Fifth Interamerican Leadership Training (ILT-5)
Building on the success of the previous trainings, the fifth gathering of the Interamerican Leadership Training (ILT) proved to be the most successful yet!
ILT's vision is to "strengthen Scouting in the Interamerican Region (IAR) and its National Scout Organizations (NSO)" and was started in 2013 as a program where all 34 countries of the Interamerican Region were invited to learn leadership skills to better their home groups and their NSO as a whole. The program has come a very far way since then, unifying the IAR and expanding outside of the Region this year, to include a total of 43 countries including participants from Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. The ILT curriculum has evolved with the program, to include important topics such as:
- Vision, goals, and planning
- Conflict resolution
- Ethical leadership
- Stages of team development
- Diversity and inclusion
- Emotional intelligence
- Leading virtual teams
- The UN's Sustainable Development Goals
- Many WOSM resources, such as the Scout Donation Platform, its governance strategy, and the Better World Framework.
In addition, participants engaged in important discussions in all of WOSM's strategic goals, ranging from governance to youth engagement. Conference sessions allowed participants to attend the topics they felt the most important to them and their NSO.
Participants were put into teams of 6-8 people, to ensure the best opportunity for growth from everyone. Each team was led by an ILT alumni who returned as staff member to give back to the program, helping the team to learn and grow together. The week was capped off with each team's international Messengers of Peace projects. These ranged from projects about hair and blood donation and food drives, to environmental sustainability and clean living.
To enable all of this in the short 6-day course, an incredible and diverse team of youth staff were assembled from across the Interamerican Region. They worked for months to prepare curriculum and deliver the content in fun, impactful way that will stay with participants for the rest of their lives. The Course Leader was Ricardo Melendez of El Salvador, who was supported by a great team of youth assistants and adult mentors. During the course's closing ceremony, many people shared emotional stories of ILT's impact of their lives and their NSO's program, a testament to the importance for this training and how far it has come in just 4 years.
When asked about how the course impacted here, Carolina of Ecuador said:
"ILT was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. Meeting people from all the Interamerican region and countries from outside the region too, having the opportunity to share with all of them and exchange not just cultural facts, but also to know how the NSOs of all this countries works, and to know that I was surrounded by people from all around the world who shared an ideal: create a better world, was such an enriching experience.
ILT is an effective way to prepare youth and improve their leadership skills. I'm sure that all the ILT participants will share and spread to the world the scout movement as an educational method that focus on helping the others."
Malek, one of the Jordanian participants, added:
"It was an incredible experience. It's obvious a lot of effort was put in it. I learned a lot from it, and in fact, we are trying to take the same idea and bring it to Jordan as the Jordanian Leadership Training (JLT). The best thing was that we got to meet people of all different cultures and backgrounds, and we are better for it."
Lastly, Carlos from Honduras spoke about the important of youth leadership and engagement:
"Youth leadership is important everywhere, as we are the young leaders who will work to make a better world in the future. The knowledge and skills learned at ILT will be useful for me my in many aspects of my life. It will help me to develop more projects to help my society, help others in how to develop their skills and encourage leadership, and to be able to work in team in a more efficient way for the team and in my personal life to be a good leader in everything I do."
We look forward to returning in December 2018 in Ecuador for the sixth Interamerican Leadership Training!