LEAD Project participants in Ain Shams gathered this evening to elect members of their Programming Board. The Programming Board is comprised of five individuals - the LEAD Field Assistant plus four "point persons" in the following areas: education, sports, vocational training, and income generation. Member serve three month terms and before the group reassembles and votes to replace them or keep them in their current positions. The Programming Board meets with the Director and Program Manager of LEAD once per month to discuss fund raising and financial issues and ensure that the programs being offered accurately reflect the needs of the target population in the area.
The assembly of the LEAD Project participants (almost 70 in total) indicates youth taking ownership of the project, perhaps one of the most difficult things to accomplish with a voluntary program for at-risk individuals.
Programming Boards are a key component to the long-term sustainability of the project. Over time, board members undergo training and begin to play a more active role in the administration of the LEAD Center bringing us closer and closer to our long-term goal of youth centers operated by former at-risk youth to offering programs to prevent violence and crime.