Women make up half of the world’s population, 49.6 %, to be exact, but you wouldn’t know it because we are still struggling to own our voice. Yet, women are not voiceless; they are deliberately muzzled or just unheard.
To change the patriarchal structures that have silenced women and girls for so long, we must push the envelope as far as it will go. And then further.
The future is female, and it is time that we took our place as leaders in our societies and economies.
This is where the dream that Dr. Yene Assegid has nurtured for years comes in — one that will see its fruition in The EveryonesWorld Leadership Foundation program (ELF). Its goal: to amplify the voices of women everywhere.
ELF is a global initiative that strives to guide girls to grow into their full potential. Founded by Dr. Assegid, an transformative leadership coach born in Ethiopia and grew up in Belgium, it is a leadership program created entirely for young women from the ages of 16 to 21 — those just out of high school or just about to start their university years.
In a conversation with BELatina, Dr. Assegid explained her dream. She quoted author Caroline Myss and her book Sacred Contracts: “Myss says that we come to this world with intention and as we walk the earth to complete the mission of our soul, other loving souls are with us to help us fulfill the contract we made with the divine,” she said. The goal is to complete young women’s learning to achieve wholeness.
“You know, at that young age, we do not realize how small the world is. Our dreams are all over,” she said. Girls do not know why they want to do what they want to do, and ELF will be that gentle nudge that encourages them to push towards a life with a purpose.
The three-month program is about the interaction of young girls from all over the world, in order to feel included and protected through a sisterhood. It is, above all, a learning platform.
Seasoned coaches from multiple professions and vocations will be on hand to train and help young girls master leadership basics, learn about emotional intelligence, join a global community of like-minded women, and learn how to follow your dream and clarify your life’s purpose.
Dr. Assegid has been a coach for two decades and has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. She carries a global perspective of the female collective. She feels that besides limited access to education and opportunities, young girls have to deal with what societies expect them to do and allow them to do. “Every dream is valid; not everyone has to be a rocket scientist,” she said.
All the learning in lectures, coaching, and peer group discussions will be based on four pillars: self-responsibility, environmental responsibility, social responsibility, and financial responsibility.
ELF will also hold regular talks with various guest speakers who will talk about their own life paths, the challenges they faced, and what keeps them motivated.
“Excellence is sourced by doing what you love,” Dr. Assegid said. “Work the mind and the sound of your heart.”
That is the essence of ELF.
In ELF, connections will be made because we — as women — share a common future and live parallel lives.
“They will interact with women worldwide in order to see and learn that we all live in commonality. I will stand with you because we have parallel lives,” she said.
“When I have been down, I have had cheerleaders; when I am doing well, I have a crew.” This female wave that carries us all is the gift Dr. Assegid was to put out, much like a wave that carries women forward.
The program will begin in January 2021. Applications are now open, and you can find the information on how to apply via their website.
As the African-American poet and writer Maya Angelou said:
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”