Habitat Youth Leadership Trainer's Training for Youth Leaders was held in Yoyogi, Tokyo over two days from 12th to 13th February 2020. A total of 36 students who belong to campus chapter, a student-led organization supporting Habitat for Humanity, participated to become trainers all over in Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu. This youth trainer's training is one of the youth programs of Habitat for Humanity aiming at youth in the Asia-Pacific region.
On the first day of the training, Habitat Japan staff delivered five sessions the whole day. Starting with the icebreakers, the participants got to know each other quickly, therefore started the training smoothly as they are representatives of campus chapter.
The first lecture included the introduction of the vision and mission of Habitat for Humanity as well as the time to deepen understanding of expected roles of campus chapters as Habitat partners. In the following session, the participants learned about the Sustainable Development Goals Habitat for Humanity aims to achieve as an international NGO. They learned what social issues we try to solve and SDGs focus the spotlights on, and the well-balanced 3 dimensions of economy, society and environment are integrated as the nature of the SDGs. It is of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized.
The next session narrowed down the focus to hometowns and communities where their universities are located. The students discussed any issues around their communities. Before moving to the workshop to find out the solution to resolve any social issues they found in the community, some inputs about "leadership" were shared with the participants. Leadership is not only for a "leader" who has special skills and talents. Leadership is what everyone has so that all members of the team look in the same direction, share issues and tackle them together. At the end of the lecture, each participant teamed up with others to think about what they can do to solve any community issues they raised. Keeping lessons about SDGs, leadership and more inputs, the participants thought creatively how they can take actions in the society.
On the second day, all participants had some practical exercises to be a trainer of the program so that they can offer the sessions to their campus members. They asked some advice and feedback among the team, reflecting what they learned on the previous day.
One of the participants, Ms. Isobe from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies campus chapter said, "I am a chapter leader of eighty students. I have been struggling to lead such a big group and have been thinking about what kind of leader I should be. Now I learned a leader would not be someone who can 'literally' lead a group at the forefront but also someone who can find each member's role and encourage them to take the best advantage of their possibilities."
To realize Habitat's vision 'a world everyone has a decent place to live', the campus chapters play a crucial part. As a group of young leaders, campus chapters become a game-changer to bring the world to be more sustainable. Habitat Japan continues to work with our campus chapters and those youth leaders.
Thanks to the support from Dentsu Scholarship Foundation, we were able to offer the training to our student leaders.