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We Invest in Leaders with Staff Transformation and Capacity Building in the Democratic Republic of Congo

By Diane Ferguson

In Democratic Republic of Congo, a highly skilled mentor becomes the catalyst for a lifetime of stability for women and their families. That’s what happens when Opportunity International’s capacity building programs equip staff with the knowledge and skill to guide families through their journey out of poverty.

Opportunity DR Congo’s Laurette Naul in the staff workshop in Kinshasa.This program puts special emphasis on developing women, and identifying and investing in future leaders. In DR Congo, it empowered staff like Laurette Naul. In August, Opportunity’s growing microfinance institution in the Congo held a workshop designed to discover and develop each individual’s unique skills, combined with team-building elements, and training in communications and leadership.

The workshop began with an exercise for team members to share their gifts and explore how those gifts could benefit Opportunity’s clients in practical ways. Staff was excited by the eye-opening results. During this exercise, Laurette realized that her love for crafting pearl necklaces and for drawing could benefit clients. Since then, she has been using her artistic flair to draw informative cartoons that have been added to some of the training modules for Congolese staff and clients. Gilbert Lagaillarde, CEO of Opportunity DR Congo, said of the training, “We’ve discovered extraordinary potential in our team and we thank God for their gifts and how those gifts will benefit our organization and the clients we serve.”

DR Congo CEO Gilbert Lagaillarde distributes certificates to the staff who participated in the workshop.Workshops like this are part of Opportunity’s ongoing work to invest in leaders. Our management team is working daily to provide banking services to the otherwise unserved nearly two billion people around the world. To reach these people, capable, dedicated local microfinance leaders are needed. Yet, too often, these professionals lack the opportunity to develop leadership skills, so potential is lost and communities suffer. Opportunity International is dedicated to recruiting and developing a global talent pipeline, creating a pool of leaders capable of taking on key positions within the organization. We provide development and vision-setting programs for senior management and other microfinance professionals, as well as growth and learning opportunities to entry-level managers through the Emerging Leaders Program.

No matter the global economic climate, smart organizations know that one of their best investments is in people. That’s why we’re investing in our staff through workshops, leadership training and professional development, so that they can continue to provide training and hope for people in poverty. We’re proud to partner with staff like Laurette.

Diane Ferguson is the report writer in Opportunity’s Resource Development department.

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