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The first L is for Leadership.

The Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership (C4L) opened its doors in 1999, before SAQA required adult learning to be accredited. 

So in its first phase, C4L offerd non-accredited training to NGOs from across southern Africa.



One way that C4L adapted was to take an Organization Development approach which is more consulting than formal training.

C4L also ran some mentoring projects, where it could combine its OD approach with outsourcing accredited training.  These were multi-year projects, funded by Donors, for a specific target group.

Finally, C4L adopted the role of managing training projects to which accredited Training Providers were also appointed.  Basically we handle recruitment, monitoring and reporting on the overall project.

All of these adaptations have proved to be useful and to contribute to youth empowerment.

Training Tools

C4L soon found itself getting involved in the provision of training tools for trainers.  Both in English and in Portuguese.

This has mostly been in print media format - manuals and books.

But C4L has started to build an on-line training capability as well.  However, many of its target groups (CBOs and coops) have not yet crossed the "digital divide" to be able to access this kind of training.

On-line outreach

C4L began to build an on-line service with its monthly Bulletins.

After a decade, these morphed into some books and also 3 thematic blogsites where a selection of Bulletins were catalogued.

The UNEMBEZA Desk has established contacts with Editors of media platforms over the past 2 years.

Starting in 2018, C4L will begin to deliver UNEMBEZA articles to Subscribers as well (also by email).

Advocacy projects

The first thrust of public engagement by C4L was The Childermas Letters, linking children and leaders with the theme:

"Transforming leadership, so that children are safe."

C4L then deployed its youth alumni at community level in awareness-raising projects - funded by donors.  For example on the themes of Human Trafficking and Body Parts Trafficking,

In 2011, C4L also organized a poster campaign against the Mpumalanga Murders.

Starting in 2016, C4L started to tackle the "War on Blessers" as it has been dubbed by the Minister of Health.  Four samples of these articles follow.  The first and last were written by C4L.  The middle two are source documents that illuminate our research.  The last document was run on a media platform called Voices 360 (

Anti-corruption campaigning

Originally in its non-accredited training course for NGOs, and more recently through its Bulletins, blogsites and the UNEMBEZA Desk, C4L has taken a hard line against corruption.

C4L takes pride in seeing that "state capture" has now been exposed and that "Project Re-capture" has even been started by government.  This is encouraging.

Cultural congruence

As in the celebration of Heritage Day on campus, C4L has consistently tried to champion the integration of local culture in its programming and training tools.