Feeling Excited about New LLL Leaders

Feeling Excited about New LLL Leaders

Categories: Leader Today, Uncategorized

Mariana Petersen, Guatemala City, Guatemala

It is always exciting when a new Leader is accredited.  It’s especially exciting when this is the first Leader in a country new to La Leche League.

As Administrator of Leader Accreditation for Latin America, I am thrilled that La Leche League has reached Cuba and Peru.

LLL Cuba

Like many other countries, the mothers in Cuba need the information and support that we Leaders provide. For some time the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) for LLL Caribe/Caribbean has been traveling to Cuba and making efforts to help the community know about LLL. Cuban Leaders that live in other countries have been involved in a WhatsApp chat to help mothers on the island. A Mexican Leader is now temporarily living there, so she may be the one to start an LLL Group.  Sometimes my job is as simple as making connections, so it is exciting when I see these things happen!

LLL Peru

Many years ago a mother, who barely spoke our language but was mothering her little one through breastfeeding, came to my Group. Before she left Guatemala, she became a Leader and I was her supporting Leader. Her family moved to China and she held LLL Group meetings there, encouraging mothers and sharing LLL philosophy. I am thrilled to say that she recently moved to Peru and founded LLL of Peru!

Finding new Leaders

At a session I led on Leader accreditation at the LLL Mexico Conference, we discussed why finding new Leaders is important. Here’s a summary of what we decided:

New Leaders are so important because they:

  • Bring enthusiasm, energy and new strength to a Group and the organization.
  • Ensure that LLL will be available with information and support for the next generation.
  • Can reach new communities where breastfeeding information and support are needed.

To find new Leaders:

  • Carefully observe the mothers attending your Group Series Meetings and how they interact with their babies and with others in the Group.
  • Look for mothers who flourish within the Group and want to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Look for mothers with empathy, warmth, respect, a tendency towards teamwork, gentle and loving interactions with their baby, and a willingness to continue learning.

To support Leader Applicants:

  • Meet frequently, both socially—maybe to cook a meal together or to go to the park or library—and to work on her application. Little by little Leaders shows Applicants how a Leader’s voluntary job is interwoven with her family’s needs and other responsibilities.
  • Act with integrity as you represent La Leche League; Applicants will be watching and learning.
  • Help Applicants recognize that their mothering experience will form the basis for their work as a Leader.
  • Remember Applicants are the future of LLL.

I look forward to finding interested mothers in my Group and supporting Leaders who want to accredit new Leaders. I also love to nurture and stay in touch with new Leaders so we can share challenges and triumphs. I encourage you to also be on the lookout for potential Applicants to help your Group and LLL grow. It’s wonderful to feel the excitement of helping to accredit a new Leader!

Mariana Petersen is the Administrator of Leader Accreditation for Latin America.  She lives in Guatemala and has two daughters, a son and two grandchildren.