New study on leadership and change in Highlands Hope and Njombe

Ariane Desmarais-Michaud first visited Njombe in a Highlands Hope Umbrella sponsored project to evaluate the home living conditions of orphans and vulnerable children under the care of the Kibena Women's Association.

Ariane was then a student at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. She then did her master's degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and chose to return to Njombe to study leadership within the Highlands Hope Umbrella for her graduate thesis.

Ariane is currently studying social policy at Carleton University in Ottawa.


This study focuses on the relationship between leadership and change in grassroots organizations and how they can improve health conditions within their community. Taking an experiential learning approach to health development, it is argued that leaders working in grassroots organizations should employ reflexive methods of learning to harness solutions based on community experiences. Within this framework, leaders would work to create dynamic relationships with their followers. Such partnerships require that both the leader and participant engage in the mutual sharing and reflection of experience to create relevant, place-specific, health interventions. Through the use of a case study on the leaders of the Highlands Hope Umbrella, located in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, it is demonstrated that experiential education initiatives geared towards behavioral and lifestyle changes are an important first step in bringing about sustainable improvements in the health of community members.

The full study is available as a pdf here: