Sunday, February 05, 2012

I saw the ‘Spark’! - Mercy Corps GOAL Fellowship Program

I have been interacting with my fellow Kashmiri future leaders and shapers in the GOAL (Generating Opportunities for Advanced Leadership) Fellowship program being imparted by Mercy Corps, a prominent US based NGO. Mercy Corps believes in harnessing the values of effective leadership to promote change especially in areas of conflict where the youth lack essential skills to lead and to represent the voice of society. The GOAL program is undoubtedly going in the right direction to promote this change at an individual level among the fellows, which ultimately paves way for the progress of humanity. GOAL program curriculum consists on workshops on project management, negotiation and communication and effective leadership. Mercy Corps believes in “intrinsic value and dignity of human life” and in the “ability of all people to succeed, not just survive”. Educating and making people aware about their rights and duties while making them conscious about the importance of ‘progress’ and ‘sustainability’ undoubtedly serves this belief! Fellows at the GOAL program are very passionate about the idea of promoting growth through community participation and meaningful dialogue. Whilst they are aware of the need, it appears that most fellows lack the essential skills particularly the soft skills needed to interact efficiently, make decisions and exercise authority and responsibility, which collectively are the fundamental elements of any community building dialogue. Effective negotiation and promising leadership not only helps in resolving conflicts but also empowers us to look beyond the obvious and eradicate a problem from its roots! Kashmir needs leaders who are morally aware of the needs and grievances of the society! The GOAL and the enthusiasm of the fellows in the program have created a new hope for a better Kashmir, for a better future and for a nobler human race! Indeed, if we continue to strive for good of everyone, there is no looking back, no fear and no reason to lag behind in any competitive field of modern world! The need however is to realise the need of the hour and develop the proclivity to acquire those essential skills and learn to use the tools needed to accomplish the task! The GOAL program is a ‘spark’ but we must keep the ‘flame’ lit forever!

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