Stories from Communitites

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Karina’s story

Collective intelligence for social change

I have been to previous Ubele trainings, but I this one [MEL Europe – Appreciative Leadership] impacted my life professionally, spiritually, and personally.

A friend went to a training, and it transformed her mindset, she said to me “You should go!”

It was empowering to understand new tools, meet other people and enjoy the place. I found it extremely useful to understand appreciative inquiry and the tools that help us to define, make a plan and prepare strategies for our vision, dream or project using tools like 4D, world cafe, open space, SOAR and the art of questioning. Appreciative Leadership focuses on the positive, not ignoring problems, but reframing questions so “the more positive the question, the greater and longer-lasting the change”.

We worked in pairs and small group sharing thoughts, ideas, challenging and questioning more possibilities to create a vision in each process. Let's not underestimate the power of conversation and sharing knowledge and practice among each other.

This training created so many memories, like a trip to Botanic Garden in Crete, which make me think about solidarity and how much we can do if we help each other. We can create a "Collective Social Change" if we work together.

I also met great, strong, and brave leaders that have inspired and encouraged me to grow to make a difference. It was powerful to be in a place where everyone is doing their best to tackle different issues. That gives so much energy and fuel and increases the fire within me to keep working with young people and communities.

I am grateful to be part of the Ubele family. I learned a lot from Ubele's great work that empowers leaders to keep making changes in their spheres. I love this quote that our trainer shared with us “Martin Luther King did not say, I have a strategic plan, instead, he shouted, I have a DREAM! and he created a movement". I feel that everyone who took part in this training will find a dream to persuade and fight for.

Ahmed’s story

Ubele is a family that wants people to do well.

24-year-old Ahmed lives in Haringey with his wife and two young children. He arrived from Nigeria in 2010 at the age of 14 as an unaccompanied asylum seeker.

“I was homeless when I arrived here and slept rough. I went through the care system, aware that children in care were not expected to do well. I was lucky, I had a good foster family, unlike others I knew. I achieved 10 A-C grades at GCSE. But it is when you turn eighteen, and transition to semi- independence and no longer in care, life gets really tough”.

Today, Ahmed is employed as Employment Adviser for Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, working with 16–24-year-olds not in employment, training or education to help them build skills, confidence and gain accreditation through employability programmes. He also serves on the Youth Board for the Bank of England and is an active Peer Outreach Worker for City Hall in London. Ahmed is also CEO/Founder of You Vs You Ltd, that works with refugees and Asylum Seekers to integrate into community and build confidence and self-esteem.

I got involved with Ubele in 2012, an opportunity with a European Youth Parliament project in Strasbourg came up, they asked if I was interested. I definitely was!

My learning journey with Ubele is amazing. They supported me to develop Ubele’s Young Emerging Leaders Programme so that young people can access information, mentoring and building of confidence. Ubele also gave me training and education opportunities. This included a fundraising event for Wolves Lane that Yvonne, Ubele’s CEO, trusted me to lead and jointly host. It was attended by J Hus who also donated. People were impressed and said well done. It was a good for me to see the difference it makes when somebody like that supports our community.

Ubele let me to grow professionally, they gave me an edge. The training,
I received in Amsterdam and Berlin boosted my confidence in working with young people and communities.

The Social Entrepreneurship programme which teaches you how to start a business has allowed me to pass this knowledge on to other young people. Ubele gave me a sense of leadership and empowerment, helping me to believe I can achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. I believe I got the Bank of England Youth Board role because of Ubele. To get my business running, Ubele gave me direction and focus.

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