My Journey as a

Queen's

Young

Leader

On the 5th of December 2017 my life changed dramatically. I received a call from London stating that I had been selected as one of the Queen's Young leader Award winners for 2018. The feeling that overcame me on that day is indescribable, it left me feeling so honored and grateful.

This is where I will docuent my journey and allow you, the reader, an insight in one of the most life changing journeys I have taken in all my life. 

Enjoy the read and kindly give me some feedback. I would love to hear from you. 

Welcome!!

to my Queen's Young Leader Journey

Hello!! Thank you for popping by.

 

This will serve as the platform on which I share my journey as the Queen's Young Leader 2018. There are various activities laid out for the year (2018) and I would love to walk the journey with you the reader. 

The Journey as a

QYL

There are various assignments we are working through. You can read the articles and fun entries below. 

Search the menu for what interests you most!

Don't forget to give some feedback! 

Feedback is appreciated!

What is a QYL?

Curious to know what a Queen's Young Leader is?

I summarized it in a short QnA below.

For in-depth information read the Queen's Young Leaders webiste

www.queensyoungleaders.com

Assignments Menu

My Background

 
 

QYL QnA 

Mavis is a young philanthropist who is committed to helping underprivileged people in her community. She is the founder of the EM Love Foundation, whose work ranges from providing donated food and clothing to low-income families, to hosting fundraisers to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Mavis now leads a team of seven directors, and has more than 40 volunteers working with her. She and her team have hosted a charity pop-up shop in collaboration with Street Store, a pop-up store that can be created in any community to enable the homeless to shop for free. In recognition of her community work, the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia invited Mavis to serve on her One Economy Foundation, which works to promote inclusivity between different communities, via programmes focused on education, violence and health.

QnA  on Queen's Young Leader

WHAT is Queens Young Leader?

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, launched The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in 2014 at Buckingham Palace.  The four-year programme, supported by The University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, aims to discover, support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth.

 

It will help to transform the lives of young people through awards to individuals who are leaders in their communities and grants to youth-led and focused organisations.

WHY did you win the award?

In recognition of the work I am doing to provide support to underprivileged families and homeless people in her community and beyond under the EM Love Foundation (for more information visit www. emlovefoundation.org)

January 14, 2018

1. Your Workplace

January 14, 2018

2. Nature or Nurture

January 14, 2018

3. Me & the Commonwealth

January 14, 2018

4. Mapping Geographies

January 14, 2018

5. Thinking Ahead

January 14, 2018

6. SDG's & Me

Please reload

 

assignments

Module 0: Starting   Assignment

 

1:  Your Workplace

 

What is Leadership?

I have always struggled to find a role model that encompasses what leadership means to me as a whole. I was able to find mentors who are specific to one field, yet there was a large gap, because the mentors fit perfectly in either my career, philanthropy or Christianity, never a collectively. The attributes I found in one mentor, I did not find in another. As I grew in my mentorship journey I was able to appreciate the difference in characters and lessons taught by each individual mentor. This came with a realization that many people are different, with each able to teach me different lessons, however what they all shared in common was a passion for people. This became the common denominator in the people I chose to learn from. The first principle was and will always be encompassing humanity and compassion, because that I believe is where leadership begins.

There are at least 3 qualities I believe every leader should encompass;

  1. Emotional Intelligence

  2. Compassion

  3. Forward thinking

 

With my love for people, the attributes I regard fundamental in a good leader will speak to my passions and ambitions. Hence the chosen quote being;

 

“Every one of us have the responsibility to take one person out of poverty”

- Monica Geingos

This in essence puts a leadership responsibility on each of our shoulders. Not because we have the financial means to save a person who is poverty stricken, but because we will play our role in society to at least look at how we can be active members who strive for poverty eradication.

Leading does not have to come in the form of opening up a charity organization and taking on the task of bringing people together to help eradicate poverty., it simply means that you will take the lead in playing a role, that role can be as powerful as;

  • Volunteering

 

Volunteering is one of the most powerful tools of leading in poverty eradication. It only requires one resource from you, which is time. A resource that is free to each and every one of us. It is in choosing to volunteer your time to an organization or an individual and making difference in whichever area.

 

A practical example is - volunteering to tutor a student.

 

This is a time costly volunteering activity, but one that goes a long way, because this ensure that you play a role in the success of someones education, which in turn can be their tool and means out of poverty.

 

Leadership means;

  • Getting up and starting

  • Playing a role of influence in another’s life

  • Choosing the “I can too” attitude as opposed to the “why me attitude”

 

An effective leader is someone who;

  • Strives for a better tomorrow

  • Believes in starting and risk taking

  • Someone who sees the end goal and how to apply the vision

  • A dreamer who believes in application of dreams

 

Leadership means many things to many different people, but it will always be about bringing people together.

2. Nature or Nurture

 
Why am i
the person
that I am?

Watch a video...

What makes us?

Many factors have played a role in the person I have become. Many inherent, others learned and others acquired through practice. With the various traits that make up who I am, there is one important factor that perfectly describes who I am and who I am growing to be;

"I am intentional about growth"

In all that I do and all that I plan to do with my life, I have always been intentional about growth in all areas of my life. I have made a point to work on four factors namely;

-Self Discovery

-Self Love

-Self Reflection

-Self Enrichment

 

It is these four factors that constitute a majority of my blog and have become my daily bread. 

I discovered a long time ago that one never fully grasps who you are if not by taking time out to discover yourself. We tend to spend a majority of our time running from self, because nothing is scarier than looking ourselves in the mirror and not liking what we see. As a result we fill up our lives with any and everything that can keep us busy. We tend to become so busy that our inner self suffers from neglect. It is with this knowledge that I have since the year 2013 taken to blogging about my life and placing my thoughts on paper. 

I am a very versatile person with many different interests which make up who I am. When I was younger this confused me, because I did not fit in with any particular crowd, as I was too different - I was a living paradox. I was both introvert and extrovert simultaneously. It was not until university that I was able to finally begin to understand my character in that I was different, but I was to embrace my unique nature. 

With the help of various mentors I learned myself. I received guidance from people from different walks of life. I have written various articles on what they have taught me and such an example can be found at;

https://www.mavisbraga.com/single-post/2017/07/26/The-past-the-present-and-the-future-fear

A living  example is Ms Daisry Matias, a woman who I met through a family member. She has allowed me to probe into her life in order to learn from her. As curious a being as I am, I have done just that. I have sat with her, cried with her and celebrated with her. She has been a cheerleader in the form of a big sister. I have taken to learning from her, watching her excel in her career and personal life. I am of the belief that one does not need to go through all of life's obstacles because some obstacles can be avoided if one chooses to learn from those that have walked the journeys we want to walk. 

Ms Daisry has taught me many lessons, the most important however is that;

"Your feet can never take you where your mind has never been."

What makes us?

I believe choice makes us. The choice to discover the inner parts of yourself. Choosing to work on the areas that are flawed and strengthening those that act as weaknesses. Although character traits are inherent, they can be unlearned. In the same way one can unlearn a character trait, one can teach oneself as well. There is always room for  growth, always room to learn and always room to rediscover yourself and grow into the best version of yourself. 

You make you!

3. Me & the Commonwealth 

 

How does the history of your country’s connection to
the Commonwealth affect your feelings towards The
Commonwealth now?

How does it effect you?

The commonwealth and it's relation to Namibia remains a bitter pill to swallow. In as much as we live in a sovereign peaceful time, history remains hard to erase and even harder to forget. Although I may be fortunate enough to not have lived through the era of colonization, the after effects however still remain pumping in my blood. The social injustice and shackles placed on my people is still something that scars the reality of my country. History can be forgiven, however never erased. When the people who lived through the harsh treatment of colonization can tell the stories there of, I cannot help but be faced with the reality that there is so much still to be undone. 

I am not delusional to the horror my country suffered at the hands of the South African government and apartheid, a notion that dates back to the British colonial rule, nor am I able to turn a blind eye at the fact that it is the peaceful nature of our people that has brought us here today. We stand to walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, who taught us that restoration comes through forgiveness. Now although we can receive our apologies, and grant our forgiveness, the people who most need the apology never lived to receive it. 

The apartheid government oppressed the black Namibian and stripped us of dignity. The apartheid government took humanity and believed that we are not worthy of it. It placed our Namibian people back by decades, leaving us to bring together the peaces today. Although we have been restoring equality in our nation and continue to do so, the hard truth glares us in the face whenever we take a trip down the slums of our country. The number of black people living in poverty is gruesome, even more so is the percentage of black Namibians who have been failed by the system and are so far gone in poverty that bridging that gap to prosperity is a dream many can never achieve. It is hard to detach the British Empire and the role it played in the South African government during the of the Cape Colony, nor can one ignore the attempted annexation of Walvis Bay from Namibia. 

Doing charity work runs deeper than giving a helping hand, but it is about bridging that gap between the rich and the poor. Having to redo the after effects of colonization and balancing the scale out. It breaks my heart that there talented individuals, ground breaking ideas and life changing innovations slipping through the fingers of the world due to a line of history that cannot be undone. Even more hurtful is that these people who are the aftereffects of colonization do not deserve to be in their situation. The right to human basic rights has been written in charters and laws, yet the reality is far from it. The right to education and shelter is preached in every elective campaign, yet the execution is painfully slow. 

I struggle to detach the Union of South Africa from the history of my country and when looking at the commonwealth and how many of the countries are a part of the common wealth due to colonization pains me. I understand the need to work towards a common goal and administering economic growth, I understand partnership and it's benefits and I can even understand the need to work through the past, I just struggle to live in the present, without looking at the past. 

So what does the commonwealth mean to me?

 

It is the walk of forgiveness and a mutual agreement

to work towards a better tomorrow. 

The Commonwealth Charter includes 16 core values and
principles of The Commonwealth. Which of the Commonwealth
values and principles do you hold as most important to you as a
leader and why?

Core values and Principles of the Commonwealth

9. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This value and principle is the most important in the charter for me as it speaks to my core. It is and has been what I am most passionate about.

Looking as someone who has made a point to not only dig deeper into the things that played n essential role to poverty as we know it today, it is therefore also fundamental to spend the same energy it creating solutions. It helps no one in the long run if we sit around table discussing the effects of poverty and how many fall prey to it. My thinking has always been implementation of change, getting up and doing something the create the said change, whoever small. I have taken to encouraging the youth to rally behind poverty eradication and play their role. The role does not have to be in project initiatives, it can be in volunteer work. 

The WHY in Charity?

One of the most profound questions I have been asked is, “why do you do charity work?” For a long time, I had the classic yet predictable answer, it is where my burden lies. It is what I am most passionate about, and I have a burning desire to see change in my community. This comes with a responsibility to play my part. I was satisfied with this answer, only problem is that over the long run this answer is not sustainable.

 

To do charity work, there has to be a constant burning desire to get up and push for change. There has to be an element that fuels you, because doing charity work comes with its own set of challenges. 

When I started doing charity work at age twenty, it was because I have a conviction on my heart that I am called to impact the lives of the second economy. I have had this conviction since I was a child. I spoke about it often, but had nothing to show in relation to this dream. A few months before I turned twenty-one, I had a moment of reflection on my life, where I asked the basic life questions of where my life was going. It kept zeroing in on the want to change and impact lives. So I asked myself, if one day I am to approach a ministry asking to be granted the opportunity to open up an orphanage, what will support this narrative? What have I done in my life that has shown my love for people and most importantly my love for equality?

This is what changed my life. That very moment is when my life started to unfold before my very eyes and I got to work. I started on this dream that always seemed to be far off in the future. I took it to be my now. That regardless of how small an impact I was going to make, I was going to start somewhere. If my efforts touched one life, that would be one life closer to my dream, because the misconception is that if it doesn’t change a nation do not do it. When the reality is that it takes one life at a time to change a generation.

 

There’s a saying by Steve jobs that says, “those that are crazy enough to believe they can change the world, are usually the ones that do.”

To answer the question, why do I do charity work? Because if I had been the one in the position of need, I would want someone to extend a helping hand to me too. 

It is because of this thinking and narrative that the 9th Value and Principle of the commonwealth charter most resonates with me. It speaks to my beliefs and highlights the importance of the eradication of poverty. 

4. MAPPING YOUR PERSONAL GEOGRAPHIES

 

idEAS

The ideas are plenty, 

the implementation is not. 

resistance

The community has negative feedback to positive change. 

proposals

The proposals are written, but hardly get the required attension from government officials

communication

Effective communicaton between those that need the help and those willing to give the help is lacking. 

Part 1 - Map the Geographies of Challenge

The issues we face when doing charity are faced by organizations worldwide. I will do my best to note them down as they come to mind.

 

  • There is a mentality of every man for himself such that it is difficult to get the community to rally around the vision of empowering those that live in poverty

  • The resources one donates to the charity homes are sometimes misused and used for personal gain

  • Honesty is hard to come by, specially because the work is done pro bono

  • Commitment is also very hard to attain in the team because they at present do not get paid for their work

  • Rallying a team is taxing because there has to be a constant motivation as the leader, which leaves little room and energy for implementation 

  • The challenge with the above point is the fact that this is not a corporate organization where I am able to assume a leadership and task dissemination role, because the team derives momentum from my doing

  • The system i designed to keep the poor poor, such that proposals for low cost housing are met with resistance 

  • Those with brilliant ideas on how to provide the low income earning citizens decent housing are discouraged because their ideas are dismissed

  • There is a need to use social responsibility monies for the poor, yet the money is pumped into areas like entertainment 

  • The heart to help is there, there is difficulty in properly establishing how and where to help 

  • The time needed to get the organization off the ground is not available because I have a normal weekly job, so the time and dedication to the organization is limited 

  • You will be accused of seeking recognition and popularity through philanthropic means. A way of getting into the newspapers and having people view you as someone you are not.

  • There too will be the naysayers that insist your means and methods are not impactful enough, because they do not exactly uproot poverty and the inequality faced by the people you look to impact.

  • The people we want to invest in and help get out of poverty often don't want to experience the discomfort of working towards getting out of the poverty

  • Some of the people prefer hand out as opposed to working to sustain themselves

  • Sometimes the people only know their circumstance and alternative life is unfathomable

Grouping the challenges

Leadership

  • Rallying a team is taxing because there has to be a constant motivation as the leader, which leaves little room and energy for implementation 

  • The challenge with the above point is the fact that this is not a corporate organization where I am able to assume a leadership and task dissemination role, because the team derives momentum from my doing

  • The time needed to get the organization off the ground is not available because I have a normal weekly job, so the time and dedication to the organization is limited 

Political

  • The system i designed to keep the poor poor, such that proposals for low cost housing are met with resistance 

Personal to each

  • The resources one donates to the charity homes are sometimes misused and used for personal gain

  • Honesty is hard to come by, specially because the work is done pro bono

  • Commitment is also very hard to attain in the team because they at present do not get paid for their work

Community

  • There is a mentality of every man for himself such that it is difficult to get the community to rally around the vision of empowering those that live in poverty

  • Those with brilliant ideas on how to provide the low income earning citizens decent housing are discouraged because their ideas are dismissed

  • The heart to help is there, there is difficulty in properly establishing how and where to help 

  • The people we want to invest in and help get out of poverty often don't want to experience the discomfort of working towards getting out of the poverty

  • Some of the people prefer hand out as opposed to working to sustain themselves

  • Sometimes the people only know their circumstance and alternative life is unfathomable

 

Corporate 

  • There is a need to use social responsibility monies for the poor, yet the money is pumped into areas like entertainment 

People Opinion

  • You will be accused of seeking recognition and popularity through philanthropic means. A way of getting into the newspapers and having people view you as someone you are not.

  • There too will be the naysayers that insist your means and methods are not impactful enough, because they do not exactly uproot poverty and the inequality faced by the people you look to impact.

Part 2 - Map the Geographies of Change

I imagine a world where;

Leadership

  • We have great passionate leaders who have the resources they need to be able to quit their day jobs and dedicate themselves to serving charity

  • Where there is no lack in highly qualified leaders who can implement the change we need to see. Intellectuals who come from previously highly paid jobs, such as CEOs.

  • When the team can be lead by a leader who does not have to do both rallying the team and implementing projects

  • Where the leader has financial resources to pay the team so as to get better results

  • Where volunteers are dedicated to what they signed up to do, where their hearts are wholesomely in what they are doing

  • Where a team works together with a common goals in sight without resisting each other

Political

  • Where political leaders do what they pledged to do in office and do not resist change nor stand int he way of the implementation of change

  • Where political leaders are really invested in seeing to poverty eradication and it is not just a political rallying idea

  • Where the gap between the poor and the rich is balanced out

Personal to each

  • We have an honest community that does what their mandate set out to do

  • Do away with corruption and embazzlement of money

Community

  • Where the community applauds philanthropy without trying to break down what is being built 

  • Where people genuinely want to help, where there is a common narrative to give a helping hand

 

Corporate 

  • Corporate companies do more in the community

  • Corporate companies become the forefront runners in funding the less privileged and sow back into the community 

 

Does your imagined ‘changed world’ impact or respond to the challenges that you put in your first map?

Yes it does, because where there is a will, there is a way. 

5. THINKING AHEAD

 

my life Plan

PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

PAST

love is charity Fundraiser fun day

the organization was called love is charity before it was registered into the EM Love Foundation

2014

2015

Donate a Blanket

2014

Dance for Charity

2015

2016

The Street Store

The Street Store

2016

2016

The Street Store

2017

The Street Store

2017

Hot Chocolate Outreach

2017

The Street Store

Walvis Bay

2017/2018

Lend-A-Hand

the Present

2018

Queens Young Leader

the Future

pending

Travel the World
Study for a Masters in the UK
Own an Orphanage
Become Healthy & Fit
Have a family & kids
Become a Successful Project Manager
Become a Manufacturer
Become President
Write a book
Show More

6. SDGS AND ME

 

UNITED NATIONS

SDGs

To read all about the 

Sustainable Development Goals

Click Here

THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) AND ME

1. What are the SDGs you are working towards?

First Sustainable Development Goal Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Development

Second Sustainable Development Goal Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and

Third Sustainable Development Goal Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities


2. What are the specific targets that you hope to contribute towards?

- Poverty Eradication

- Job Creation

- Decent housing and shelter for low income citizens

- Togetherness and rallying together ntowards economic prosperity

- Bridging the gap between the high income and low income sector (equality)


3. What would help you;


a. Understand the SDG Framework and targets better?

- Reading up on the SDGs in more depth

- Spending time reading books on how to attain the skills I have laid out in point 3b

- Initiating meetings with the UN offices in Namibia for an information session


b. Work towards the SDGs more effectively?

- Improving my leadership and organizational skills

- Getting the foundation paper work in order

- Setting attainable targets on paper and creating a workforce to implement the vision

- Learning how to runt he foundation like a business so it becomes self sustaining

- Creating a safe space for orphans

- Understanding how to establish long lasting impactful initiatives

Please leave a comment

More assignments pending....

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ADDRESS

P O Box 24841

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

eliasmavis@gmail.com

Hey, 

I absolutely love hearing from my readers!

How about you drop me a mail with some feedback?

Go over to my contact page and drop me a quick mail. Thank you for dropping by.

With Love

Mavis

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