The DRI team is a combination of leadership and business coaches, trainers and social researchers who have recently returned from a month long trip to Eritrea that involved months of hard work, planning and motivation.

The purpose of the trip was to support 26 participants, with the collaboration of ERCOE (Eritrean Centre for Organisational Excellence), in the quest to lead their own country without the negative interference of external powers. The DRI team were not naïve to the challenges the country already faces but would embrace this with the passion for positive and effective change.

“I believe that Eritrea, with the history of the EPLF leadership style during the 30 years’ war for freedom, for self -reliance, for ownership of one’s country and resources without the shadow of modern economic, social and political colony, is a good place to start DRI’s leadership programme.” – Mebrak Ghebreweldi, the head of DRI.

On hearing feedback from the DRI involvement in Eritrea, it is clear how important and significant their efforts were in making a positive contribution to the country, in particular to the young men and women seeking knowledge and empowerment for a brighter future.

Before the trip, DRI spent 9 days working in a group to make sure the programme was culturally intelligent and that it took into consideration the larger long term national and international vision.

Weeks were spent collecting handouts, links, references, books, articles and blogs to support the learning. They group travelled across the UK prior to the trip to ensure quality time was spent getting to know each other as human beings, parents and professionals. An external team building consultant was also essential in ensuring everyone involved worked well as a team and complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This would be crucial for optimal achievement.

Now the team were fully prepared for the trip, it was time to make their way to Eritrea and put all careful planning into practice.

The training was spread across one week with each day focusing on an individual topic: leading society; leading community; leading organisations; leading others; and leading yourself.

“The research in the classrooms (2 in Asmara and 1 in Debarwa) was fascinating and a wonderful opportunity to gain another perspective on Eritrea.” – Dr Yaa

“After the group work and the presentation from each participant it was clear to us that, regardless of the language and experience, everyone was engaged and tried their best to participate.’ – Mebrak

“This was a great culmination of our trip to Eritrea. The camaraderie between the 4 of us was wonderful.  Working with the people in a country, trying to establish partnerships and focusing on key issues is a fantastic way to travel. This trip to Eritrea has been unforgettable, but I hope that the connection is not over and I’m acutely aware that there is still work to be done.” – Dr Yaa

“Working together for the same vision within the DRI team and seeking external professional support made everything possible. I feel privileged to work with individual human beings such as the DRI team and all the others who gave us their time to support our vision. It feels the right thing to do. It feels good and worthwhile. – Mebrak

“Overall, the trip was beyond a success. It has taken DRI to another level, and it is up to the team to build on this, find resources and do more.” – Alex

It is evident from the team that even though personal experience and expectations differed, DRI are stronger and more determined than ever.

“All I can say is that Africa is calling and we are listening.” – Mebrak

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