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Model Constructs

Building Local Confidence

The first part of the model for sustainability suggests that sustainability can be achieved by dissolving unhealthy mindsets through building local confidence. Data reveal that a leader’s perceptions were impacted by dependency in the areas of dignity, self-initiative, motive, and the potential for becoming self-reliant.48 Other researchers highlight reasons for this cause and effect. Kornfield49 posits that dependency suppresses local initiative and that as long as money is available from the West, African leaders function under the belief that their communities are not able to take action on their own. Rickett50 al so observes that foreign funding weakens local initiative by perpetuating the assumption that local leaders do not need to seek local resources, but can instead rely on Western partnerships and donors. African leaders expressed that their dependency upon foreigners who provided aid eventually weakened their motivation to cultivate initiative within their own communities.51 This example highlights one way the cultural impact of dependency influences the psychological mindsets of African leaders. These data also illustrate how culturally developed mindsets may prohibit leaders from practising local sustainability.

Therefore, Arguello52 suggests that building local confidence can dissolve unhealthy beliefs about local abilities. Desire, as construed in learner autonomy, represents, “an intuitive urge that captures the essence of one’s purpose and links it with one’s power”.53 Data reveal that when African leaders made an effort to dissolve unhealthy beliefs through building confidence, they, in return, cultivated purpose and believed they were capable of beginning to practise self-reliance.54 Several leaders expressed the belief that having a high level of confidence would have a lasting impact on the practice of self-reliance. Data also reveal that African leaders believed that exhibiting self-confidence could help them lead with courage and zeal in order to deliver change in the community. As one leader elaborated, “ Once you change the mind of the people, everything else works in practice of self-reliance.”55 Summarily, leaders who grow confidence both individually as well as within a group context may increase their ability to overcome unhealthy mindsets of dependency.

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