Where will our successful future leaders come from? That’s a question any organization, company, and country should ask. And for Azerbaijan, the answer could be in a recent training room where 20 students from low-income families gathered to learn about leadership and personal effectiveness.
For those selected, this training was a milestone. As Ms. Aytadj Musayeva, a student of Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University said, “I began seriously thinking about my potential and my personal skills now. This “Leadership and Personal Effectiveness” training will help me to build my leadership skills and help me to set my career goals. I think I will have enough confidence and courage to carry them out.”
Another participant, Humay Musayeva, explained its value, “I’m thinking seriously now about my potential and my future. I really appreciate this training guiding me through the steps to move my career and community forward.”
Aytadj and Humay joined with other participants in the training organized by Counterpart International’s Women’s Participation Program in partnership with the “Build Your Future” Public Union. Mr. Bahruz Hidayatzade, the project manager for Build the Future, notes, “The training focuses on helping youth see their own strengths and how to overcome obstacles that may get in their way.” These obstacles are particularly real for children from low-income families, and especially young women.
Mr. Ilgar Agassivev, Counterpart’s country representative was pleased to see so many young woman participating in the training. Despite being 51% of the population, only 12% of women hold government leadership positions, which can be disheartening for many young women.
“To be supported and encouraged can really make the difference in their leadership development. Investing in the educational lives of young women is important to our country’s future,” said Mr. Agassiyev.
Another training took place April 15 – 16, and there was a 20% increase in participants. Azerbaijani’s often say, “One small action can change what happens in the future.” It is our hope that from this one small training, we can assist these young men and women to become future leaders in their own families, communities and country.
Here at Counterpart, we know that lasting solutions are achieved by building the capacity of community leaders to be architects of change. In countries like Azerbaijan, where women and disenfranchised populations often struggle to find acceptance or participate in civil society, trainings like these serve to give them the skills to make valuable contributions, to be heard and respected. After all, this is the kind of opportunity all citizens deserve.
The Women’s Participation Program of Counterpart International is funded by USAID and aims at improving the status of women in Azerbaijan and involving more women in decision-making processes through public awareness on issues related to women.