Leadership and Community Development Initiatives of the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy’s (ARESTA) Community Education Campaign: A Leadership, Coalition and Community Building Course Linked Capstone

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


The Community Education Campaign (CEC) of the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (ARESTA) seeks to develop the Cape Flats township communities through a multitude of collaborative programs; promoting peaceful integration of local South Africans and foreign national populations as well as peaceful approaches to resolving conflict. The Social Cohesion and Peace Building workshops, one of the many Campaign programs, are executed with local South Africans who are directly affected by the community tensions, fear and misunderstanding of the refugees and asylum seekers and conflict that ensues. Because of their multi-faceted approach, the CEC team uses a unique combination of leadership styles and approaches in order to adequately meet the needs of the beneficiaries while fostering collaborative relationships with stakeholders.

This Leadership, Coalition and Community Building Course-Linked Capstone paper seeks to explore the leadership approaches of the CEC team and how the variety of styles impact the effectiveness of their community development endeavors. The success of the programs implemented in the communities as well as the approaches taken by ARESTA staff are investigated through my personal experiences and observations as the Social Cohesion and Community Outreach Officer, internal staff interviews, and participant post-training questionnaire feedback. The paper concludes with recommendations to the ARESTA team that promote the programs and have the potential to lead to greater sustainability. Lessons learned throughout my experience that will aid in future professional and personal endeavors in multicultural environments are also highlighted.


Community-Based Learning | Leadership Studies | Organization Development

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