy and nonviolent communication before defining various leadership styles and moving into: goal setting, facilitation skills, human rights, community organizing, empowerment, and peacebuilding. The curriculum culminates with a group-based Action Project that guides participants in identifying a problem and designing a solution in their community.
The objectives of the LEAD with EMPATHY include…
CHAD (DARFUR CRISIS)
The Darfur genocide took place in 2003, killing an estimated 370,000 individuals and displacing more than 3 million. Today, nearly 340,00 Darfuri refugees are living in 12 camps in eastern Chad with limited access to critical services. To support and empower the Darfuri refugee staff delivering the Little Ripples and RUSA programs, iACT launched the LEAD with EMPATHY program in Chad in 2016 and continues to support the program today.
Souad is an Education Director of Little Ripples in refugee camp Goz Amer. She has been leading the program since 2016. “Before [LEAD with EMPATHY], we didn’t know how to communicate with the community in a positive way. Now, at meetings with parents, with community leaders, and in education meetings, we share our ideas. For problems we want to fix, we prepare what we will say and then meet with camp block leaders and talk about the issues and try to explain the rights of women and children and why what is happening is not good for the community."
Darfuri refugee women who have completed the program
Darfuri refugee men and women currently participating in the program
TANZANIA (BURUNDI CRISIS)
In April 2015, political violence and insecurity forced over 400,000 Burundians to flee to neighboring countries. Currently, approximately 200,000 Burundian refugees are residing in 3 refugee camps in the Kigoma region of Tanzania. To support and empower the Burundian refugee staff delivering the Little Ripples and RUSA programs in Tanzania, iACT launched the LEAD with EMPATHY program in 2018, with our partner Plan International Tanzania, and continues to support the program today.
Anaclet is a Refugees United Soccer Academy coach and leader in Mtendeli Camp. He has completed the LEAD with EMPATHY curriculum and has a vision to use the power of sport to spread peace and love in his community and beyond. “My vision is to change, to explain, and to educate for peace and love with politics.”
Burundian refugee men and women currently participating in the program (50% men and 50% women)
Burundian refugee children out-of-school in Tanzania
(Camp enrollment figures)
In 2013, thousands of people were forced to flee the Central African Republic (CAR) due to an outbreak of violence, and ongoing conflict has forced many to remain in neighboring countries. Currently, there are over 250,000 refugees from CAR living in Eastern Cameroon. To support the Central African refugee staff delivering the Little Ripples and RUSA programs, iACT will launch the LEAD with EMPATHY program in Cameroon in 2019 with our partner the Jesuit Refugee Service.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CRISIS
NEWS & RESOURCES
Teachers are the most important school-based factor in determining the quality of education.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals “are a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” iACT’s programs may not have been borne out of an intentional response to any of the “UN SDGs,” as...
Imagine being forced to flee your home—leaving behind your school, stability, and community; and losing family and friends—to start again in a new region of your country or the world. Now imagine this at the age of four. Your family and community structures have been...