Here are a few words from Yvonne Field, Founder and Managing Director of The Ubele Initiative:
As we celebrate our official 5th anniversary, I am reminded of the gestation period before our actual birth. My curiosity sparked the production of My Big Question (2010) and started an enquiry and journey which has seen real highs and lows as Ubele has come into being.
There have been many significant milestones such as:
· The Churchill Fellowship in 2012, which allowed me to explore Black leadership in USA and community business development in poor rural communities in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We have slowly builtthe Ubele community through community dialogue
· National and regional research projects and campaignssuch as A Place to Call Home (2015), and ‘Reclaim Our Space’ (2016) influencing national and regional platform for BME communities regarding community space and leadership
· Creating new creative intergenerational leadership development opportunities through locally, nationally and international projects and partnerships
· Mali Enterprising Leaders Project (MEL), which produced the first ever BME Community Business Toolkit and now offers a model that can be rolled out across the UK and further afield
· Becoming one of three organisational‘stewards’ of the Wolves Lane Horticulture Centre - a 3.5 acre growing and community space in Wood Green, North London.
Despite a continued lack of core funding to support our growing activities, last year more than 30 Associates worked on various projects.
The impact of our work can be measured through engaging withmore than 3000 people; 75% being established and emerging female leaders. We have also created international partnerships with 23 countries.
A 5th birthday is a significant milestone for any organisation especially as most businesses (social or for profit) usually fail within the first 2 years.
It is indeed a time to celebrate, to recognise all that we have achieved and to thank the numerous people who have worked with us and contributed to our success.
I look forward to the next few years as we continue to evolve and to events that are being planned during the coming year to recognise our coming of age!