Spotlight on Maestros: 2017 Green Star Award Winner!
Maestros Leadership Teams are coalitions of young social, technical and commercial leaders. They aim to develop and equip leaders who have purpose, motivated by service to humanity and driven by sustainable results to achieve an Africa that is politically, socially and economically successful.
Check out their website here!
Interview with Charles Lipenga, CEO of Maestros Leadership Co.
“Together, we use the guidance of the Sustainable Development Goals in solving persistent global challenges that limit communities’ ability to survive and thrive. We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change.”
How do you believe winning a Green Star Award will impact upon the work of your organization?
Effective leaders are in short supply; empowering the youth today is the surest way to increase it for an inevitable future transformation. Our programs are designed to inspire young people as well as adults to become engaged members of their communities/countries who work to solve problems and help others through service.
Receiving this award will also incite our government and development partners in Malawi, to provide young people with more platforms and infrastructures to turn the energy and creativity of the youth into a resource. We are pledging to continue working towards achieving the Global Goals by leveraging our global network of leaders known as Maestros, to develop and deploy community engaging, high-thinking solutions.
How does your initiative contribute to bringing environmental actors and disaster responders/ peacebuilding actors closer together?
Our activities are mainly focused on engaging the youth to lead in advocating Climate action programs, pioneering in resilience strengthening and climate adaptation activities, facilitating harvestable forests and tree planting activities in 23 countries. We also fund and promote innovative clean and renewable energy enterprises. We work with local authorities and governments through ministries of environmental affairs or similar, to promote project ownership, and train farmers in environmentally friendly agricultural practices.
The work of your organization exemplifies moving from crisis to opportunity in the face of humanitarian/environmental emergencies. What do you believe is the key factor driving this in your organization?
Youth engagement is our key factor, in terms of involvement, collaboration and youth empowerment. We form coalitions of young social, technical and commercial leaders. Together, we solve persistent global challenges that limit communities’ ability to survive and thrive. We do this by leveraging our global network of leaders known as Maestros, to develop and deploy community engaging, high-thinking solutions. I believe in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must engage a generation of young people who know about the Goals, care about their success and actively works toward their realization.
What message would you like to share with others striving to do the same in their organizations?
Environmental awareness can be split into procedural knowledge and informational interventions. The very knowledge about mitigation, adaptation, recycling materials, methods of recycling and disposal processes have been shown to influence employee behaviour. I believe that employees who are aware of their organization’s waste management practices are more likely to act sustainably. It all begins with us – regardless of the setting of our organizations, implementing climate action policies must start with each individual respectively.
Remember the 3 pillars to any sustainable development system: economic, social and environmental. If one of these falls, the system fails. Just like a great number of organizations are now including Humanitarian action in their CSR work, we must understand that environmental interventions are no longer to be left for organizations focused on the environment. We are all part of this global community, and global change is not a challenge for a select few. I appeal to organizations to move from helping their communities through a one-off CSR project, to instead aiming to continuously building more resilient communities against climate change.
The Green Star Awards (GSA) is a collaborative initiative of Green Cross International, UN Environment and OCHA. On Tuesday 27 September, the 2017 GSA ceremony recognized three organizations for their commitment to preventing, preparing for, and responding to environmental emergencies, as well as their efforts to integrate environment in humanitarian action. Find out more here!
Watch Maestro’s profile video to learn more!