Leadership is a key element in building capacities of civil society organisations to incorporate social equity in the structures, policies and ethos of organisations and communities. The experience in East Africa is that there is currently a huge gender gap at the leadership levels of intermediary civil society organisations, government and grassroots community organisations.

EASUN launched a young women leaders' internship programme in 2007, as a key step in its advocacy for ethical leadership practices among CSOs in the East African region. The programme also demonstrates EASUN's resolve to address the gender gap in the leadership of organisations and social institutions.

The internship programme is designed to address issues of gender and leadership in East African CSOs at four major levels:

  • To promote the participation of women in leadership, decision-making and transformation of social institutions;
  • To build the knowledge, skills and attitudes of facilitative leaders;
  • To build organisational cultures that are more effective in managing change and team learning processes;
  • To enhance leadership qualities that will have an impact on the abilities of organisation's to be transforming places of human and institutional growth.

How the interns benefit

Specific skills gained through the internship programme include: 1) Facilitating development processes in organisations; 2) coaching and mentoring of individuals for personal development; 3) Research, advocacy and networking skills; 4) Programme planning and coordination.

The programme provides a rich cultural experience, as the interns interact and work with people from all over the East African region. At an intellectual development level, the interns get maximum exposure to the issues and questions related to civil society development across East Africa. This particularly happens through direct encounters with leaders and organisations facilitated by EASUN through its various activities. The programme is particularly rich in confidence building for young people with potential for leadership and will consequently help them advance their careers through new skills and the networks of individuals and institutions they will have connected with.

The leadership development of interns is managed through mentorship by EASUN consultants and trainers. In all the activities they are involved in, each intern is supported through a process of conscious reflection, including setting targets for personal development as a leader and a facilitator of development in others.
Who participates in internship programme?

Young women aged between 25 and 35. They must have at least a Bachelor's and demonstrate motivation to promote the principles of justice and equity in society. They need to be citizens and residents of Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda.

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