Corey Sutch|02.11.2016|Feature

Leadership Training in London

And so, after one in-depth, intensive week of training and social evenings, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation leadership training has drawn to a close, but what a week it has been!

Fifteen young leaders from eight different countries, ranging from Mexico to Indonesia, arrived in London last week a little bleary-eyed from travel, but eager to get stuck into the week ahead of training. With great training sessions put together by our partners, Restless Development, grant recipients learned about how to take their organisations to the next level, and how to attract, motivate and retain great staff members. Through HR training that covered these kinds of issues, they went beyond what many of the participants said they had considered beforehand. It’s reassuring to hear that there was a good amount of new information, and that participants left thinking in new ways!

For all attending organisations, this was their second MTV Staying Alive capacity building training, after having participated in our 10-day Foundation Training 3 or 4 years ago. It was great to see how all of them have developed since then. Many have grown from small grass-roots organisations without any previous funding to full-fledged NGOs with a strong foothold in their community.

Something that really stood out was the great level of diversity within the group. With a near 50-50 gender balance, and countries from many continents represented, we had an assortment of approaches and thoughts that kept things interesting, and kept us learning more from each other long after the classes had finished. The pinnacle of this was perhaps ‘culture night’, where we all shared an aspect of our country with everyone else. It was a night of Mexican tequila, Romanian jams and Indian sari, and really epitomised the worldliness of the group. It also demonstrated that, away from work, we still knew how to enjoy ourselves!

Of course, it goes without saying that there was a fantastic level of creativity on show from our grant receivers. Reading about their projects’ progress on paper or via email is a great thing, but nothing can compare to seeing their passion in person, such as our Macedonian grant-recipients putting on an HIV-themed puppet show and handing out their quirky condom packet designs.

There is such a youthful energy to everyone that was there, and we really look forward to seeing where their organisations go from here. From all of us at MTV Staying Alive, a big thanks to everyone for attending, and to Restless for conducting some really engaging training sessions!