Supporting young leaders in their communities


Rejoice Africa

Young people, between the ages of 15-24, make up approximately 16 per cent of the world’s population. In Africa, the age group represents the continent’s largest growing demographic. And yet, the continent continues to be politically, economically, and socially difficult for them.

This is something that Rejoice Africa, a local non-governmental organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is trying to change. The Cuso International partner started working in 2019 to address these challenges by helping to build youth leadership in communities and equipping young leaders to bring justice, stability, prosperity, and transformation to African society. E-volunteer Carmencita Alcantara has been supporting Rejoice Africa’s work through a placement with Cuso International.

Working with her colleagues at Rejoice Africa, Carmencita helped develop programs and lead training sessions for local youth.
“There are many factors such as poverty and mental health that prevent teenagers from developing into strong citizens, not only in Africa but everywhere,” says Carmencita. “I hope that these trainings will ground them, prepare them for their futures, and help them become individuals with a strong purpose in life.”
Participants have the option to take part in several different short-term and long-term training programs to help them develop leadership skills, discover their life purpose and their individual identity. This is done through training, counseling, coaching, mentoring, field and project work, internships, and teaching.

The organization is also working to create more awareness about the opportunities and challenges youth face within leadership development by leading symposiums, conferences, and television and radio programs. Their work has directly impacted 2,210 youth, making entrepreneurship and innovation more visible, and helping to grow the culture of good governance and effective leadership in society.

“The modules I worked on have components such as valuing women and women’s rights, setting boundaries, and self-identity,” says Carmencita. “These programs are about building up young people, helping them to become future leaders in their country and continent.”