Why we need You

Today I feasted on passion.

The scrumptious meal: my visit to the Africa Leadership Academy (ALA).

Rarely have I had the opportunity to visit a place that genuinely encapsulates a dream, captures the imagination and makes what seems unattainable doable.

Hazem, an ALA student and one of the Academy’s ambassadors, was my tour guide.

It was as though the very structure of the school, the walls, the floors, the windows – the students, the staff – were held together by the dream to build an Africa that, at this point, seems almost impossible to imagine.

Hazem told me how the school operated – what his own experiences were – what he saw lay ahead for him as a result of being a part of ALA… it was hard to not be emotional.

After the tour I sat down with ALA’s founder and president Fred Swaniker. We spoke of what had inspired his vision for the school and how he built it.

Much of what he said to me today he’d shared during an interview with CNN:

“I don’t see this as a school – I see it as a a network of leaders that we’re creating to address the greatest challenges that Africa faces.”   Fred Swaniker in his interview with CNN

Creating something amazing is no easy task. But as I walked around the Academy I kept reminding myself that each brick that made up ALA, each book carefully shelved in the library, every coat of paint – was once merely a thought – a hope – a dream. Fred took that dream and built something we can all see – now. Less than five years ago it was all in his head.

I urge you to take the fabric that is your dream and weave it into something tangible that we can see. We need you to do this.

Just like Africa (and the world) needs people like Fred – we need you.

Even the greatest of dreams start out small – but they can never be if we don’t have the courage to start.

I hope to share the story of ALA with as many people as I can because for me it transcends beyond what it’s achieving – the Academy shouts to the world what is possible when we dare.

Hazem said it best when he told me: “Here at ALA aspirations to impact Africa and the world are standard.”

My visit to this Academy reminded me how much impact one person can effect when they step out.

We need you to step out.

Please share the story of ALA – Tweet it – share it on Facebook – email it to your network of friends – post it on LinkedIn – wherever there are eyes and ears – I hope you’ll share.

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