History of GLLI

 GLLI was incorporated in 2015, emerging from an informal school club called, “Leading Light Club” at a rural school in Sibangweni in the Eastern Cape. The Leading Light Club was founded by a teacher called, "Dieudonne Allo" who saw the need for young people to develop their natural gifts and talents (light) over and above what they learned at school. Working with young children, then Dieudonne saw the need to address one of the main issues standing on the way of young people being free to develop the "Light" in them - their relationship with adults, especially parents and teachers. 


With the help of  Teresa Graham Brett , author of "Parenting for Social Change", he started the iziko program. Iziko were parent and teacher study circles which supported teachers, parents and community leaders in South Africa and Botswana to understand the world of children and create nurturing environments for them to develop their "gifts". In 2015 GLLI piloted its Iziko program workshops for teachers and parents around supporting young people on their journey to identify and develop their talents. Iziko was successfully established in Cato Manor in Durban, Regent Hill School in Gaborone, Botswana and Mthatha. Leading Light Clubs were also established in six schools around Mthatha and Walter Sisulu University. 


The founding members of GLLI knew that they had to first establish deep ties within communities, with youth, teachers, students, schools, universities, local institutions, and other community members r to find out what they most needed. They, therefore, spent four years doing that deep work and now, as is good practice, the “Community Innovation Lab” has emerged from the community and is showing tremendous success. The Community Innovation Lab was also developed from lessons learned from similar work in the United States of America, Pakistan, and Nigeria, input from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation. A pilot funded by Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), named, LL-Tech Academy was run in Mthatha with six youths and has been very successful. Lessons from this pilot highlighted the need for a more developed innovation support system for which we are raising funds. 

Iziko parent educators in Mandela Park community, Mthatha
Iziko parent educators in Mandela Park community, Mthatha