Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

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Empowering Sisters to Lead

The Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program, the largest program run by ASEC, has a clear and simple purpose: to provide leadership and technology training to Catholic sisters in Africa.

SLDI Program Structure

Above: Sisters improve their record keeping and reporting with ASEC-SLDI workshops, where they learn to use Microsoft Excel. One sister says, "It is my first time time to sit in a class and learn something which I can apply straight. We are on fire. We are thinking of how to go back and start it!"

Technology & Leadership Workshops

In the SLDI program, sisters complete workshops in technology and leadership over a three-year period:

  • Year One: A month-long technology workshop in the Basic Technology or Web Design track
  • Year Two: A month-long leadership workshop in either the Administration or Finance track
  • Year Three: A month-long leadership workshop in either the Administration or Finance track
Sisters engage in group work during an Administration workshop in Zambia in 2015.

Sisters working together during an Administration workshop in Zambia.

Field Trips

Field trips began in 2015 to provide a “hands on” learning experience for sisters. Participants visited an array of model projects and sites, including:

Some field trips visited projects led by SLDI alumnae. Sisters, instructors, and coordinators all reported high levels of satisfaction with this new addition to the program.

“I came to realize that after completing the SLDI program that I am no more the same person. I have more knowledge. During recreation, I share with my sisters. [In] the school, the head teacher consult me for many things. And it's through what I learnt that I am able to make meaningful contributions. That makes me happy and I am thankful to ASEC. I have a voice.

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Becoming Alumnae

Upon graduation from the program, sisters receive a laptop to assist them in continuing their work at home. Alumnae are expected to mentor at least 3 other sisters and are encouraged to invite their mentees to attend the annual alumnae workshops.

Equipped with a strong foundation of skills, many our SLDI alumnae go on to pursue a college diploma or Bachelor’s degree, some through our HESA program.

ASEC alumnae have reported mentoring 20,000+ individuals, serving over 2 million people. By implementing projects with their new skills, ASEC alumnae have reported creating an estimated 3,000 jobs.

Alumnae Workshops

SLDI Alumnae and their mentees engage in continuing education and networking through SLDI’s annual alumnae workshops. In these three-day workshops, sisters can:

  • learn more about a specific topic or skill area
  • share successes and challenges they experience in their work
  • discuss emerging issues
  • broaden their skills
  • network with other alumnae and their mentees.

SLDI Outcomes

Since the program's inception in 2007:

  • SLDI has served over 2,200 sisters through technology and leadership development workshops.
  • SLDI alumnae and their mentees have raised over $12.2M* in grants for their communities.
  • Sisters have reported mentoring 20,000+ people individually (80%), in groups (57%), and through trainings (27%)*.
  • 83% of mentees went on to share what they learned with others in their congregations, workplaces, and communities.
  • 48%* of SLDI Alumnae received a promotion after participating in SLDI.
  • 54%* of SLDI Alumnae were asked to participate in leadership activities.
  • Nearly 65%* of the sister's projects impact more than one UN Sustainable Development Goal!

In the three years during Phase IV (2016-2018)

  • We expect to serve at least 1,300 more sisters and stakeholders.

For more detailed information about our outcomes, please see our reports and presentations.

*Slides 41-55, SLDI Phase IV Year 1 Evaluation Report

Invest in Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

Consider supporting a sister to study in the SLDI program for $5,000/year.

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SLDI Evaluation Reports

For questions regarding SLDI, please contact:

Jennifer Mudge

Jennifer Mudge

Evaluation Manager
jennifer.mudge@asec-sldi.org