The New Survivor Leadership Academy

A transformative gathering took place from September 26th to 28th in Nairobi, which marked a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery. The Survivor Network Cameroon, in collaboration with Free the Slaves, launched the first-ever Survivor Leadership Academy, a source of hope and change for individuals who have endured the hardships of human trafficking.  […]
November 28, 2023

A transformative gathering took place from September 26th to 28th in Nairobi, which marked a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery. The Survivor Network Cameroon, in collaboration with Free the Slaves, launched the first-ever Survivor Leadership Academy, a source of hope and change for individuals who have endured the hardships of human trafficking.  Eleven courageous individuals traveled from all around East and Central Africa build stronger relationships and improve their professional profiles. People from Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania all came together to improve their skills as leaders in the fight to end modern slavery.  Over three days, the academy centered on nurturing growth in three pivotal areas: personal, professional, and advocacy leadership skills. The curriculum was rich and diverse, covering essential skills such as communication, conflict resolution, self-care, and public speaking. The participants delved into personal SWOT analyses, learned the ropes of negotiating, and engaged in ethical storytelling—all crucial tools for their roles as Survivor Advocates.  The beauty of this academy lays in its approach. Sessions were led not only by external experts but also by participants, embodying the “Survivors for Survivors” spirit. Partnerships with local organizations like Kituo Cha Sheria and HAART Kenya enriched the program, ensuring a well-rounded development experience.  A unique aspect of the academy was it supports participants to become change-makers in their communities. Seed grants were awarded to kickstart their advocacy projects, with ongoing assistance to bring these initiatives to life. This practical support underscores the academy’s commitment to sustainable empowerment.  Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing a newfound sense of inspiration and inclusion. Their only wish was that the academy could extend beyond the short span of three days.  Though the in-person academy has concluded, the journey for these survivors continues. With a year-long schedule of monthly online coaching and potential internships, they’re set to deepen their knowledge and impact. The call is now open for organizations to step forward and offer these survivors a chance to apply their skills in practical settings.  The Survivor Leadership Academy is a testament to the power of collective action and the unyielding spirit of those who have faced darkness yet choose to light the way for others. It’s a story of empowerment, of voices once silenced now speaking out for justice and freedom. This blog honors their journey and invites others to join in supporting a movement that is genuinely by survivors, for survivors. 

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