May I steal your thought process for three minutes to give you an exciting update about growth at Leadership Mission International?
Today marks the first day of our new fiscal year. This week, our board ratified an annual budget that reflects a growth margin of over 20% in our expenses, which is slight in comparison to the realities we are realizing: that we are building new buildings, bringing on new staff members, developing programs and partnerships to strengthen and support our graduates in regions all around Honduras, and increasing our students on campus by 50% in the new academic year that starts in two weeks!
Not only so, but within this past year we have created internal structures and processes to better manage and leverage growth through our new G-suite platform, our new bank accounts, our new CRM, our new website, our new logo and brand, our new organizational values, and our new trademarked slogan – Strong hearts, Strong Minds, and Strong Voices.
Looking back over a year of global pandemic, hurricanes, and shifting political structures, I am so proud and so grateful. It is incredible to me to consider all of the hours and creativity and straight-up heart that each one of you have invested out of nothing other than a passion for the great work that we are doing partnering with young women in Honduras.
I’m attaching here a visual of the projects that we have finished or are working on at TLC for the past 6 months, and also those going forward over the coming year.
I’ll also say, in brief, that we’re looking towards a formal partnership with The Chalmers Center to better strengthen and support our graduates, and some of our own students and graduates will become Community Trainers and Advocates to support on-going sustainable community development work in rural municipalities around Honduras.
We’re moving in the direction of sustainable funding sources to better support our programs and outcomes on the ground in Honduras, and we know that the finalization of our identity as an NGO in Honduras also means that we will soon be able to create other NGOs under that same umbrella within Honduras – which means that replication, which we’ve dreamed of for years, is on our near horizon.
Additionally, we’re continuing the work of building our networks here in the US. In today’s globalized world, we recognize that the work of sustainable community development in Honduras is intricately tied to community development here in the US … and that ultimately, the work of building better global neighborhoods between North and Central America is the work of becoming better neighbors. In the fall, we’ll start a bi-monthly book group with interested donors, sponsors, and board members to read Don’t Be Afraid Gringo and share a deeper understanding together of the realities faced by young women growing up in rural Honduras.
Also – for any of you who are interested in joining me to enjoy a week at The Leadership Center in Honduras, check your calendars for the first week of October and email me back if you’d like to come!
It is my firm belief that the issues faced by women on the margins throughout the world, and particularly in the developing world, are issues that are relevant to each of us – and that the more we come to know their stories, the more we resonate with their own resilience and redemptive journeys … and the more we seek out creative pathways to join them in partnerships to create a better world.
It’s exciting to me to look back at all that we’ve accomplished … and to know that really, we’re only just at the beginning. Onward and upward!