The Leadership Institute of New Sudan (LIONS) was established to develop a Leadership Training Institute for Sudanese among those in Sudan and those in the Sudanese Diaspora who wish to dedicate themselves to developing democracy in communities throughout Sudan. Cyber-Adal conducted this interview with Mr. Mangar Amerdid, Executive Director whom joined the nation building process back home (Sudan) as he left America and respond to the call to achieve the (LIONS) mission by set example on how you can be part of the solution by joining the process of nation building. <a href="http://cyberadal.com/2012/12/23/lions-is-at-the-forefront-of-providing-solid-training-programs-that-will-enable-the-people-of-south-sudan-to-transition-into-a-democratic-new-sudan-government-system/
1. How would you assess the LIONS before and after the referendum of S. Sudan in term of the organization mission, experience and short and long term goals?
-My assessment to LIONS before and after the independence is that we achieved some recognition within our community and leaders in term of the organization mission, and also carrying out some course as per our mission and vision. LIONS was founded with the aims of developing leadership capacity in communities through south Sudan and Sudan.
Our short term goal was to conduct several pilot courses here in US and Sudan and I think we have achieved that, in 2009, we conducted a pilot course in collaboration with Denver University – Joseph Korbel for international study, and a pilot course in collaboration with Juba University. Our long term goals were developing a solid core faculty, continual training, and developing a very strong network of members. As we speak, in terms of our faculty, I think we have a very good number of faculties here in US, Europe, Africa, and in south Sudan. Our network of members is also at a very good path of growth.
2- What would be the main obstacles the organization faced then and now, and what was the way-out to come over those problems?
– The main obstacle our organization faces is the issue of funding, without funding we can’t do that much. We have obtains few numbers of funders and we are very thankful for them… I hope they will continue to support the people of south Sudan and other marginalized people in Sudan.
Some of our members have started to pay their membership fees, which I believe will help LIONS achieve being self-sustaining in the future… We have been asking our government to support us in funding, have not received any funding yet, but we will continue to be very hopeful…. Capacity building is very important and crucial in this time of history, I believe!!
3- Leadership building as the core of the organization principle, do you think LIONS did achieve their goals, and did they found acceptance and understanding by the mainstream within the movements in S. Sudan?
– In terms of leadership capacity building as our organization mission, I think we have achieved something, but like I said the funding is holding us back, but I hope, it will not be long. Our leaders in the country have accepted the work of LIONS, not only many of them believe in our mission, for example, secretary general of SPLM, comrade Pagan Amum is a big fan of LIONS plus many others.
SPLM leadership does support LIONS because many of them have realized the urgent need for the people south Sudan which is training of the leaders. LIONS is at the forefront of providing solid training programs that will enable the people of south Sudan to transition into a democratic New Sudan government system. A new nation is being born and it will need men and women who are equipped to lead at all levels of society. In order to recover from decades-long conflict and trauma, the leaders themselves must be healers. If emerging leaders are dedicated to service rather than personal gain; if they are self-aware and skilled in bringing out the best in those around to achieve a common purpose, then the transition to a peaceful, democratic system will be positive and sustainable. The Leadership Institute of New Sudan – LION was formed by Sudanese to develop leaders in the Diaspora and in Sudan in order to support peace and development throughout south Sudan and Sudan.
4. Now as we read the news after the Referendum in S. Sudan in reference to corruption, ethnic problem, nation building set back! How the organization can address these issues, and what the capacity building you can achieve to participate to make some difference?
-LIONS is able to address these issues through training of leaders to be aware of resource people around them; we know the long war have affected many of our leaders. Many of them are undergoing a severe trauma, and many more believe they can only achieve their success through family affiliation, in other word, some only believe in their own community or family members; and that, of course, have created ethnic problem. LIONS offer trauma counseling as a subject in all our training, we believe the leaders themselves must be healers. If emerging leaders are dedicated to service rather than personal gain; if they are self-aware and skilled in bringing out the best in those around them to achieve a common purpose, then the transition to a peaceful, democratic system will be positive and sustainable throughout south Sudan.
LIONS is about to offer a nation building course or a summit in south Sudan in the near future. We want our leaders to focus on infrastructure and supper structure in order to achieve and build a strong nation; and this nation building needs all of us… those who participated in the arm struggle and those who were in diaspora achieving their education… it needs all of us, NO body, or group of people who can say we will do it alone, because building a nation is new revolution…, so, I plea to my leaders in the government to joint hands with those who were in diaspora in building our country.
5. Is there any experience or model your organization can learn from in term of nation building from the region, or from any part of Africa in general, since learning from African successful experiences is something might you learn easily in term of similarity?
-Yes, Eritrea and Rwanda are prime example for us…., I visited Eritrea in December 2010 and I saw amazing things…, I saw young Eritrean building their own country, in: roads, buildings, electricity, water, communication and agriculture. It’s 100% young Eritrean men and women. If Eritrean continues in the same path for the next few years, I think Eritrea will grow to be a new Japan in Africa. I have not visited Rwanda, but will definitely pay a visit this year…. I heard very good things about Rwanda in terms of nation building, one example, is cleaning of cities and town: cleaning is, everyone responsibility, including the President (Kegame)…, very amazing, everybody cleans and no exception…
6. Does LIONS practicing any leadership transformation since its start, or still depending from its same members as they start?
-LIONS have grown tremendously since its inception.., yes, we held few courses in term of training, but our networks of members has increase and are very active doing their individuals work to support the government.
7. We know that your visits from home to the LIONS chapter in the U.S gave you a chance to meet with your team and network, can you tell us what activities been done, and how the relation is bind and strong between the Diaspora and back home?
-Many of our members in US have very strong interest to go home and help in developing our country.., many of them are asking what they can do for south Sudan. Both chapters in US and South Sudan are collaborating in many of their activities.