Mmabatho Mokiti and Ezlyn Barends
Young Johannesburg -based female entrepreneurs, Mmabatho Mokiti and Ezlyn Barends were selected to represent South Africa at the Preparing Global Leaders Academy in Amman, Jordan.
Preparing Global Leaders Academy (PGLA) is a premiere international educational program for the best students and young professionals in the world. Through the program, participants are assisted to maximise their potential and develop leadership and communication skills. The program seeks to prepare young leaders with the tools that are necessary for effective leadership in an increasingly complex world. The conference took place on 4 April 2013 to 11 April 2013 and included lectures on Leadership, Communication, Diplomatic Protocol, Women in Leadership, International Relationships and Conflict Management. Attendees also participated in thought-proving debates around gun laws, abortion and the death penalty.
Ezlyn Barends and Mmabatho Mokiti are social impact entrepreneurs and business partners in two education-focused organisations – Mathemaniacs and the Dad Fund.
Ezlyn Barends said “Unlike most of the participants, I did not study Politics or International Relations, so this conference was particularly interesting to me as I was learning something new. We engaged with young leaders and activists from 23 different countries including, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Kosovo, Uzbekhstan, Azerbidjan, Montenegro, Hungary, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, UK, US, Brazil, Afghanistan, Armenia”.
Mmabatho Mokiti states, “PGLA not only exposed me to the Middle East, but also opened me up to ways of being a better leader, not only in politics, but in business too. I got the opportunity to share and receive ideas from 40 young global leaders, who educated me about their countries and organizations. Not only have I received the first of many international accreditations, but I've also made friends and colleagues all around the world”.
The trip also included a camping excursion in the dessert (Wadi Rum), a visit to the last remaining wonder of the world, Petra and the Dead Sea.
Both and Mmabatho and Ezlyn are deeply grateful to Sangari South Africa, a pioneer in educational solutions, for sponsoring their participation at the conference. “Sangari made this possible for us. Because of the trip, we were able to connect with like-minded young leaders from all over the globe. I truly admire companies who make investments like this in young leaders in order to expose them to international contacts, standards and practices so as to ensure that they are globally competitive”, says Barends. “I was privileged to attend the conference. Now I am going to take all the knowledge that I gained in Jordan and share it with my friends, colleagues and students and also to apply it to my career. All that's left for me is to prepare myself to be a global leader, make an impact and change in my country”, says Mokiti.
"Sangari believes in investing in young people and especially females like Ezlyn and Mmabatho has far more reaching impact for the South African education sector and economy. Their vision for their business and focus on education, especially Maths and Science, is proof that given the opportunity, exposure and support, "the sky becomes the limit". We need more young entrepreneurs to take the risk and believe in their ideas. We wish Ezlyn and Mmabatho all the best on their journey to building successful businesses. " Says Bez Sangari, CEO of Sangari South Africa.
Barends and Mokiti are currently working towards hosting the Preparing Global Leaders Academy in South Africa in May 2014.
“Having the conference here will allow us to educate international students and graduates about the development currently taking place in Africa”, says Barends.
Find out more on: dadfund.org