“Our task is not to put the greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” John Buchan
Columba 1400 is a high impact values-based youth leadership academy with a world-class pedigree and proven track record run by a professional team with a low overhead structure and strong BE profile. The organisation has potential for national scale and to build agents of positive social change at grass-roots in poor communities: Leaders for life, delivering positive change achieving real broad-based empowerment.
Columba 1400’s purpose is simple: to provide values-based leadership programmes to empower young people from tough realities to drive sustainable social change.
Social stability demands a broad-based sense of shared leadership. Our young people and consequently our society in general are at unacceptably high risk due to:
- Poor educational standards
- High drop-out rates at school
- Massive unemployment
- HIV and AIDS which have decimated the caring moral foundation of family structures
- Materialism and well-publicised general moral decay in society
The Columba 1400 South Africa Leadership Academy is an effective and innovative youth development intervention. The six-day residential Academy immerses learners and educators from disadvantaged schools in intensive values-based leadership training and sends them out as agents of positive social change, resulting in revitalized schools and communities. The elicitation of powerful leadership potential from our young people unleashes them to change their contexts, enhances sustainable living and equips them with attributes desirable to potential employers. Educators graduating from the academy have rediscovered a passionate commitment to teaching.
Sustainability of impact is achieved through learner-driven advocacy and projects supported by school management, post-academy faculty engagement and repeat academies over a 3 year period in each school. Our South African graduates are busy exercising their newly discovered leadership skills and implementing a variety of exciting social initiatives.
Columba 1400 was founded in Scotland by a former National Governor of the BBC. HRH Princess Anne is currently the patron. The programme was introduced to South Africa in 2009 by a former Dimension Data Plc. Executive Director who dedicated his time pro-bono for three years, and a young dynamic Zulu social entrepreneur.
One of the most rigorously evaluated social enterprises in the UK, Columba 1400 in Scotland won the 2009 Royal Bank of Scotland/Sunday Times UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in recognition of its immense success at reducing drop-out rates, increasing placements in further education and training, and transforming the student culture of disadvantaged schools. Independent evaluations indicate that the South African adaptation of the programme is similarly high-impact and well poised to achieve the same wide-reaching social results. The initial success in SA and strong future prospects justify an investment in establishing a professional, well resourced management team capable of growing the programme significantly.
Columba 1400 SA provides an option to use CSI strategically to engage employees and build human capital within existing budgets for added business benefit and enhanced impact of CSI spending.