We are excited about our recent re-launch of our Mentorship Programme! We took a few months off to review the past success and challenges of the programme, taking into account feedback from participants, staff and past Mentors. And, we are already seeing great results in our newly launched programme.
Overview of the Mentorship Programme
The Mentorship curriculum provides a structured way for the girls to talk about important life themes within a trusting, encouraging environment. The curriculum contains two six month sets, and each month carries a different theme. Examples of monthly topics include self-awareness, maturity, communication, body image, and reintegration. Lessons are connected through a “Tree of Life Activity” that is discussed and built upon in each session. The Tree of Life, an application of Narrative Exposure Therapy, links different parts of the tree to the children’s roots, skills and knowledge, hopes and dreams, and the special people in their life. In each session, the girls and Mentors add to their tree. The Tree of Life enables children to speak about their lives in ways that make them feel stronger. Narrative practices ensure safety and help avoid re-traumatization.
So, how did we change the Programme?
Emerge has been built from the ground-up, each programme uniquely designed for our participants. This means we go through a lot of iteration! Over the past 6 months, we have:
1) Updated our Mentor training to better support them in handling challenging behavior and difficult conversations
We have updated our training so that Mentors are better prepared to coach the girls. We updated our training manual and one-day training programme for Mentors to include case studies of challenging situations Mentors have faced in the past, and responses that will help Mentors navigate these difficult conversations.
Our current batch of Mentors includes both new and experience Emerge Mentors, which has provided great “mentoring of Mentors.” Returning Mentors have been eager to share their experiences and coach new Mentors on handling difficult situations, based on their past experiences.
2) Launched a Mentee workbook
We also launched a Mentee workbook which allows the girls and their Mentor to discuss and record activities from the day’s lesson, as well as the Mentee’s evolving ideas. A colouring page has also been introduced to allow time for the Mentee and Mentor to engage in one-on-one discussions before group activities start.
3) Re-launched with an incredible batch of Mentors!
Our current Mentors come from various backgrounds, including the private sector, development sector, business women, practicing doctors, psychosocial specialists, stay-at-home mothers, and students. This mix brings in varies perspectives into the discussion and can share different experiences with the girls.
The Mentors have embraced role plays enthusiastically, as this has proven to be the most effective technique used to communicate new concepts to the girls. The girls adore having one-on-one attention and are highly engaged during mentorship sessions.
As always, our Mentors are touched by the day-to-day difficulties the girls experience. One Mentor recently donated three cribs (thank you!!) to allow newborn babies to rest during lessons so the mother can engage in the activities more freely. We could not ask for a better group of women to work with our girls!