• Gabriella Moocarme

Developing Social leaders

Quiet and timid by nature, Hiba Benkhraba was challenged in many ways at the LDI. Firstly, there was little synergy within her team to start her project. She quickly realised that she and her teammates would either sink or swim together in this challenge unless something was done. This is when she decided to take the reins of her one-year project. She bravely led her team, HAYS, to work with the Azrou centre for Community Development, the social pillar of Al-Akhawayn University. Although the team members had a late start, they managed to achieve many milestones at the end of the program.

For instance, they organised product exhibitions for cooperatives at the Azrou centre.

They fundraised money to pay for the non-formal education of students who re-applied for their primary school exam. Moreover, the money raised was used to train women in becoming more independent in their cooperatives. The most challenging experience for Hiba might have been to help organise an event for women’s day. She volunteered to host the event as an MC (Master of Ceremony) and agreed to organise a workshop about leadership value for the women working in cooperatives. Reflecting on that achievement seems unfathomable for Hiba. Indeed, she confessed to having the fear of public speaking. What more? She hates being the centre of attention, especially when she is surrounded by strangers. Yet, Hiba was wedged out of her comfort zone and was encouraged to face her fears.

“When I look back, I see that it helped me grow my confidence and to be less harsh on myself in the pursuit of perfection. I learnt that what I am pursuing is not perfection or idealism but excellence”

Leading with excellence is the right way to describe Hiba’s engagement at the LDI. She developed numerous skills that shaped her growth, maturity and confidence. This led her to be nominated as one of the best leaders of her cohort.

Today, Hiba still practises her leadership skills. She is extremely engaged in the community. After finishing the LDI in Spring 2019, she started volunteering with the team of people who initially tutored Sub-Saharan African migrants in Meknes every Saturday. Hiba later joined the team that officially founded the Friends of Migrants Club at Al-Akhawayn University. Until now, she continues to lead her team in tutoring the migrants online, even during the confinement. Her kindness and passion to make changes in her community and people from other countries make her a real global citizen. Indeed, her identity transcends geography and borders since she even demonstrated leadership skills on her exchange semester in South Korea while participating in a Peace Conference.

We are glad and extremely proud to have seen Hiba flourish into an authentic leader and we wish her all the best for what the future holds!

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