We launch the new HALI Access Network podcast, with an episode that introduces listeners to the founders of HALI: Rebecca Zeigler Mano, Founder/Director of the United States Achievers Program (USAP) in Zimbabwe, and Rebekah Westphal, Assistant Dean of Yale College and Director: Office of Fellowship Program at Yale University.
Rebecca and Rebekah discuss how the HALI Access Network came to be, from their first conception of the idea, to the very first Indaba, a group of around twenty people.
They reminisce fondly of the storytelling round a campfire and their newfound friends and colleagues who were eager for the opportunity to share success stories, ideas and challenges. No one could have predicted how this concept would transform into the organisation that we are today, a community of forty-one members in over twenty-one countries in the space of just five years.
They discuss how HALI has evolved, transforming from a group of predominantly white American leaders, into a community with many young Africans running their organisations and working as mentors and counsellors to each other. Over time, collaboration between the members has strengthened, creating a family of people who celebrate each other’s successes and share mutual beneficial opportunities. Both Rebecca and Rebekah feel excited that the network will continue to flourish.
They ponder on what the future of HALI will look like, whether the organisation model will be modified, and the impact of COVID-19 on Indabas and SATs. While the pandemic opened up the last (virtual) Indaba to a wider range of people and organisations, they both say they are longing for the intimacy of the next in-person indaba.
In the spirit of getting to know Rebecca and Rebekah further, the episode concludes with a quick-fire round of questions to learn about the founders’ favourite moments at HALI, books and TED Talks that they recommend to students, and the thing that they would most like to fix on earth. Listen to the podcast to find out the answers!