Southern Malawi is an unforgiving place. Suffering from drought for several years, its people are plagued by famine. THE HIV epidemic continues to sweep through the country, with 68 percent of …
Southern Malawi is an unforgiving place. Suffering from drought for several years, its people are plagued by famine. THE HIV epidemic continues to sweep through the country, with 68 percent of its population on antiretroviral treatments and more than 1 million citizens with full blown AIDS. Almost 90 percent of Malawi’s citizens live on less than $2 per day. These statistics are even higher in the south, where a majority of citizens earn a small living through farming.
Earlier this year, U-Turn Leaders, which is one of the core programs of the U-Turn Institute, was asked to conduct a leadership program in Malawi that focuses on church and community leaders as well as youth.
Mark McCord, executive pastor at Westmore Church of God and executive director of U-Turn Leaders, is traveling to that country this week to spend 10 days doing outreach and conducting leadership training predominantly in the south.
The highlight of this outreach will be an Aug. 9 Youth Leaders Forum in Blantyre, where some of the most energized and dedicated youth leaders in the country will gather in Blantyre (the country’s commercial capital) to participate in a U-Turn Leaders event that will focus on storytelling and empowerment.
“The U-Turn Institute will officially launch in September and U-Turn Leaders in November,” McCord said. “But the opportunity to conduct this program in Malawi was too good an opportunity to pass up. The people there are intelligent, dedicated, and want to make a difference in their country. They simply have not had the empowerment or resources to fulfill their leadership goals.”
U-Turn Leaders will cooperate with the Young African Leaders Initiative on the Blantyre program, which will include more than 100 leaders from around the country as well as government representatives. This and other programs McCord will conduct during his time in the country will provide hope and energy to Malawians of all ages who are struggling to make a difference in their country.
“I want to thank the board of the U-Turn Institute for supporting this effort even before it officially launches its initiatives,”McCord said. “This shows the kind of vision and commitment these leaders have and the passion they possess to assist others in bettering their lives and their countries.”
Malawi, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, has no shortage of wonderful people. It lacks leadership not ability.
“Malawian leaders are ready for the U-Turn Leaders experience,” McCord said. “My WhatsApp group from Malawi has been talking up our programs for weeks and the local organizers are going to bring out leaders in mass. This will be a great opportunity for U-Turn Leaders to impact hundreds with a message of healing, hope and happiness.”
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