15. Expanding YALDA
Expanding YALDA and its connections is the responsibility of all its branches and their respective members, even though it is the specific mandate of each branch’s respective Branch Expansion Committee (BEC). All Africa based YALDA branches are required to help set up at least one other branch in their own country or their location of choice on the continent. YALDA branches abroad are required to set up two YALDA branches, one in Africa and one in their country or other countries abroad. If branches wish to, they can set up more than the required number. The branches you help set up will be your official YALDA branch LINCs (Liable Internal Network Colleagues).
Following are a recommended set of steps to help you set up a branch:
- Find a university that could be interested
- Contact Professors, friends and family for contacts or ideas on who to contact
- Contact people in colleges or universities close by (i.e. closer geographical location).
- Once you have a solid interested contact, then your branch must establish a good relationship with this person or these people and ensure that they are indeed very serious about starting a branch at their university.
- Once you have established the seriousness of the people then contact the YRA with the interested parties’ details and mailing addresses and YALDA will send them all the necessary ‘Start-Up’ materials.
- You must keep on checking that the potential branch has received a copy of ‘the BAP’ and other necessary materials. Your branch must also help them through the set-up stages. Your branch will be their primary contact for any trouble they encounter during the early stages. Refer them to YALDA only when necessary.
- Your branch must establish a firm relationship with the new branch (now referred to as your LINC) and this extends beyond just helping them set up; your branch is required to work with them and help your new LINC run an effective YALDA branch. Your branch is also expected to find ways to partner on projects and/or other activities with this branch, fostering YALDA team-spirit and collaboration.
- Even though once established your LINC will report directly to the YALDA Headquarters, you are required that in your branch report you state and give a brief overview of how the relationships with all your LINCs are going.
- You are also encouraged to establish and maintain relationships with other branches at all times, and not just limit collaboration and correspondence with your specific LINCs. LINCs are there to foster camaraderie, accountability and an internal network support in the YALDA community, but not to hinder your communication with other branches.
INVOLVING OTHER YOUTH IN YOUR COMMUNITY
In Africa, less than 7% of all young people have the privilege or luxury of attending an institution of higher learning. As university students, you are some of those privileged few and as a result YALDA encourages you to foster relationships with other youth in your community that are not students or are students at other institutions.
For YALDA to achieve its goals and objectives of the development of the African continent, it is stated and required in the YALDA Constitution that your branch make a consorted effort to include other youth as your YALDA branch members. Though these young people may not be able to hold Executive Board positions (as some schools do not allow this), you must however, try and incorporate them in your committees. Your Executive Board should ensure that they feel welcome and are free to give their input on matters pertaining to YALDA at your university.
YALDA requires that you also let these members register not only with your branch but also allow them to register on the YALDA website. Please keep an up-to date record of all your registered members as YALDA does random security checks to pinpoint abuse on the website and also to ensure the integrity of the organization.