We accompany leadership journeys around the world.
Since 2008, our programs have attracted hundreds of remarkable people from around the world seeking to grow their leadership and amplify their impact. The people who come to Perennial are profoundly committed to improving the lives of others, and to the well-being of their communities. Their actions influence hundreds, thousands, and millions of people. They are often the bearers of innovation, the keepers of deep and meaningful stories, the catalysts for change in their communities, yet they do not all have a job title associated with their leadership. Thus Perennial exists to serve the leadership development in all people who are serving the unmet needs in their communities, building movements, and growing social businesses.
Some of these extraordinary people are featured below.
Through Perennial, I was able to get the important tools and resources I needed to further ignite my movement and inspire more people. I collaborated with fellow participants once returning home to create a more sustainable training program for Lucha.
–Fred Bauma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Fred Bauma’s vision is nothing less than creating a just and equitable society in his home country, Democratic Republic of Congo. Fred is one of the leaders of the nonviolent youth organization Lucha. He wants DRC to become a “sentinel of democracy and good governance,” and is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, “and other great minds that positively changed humanity.”
Perennial was the most effective program I have attended in my career development. It is intensive, interactive and integrated. The methodology is unique. I can apply many things I learnt from from program to my work. I have left feeling very inspired from both the facilitators and the participants.
–Tam Pham, Vietnam
Tam Pham’s lifelong goal has been to serve the most vulnerable in society and to help improve their lives. Inspired by young female development workers in Vietnam, Tam started working with Plan Vietnam as the Livelihood Advancement Business School’s (LABS) Project facilitator. Within four years, LABS’s transitioned into a local NGO, REACH, and Tam became the organization’s first Executive Director. Under Tam’s dedicated leadership and hard work, the organization grew from a small 5-person team to a fully functioning staff of 50. Since her time at Perennial, Tam has won the ‘Asian Social Innovation Award’, has formed new partnership with institutes such as Manan Trust and Credit Suisse, and has developed a new social enterprise – TRE restaurant.
Perennial helped me to grow professionally as a leader. This program gave me the tools to better lead my team and made it possible for me to work more efficiently with everyone. The experience I found in being part of a global community, meeting social change leaders from other countries, and sharing stories and ideas truly strengthened my spirit to continue doing the work I do to improve my community.
–Estela Simaj, Guatemala
Estela Petrona Simaj Rafael, a Kaqchikel leader from Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala is a “social communicator” who is passionate about promoting indigenous culture and improving life in her community. Being a voice for change, Estela is an important community organizer. She is the Director of CECAP, an Amigos de Santa Cruz funded vocational training center for women and youth in Santa Cruz. Estela has faced serious cultural barriers in her career. “People in my community think that women cannot be leaders because machismo is a strong influence … and I want to change that,” she says.
The Perennial Fellowship was about me. It was about refinding my purpose, my vision and reconnecting to why I do what I do. I personally became more aware on how to lead with consciousness, and to have an open heart and mind. I have attended many other trainings in my life that were overly technical and that really lacked the essence of being connected to myself. Perennial, on the other hand, has given me the true tools to be an inspirational leader for my staff and the communities we serve.
–Aaron Bukenya, Uganda
Aaron’s vision centers around a world of equality and social justice. He is the Executive Director of BESO, which serves disadvantaged children and women in the rural areas of Uganda. Their approach is centered around families, putting them first to allow access to higher quality education and economic empowerment they may not be able to reach on their own. His work has already seen impressive success with BESO, but knows that there is still a long way to go: “(We have) provided 2,600 children access to quality education and implemented agriculture and business training initiatives to over 2,400 rural women farmers in Bugerere County.”
At a personal level, Perennial helped me to see myself at a deeper level and create my own space for personal reflection. I also learned how to refresh/refill my energy to move forward. I came back with increased self awareness, which really helped me have better relationship with others. At a professional level, I acquired skills in knowing how to create a learning space within my organization and my partner organizations for individual and collective learning.
–NAW OHNMAR SHWE, MYANMAR BURMA
Ohnmar is the Program Manager at Gaia Sustainable Management Institute (GSMI), a local NGO in Yangon, Myanmar. GSMI seeks to empower grassroots and marginalized communities through capacity development for grassroots organizations and individuals, with the belief that personal transformation leads to social change. Since 2001, Ohnmar has been working in peacebuilding and community development. Ohnmar’s calling lies in community development and capacity building and she describes her vision as being “a light for others…in order to help people move forward in their path.”
Perennial gave me the space to challenge myself and helped me to get out of my comfort zone. I was able to embody the growth that I hadn’t allowed myself to experience in my daily Life. Perennial also helped me reconcilie with the concept of Power and opened a world of possibilities when I proactively lead the change that I want to see.
–NELLY FERNANDEZ, CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN/SPAIN
Nelly is a community health advocate with a broad skill set — she is a psychologist, a teacher, and a trainer for children, adolescents, adults, and those with special needs. Originally from Spain, she currently serves as the Mental & Reproductive Health Coordinator of Medical and Family Services for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos International. Nelly’s dream is to keep working towards creating mentally healthy communities, empowering youth and those working with youth, through expressive arts and self-awareness. The purpose being to reflect on the vision they have for their own life, and engage in other world issues they find are important to them. She believes in the healing power of being able to connect with oneself and sharing this knowledge with others.
After Perennial, I felt equipped with a refreshed personal vision which is quite honestly much needed after spending 7 years in my current organization. I continue to spend time doing my personal practice and I also revisit why I do what I do – the two most important things that I learnt during my time at Perennial that has helped me prevent burn out and continues to inspires me to do the work I do. Consequentially, it makes me love my work more and keeps me going, impacting more lives in the process.
–NICHOLAS FOONG, MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE
Nicholas (Nick) Foong is the Director of Services at Yayasan Generasi Gemilang, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of under-served children and families by increasing access to quality education in Malaysia.
Nick has been involved with youth development work for 8 years, especially in Cyber Wellness, and engages adults in the area of Digital Parenting. Having a young child, he has taken an immense interest in research surrounding digital parenting and wants to push this agenda as he believes it is his way of leaving an impact and legacy in Malaysia. Nick also provides leadership oversight for the Children, Family Services, and the Communications team. His vision is to ensure work by his team is done with integrity, excellence, and a humble attitude.