Kurdistan – A Place Where Leaders are Made

British Expertise International Awards Press Release:

Central London Toastmasters Division Governor, Jacqueline Purcell and Alan Awilkadir, President of Kurdistan Public Speaking Academy (KPSA), on top of mountains in Suli (Pic - Allan Spink, FRSA)

Central London Toastmasters Division Governor, Jacqueline Purcell and Alan Awilkadir, President of Kurdistan Public Speaking Academy (KPSA), on top of mountains in Suli (Pic – Allan Spink, FRSA)

Kurdistan Leadership Project awarded the British Expertise International Awards Finalist for 2015

The not for profit leadership development project, ‘Kurdistan – A Place Where Leaders are Made’, recently became a finalist for the British Expertise International Awards 2015, in a new category called: ‘Outstanding International Leadership’ sponsored by The Leadership Trust.

The British Expertise Awards objective is to provide a showcase for the outstanding international achievements of the UK professional services sector. The British Expertise Awards gala dinner will be held on 14th April 2015 which is co-incidentally the same date when the British Government marks Anfal Memorial Day, commemorating alongside the people of Kurdistan, the suffering that Iraq’s Kurds experienced under Saddam Hussein’s genocide campaign.

The project, with a budget of zero, is a collaboration between Kurdish, Irish, American, Italian and British expertise, led by Jasper Alliance London Limited. It focuses on the journey that led to the establishment of the first Toastmasters club in Iraq, the Kurdistan Public Speaking Academy (KPSA). The story is about hope for the future and how the training of leaders continues despite the sensitive situation in Iraq. Kurdish entrepreneur, Alan Awilkadir, sought out Jacqueline Purcell because he heard that she was a Toastmaster with public speaking expertise. Guided by Allan Spink, (M.A. Cambridge), Chairman of Jasper Alliance London Limited, they jointly founded the first Toastmasters International, public speaking academy in Iraq, using the Toastmasters slogan: ‘Where Leaders are Made’. Unlike many civic organizations, the KPSA neither developed by itself, nor was born of foreign benefaction, but as the result of international co-operation. https://www.facebook.com/kurdistanpublicspeaking.

Kurdistan Public Speaking Academy members

Kurdistan Public Speaking Academy (KPSA) members

President Alan said it was ‘a historic achievement’ because the Toastmasters’ education programme, ‘addresses the lack of education on communication, presentation and leadership skills’.  He added: ‘Toastmasters not only creates leaders but also teaches them to train others in leadership and then to hand-over power so that there is peaceful continuity’. Co-founder of KPSA, Jacqueline Purcell thanked everyone for their hard work in establishing the academy: ‘Because of your efforts, Kurdistan is, now more than ever, a place where competent leaders are made’.

One member likens the KPSA’s impact to ‘providing the thirstiest desserts with the biggest oasis’. With more than 14 thousand ‘likes’ on Facebook, the KPSA already connects beyond its membership base and has a waiting list.

Against this backdrop of war, the headline never written is that Kurdistan and Iraq’s civil society, led by organizations like the KPSA, is steadily building trained community leaders for a promising future.

KPSA members have already used their communication, teamwork, and leadership skills to raise $3.7 million for medical supplies for a local public hospital. The KPSA represents a future where leaders think clearly and are not above the people they serve, but trained in leadership based on mutual respect and shared responsibility to improve services for all.

The KPSA’s expansion plans resulted in Elegant Speakers, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elegant-Speakers/370118236491498, the first Toastmasters corporate club in Iraq. The paperwork for a third academy has been filed in the capital city for the Erbil International Toastmasters Academy and yet another application has been received and submitted in April 2015.

For further information, contact: London, UK: Jacqueline Purcell DTM +44 (0)7884413305; purcell@jasperalliancelondon.com

3 Responses to Kurdistan – A Place Where Leaders are Made
  1. Amy L Beam
    April 15, 2015 | 19:00

    This is so inspirational in the midst of daily war and refugee news.

  2. Haidar
    April 16, 2015 | 01:45

    Kurdistan is in critical need of a younger generation of seasoned leaders but in order to be able to better lead, such leaders must be willing to go back to their own home land. Direct contact/association with public makes great difference.

    • Lizan
      April 16, 2015 | 12:09

      Dear Kak Haidar, Thanks for your comment. The club is in Sulaimani and all the members are living in Sulaimani

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