Busara is a Swahili word for wisdom. As part of Homeward Bound, the Busara Circle recruits women who can use their experience to mentor program participants.
One of the main characteristics of this group is the ability to help participants gain confidence/courage in areas of great success or influence, as well as when they are not as successful or feel voiceless. The women of the Busara Circle call on their wisdom acquired by a long time of service and leadership to support the women of Homeward Bound.
The Busara Circle began life as Homeward Bound’s Elder Program, which featured as its first recruits the climate change policy expert and architect of the Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres (for HB3) and Kenyan human rights activist Musimbi Kanyoro (HB4).
In 2021 the Elder Program changed its name to the Busara Circle, to acknowledge and distinguish it from the elder program started by Nelson Mandela.
Homeward Bound’s Busara Circle recruits from a diversity of cultures and has a strong focus on elevating the different approaches to leadership in our world today.
We have seen women and men, societies, philanthropies, really happen in the world we are exposed to, and we bring this to the table; we have been leaders, mothers, advocates. – the women we meet are struggling; we bring our real time experience which is global, deep and wide. We create a humble, authentic, kind, honest and integrity rich space. We can talk to many things, at times and for women as it suits their greatest need.
There are times when we can talk about our experiences in universities, in government, in the UN, in not for profit, in business, handling money and people, influencing policy and decision making, creating global change.. All these things are part of Busara. Any one area would normally be a struggle trying to understand if it is a moment in your career; but when you have been in leadership over time, you learn to see leadership simply as something you do with other people; you develop with others, that’s how it works. You are never a leader by yourself; always with in a context.
We accept being vulnerable, we let others grow to be bigger than ourselves we accept there will always be things we don’t understand and there will be people we depend – on upwards and sideways. There are, as a result, ways to be led as much as lead. This we bring to Homeward Bound.
We accept that the more we do and learn, the less certain we become and so we listen and collaborate. We move to a common purpose, a shared vision, and we accept that our skill helps many hands craft the journey.
We have courageous conversations and support others doing the same.