It has been said that women are strongest when cheering each other on. In a world where obstacles are stacked against them, women need to be built up, especially by each other. Most importantly, though, without women in leadership, Young Life misses out on an entire group of essential Kingdom-changers. All across Africa and the Middle East, women are being built up through the Women’s Leadership Accelerator Program. Started by Dyan Larmey in 2010, the program empowers women across the division to know and understand their leadership abilities within the roles God has placed them in.
Placed in two-year cohorts, women within the program meet on a regular basis, sometimes over zoom and sometimes in person altogether. Over the course of the program, women are being empowered in their leadership abilities, accelerating their professional skills, and growing their confidence in who God is creating them to be.
The Women’s Leadership Accelerator has featured women from over 14 countries across Africa and the Middle East, training over 40 women since its initial launch in 2018. Each year, this group of women has been trained and mentored to step into their God-given calling as leaders who lead leaders. The Women’s Leadership Accelerator Program not only empowers women but also gives them the opportunity to teach others what they are learning. Since the second cohort, Accelerator graduates have had the opportunity to mentor the next generation of Accelerators.
“As a graduate of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator Program, I have benefited greatly from the access to multigenerational leadership. I’ve been blessed with an amazing mentor who has been a source of wisdom whenever I have to make tough decisions” – Diana, Malawi.
One of the biggest challenges for women in leadership is having the right resources. Through the Women’s Leadership Accelerator Program, they are able to have access to all the resources they need, such as access to technology and self-leadership tools. For these women, This program answers the question, “Do women actually have what they need to succeed?”
“I will say, it is very powerful and beautiful to see women helping one another and lighting each other’s candles. Through intentional training, opportunities are being created for women to build up their natural leadership.” – Frey
Frey, who went through the initial cohort of the program, returned as a trainer for the current cohort, “I will say, it is very powerful and beautiful to see women helping one another and lighting each other’s candles. Through the intentional trainings, opportunities are being created for women to build up their natural leadership.” – Fireselam (Frey) Assefa, Regional Director Northwest Ethiopia.
The Women’s Leadership Accelerator Program has contributed greatly to getting closer to our goal of equal representation from men and women on all levels of leadership. Today, there are 132 women on Young Life staff throughout Africa and the Middle east.
Needless to say, women are capable of the positions they are in. The impact of Young Life in Africa and the Middle East is only made possible because of how God equips women to share His love. With each woman who steps into the ministry, comes the opportunity for one more kid to hear the story of the gospel. Women in leadership are painting a grander picture of a hope-filled future as God’s children.