Inclusive Leaders in Our Global Village: Spotlight on Alhassan Sesay

Alhassan Sesay is an Inclusive Leader from Sierra Leone with a calling is to help create a future that works for all of us in our precious planet. “We hope to have a common agenda in the fight against climate change and make our communities sustainable in the utilization of our natural resources in an environmentally friendly way so that development can reach the least man in society.”

Through his participation in our new online course, Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential, Alhassan and 18 more champions of diversity and inclusion from nine different countries are helping to build Inclusive Leadership into a global learning community. Alhassan shares, “I was surprised when I got a message from Inclusive Leadership that they are offering me a space to be part of the course and meet people from all over the world.”

Ahassan is participating in the Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential Online Course out of a deep concern for the people and places in Sierra Leone where he lives, works, volunteers, advocates and organizes. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world and is on the front-lines of the drastic impact that climate change is having on people’s livelihoods in these already underprivileged communities. As these challenges began hitting community after community, Alhassan founded the Sierra Leone School Green Club (SLSGC) and became an ambassador for Green Campus Initiative Nigeria which is a focal point for the Citizen Climate Lobby Africa (CCL). Through these organizations he has become engaged in climate change sensitization and mitigation strategies across Sierra Leone. His work is informed and inspired by several global frameworks including the Earth Charter, the Young African Leader and the African Changemaker Initiatives and now Inclusive Leadership. “Since taking the Earth Charter Leadership Course in 2016, I am practicing all that I learned. Our vision is to see a greener sustainable environment for all the plant and animal inhabitants of planet earth, building the capacity of school pupils and community members in sustaining our environment.”

Alhassan’s approach to community-building integrates the pillars of the Earth Charter into farming projects that are based as much on enriching lives through joy and shared laughter as well as through meeting basic needs of food and shelter: “Presently we are working on a project called Songo Hamlet, Agricultural Fun Park, an integrated approach to building climate change resilience. The primary goal of the project is to eradicate global hunger and poverty in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner through local initiatives. The intention is to operate and manage a hamlet project that addresses hunger and poverty through the growing of crops, rearing of animals and an amusement park for touristic investment and nature. We’ve also established a swamp garden for youth to have a means of employment as a way to reduce crime in the Waterloo community. We’ve been successful in achieving grassroots participation in Climate Change resilience strategies. We’ve planted many trees in different communities. We work with youth in agribusiness. During World Earth Day in 2017, we organized a workshop titled Climate literacy and environmental outreach that brought together community leaders and stakeholders to teach them on the effect of climate change and environmental issues. On Mandela’s Day (18th July, 2017), we also organized a workshop and tree planting exercise at Huntingdon Secondary School, Freetown, Sierra Leone, which brought in more than 30 pupils and 10 teachers from different schools in the Western Rural District in Freetown.”

The first set of skills taught in the Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential Course are the Building Bridges steps. Alhassan is already familiar with the first step of networking. “From my end networking is one of the main tools a changemaker can make use off in creating a new future that works for all. There are some challenges though in keeping the relationship growing. In online relationships, internet connections are among the biggest challenges. For example, when when we have online sessions either via Zoom or webinar I am not able to attend because of the high bandwidth it requires.”

Most of the Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential takes place on websites that can be accessed with a computer or a mobile phone without using too much band-width. In the weeks ahead Alhassan and his fellow Inclusive Leaders will be exploring skills for connecting with differences, skills for communicating with compassion and skills for responding to injustice and mistreatment with Anti-Discrimination First Aid. They will be each be applying these skills to developing their own action plans for living, learning, and leading more inclusively in their diverse communities. We look forward to learning with and from Alhassan as we all make new discoveries about our potential to be Inclusive Leaders in our local communities where ever we live in the world.

To learn more about Alhassan Sesay’s leadership in Sierra Leone go to these links:

Sierra Leone School Green Club Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SLschoolgreenclubs/

Sierra Leone School Green Club Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/sierraleonesch1

Sierra Leone School Green Club Website: https://aalasesay.wixsite.com/slsgc