Introduction to the Youth Leadership and Mentoring Programme
Critically, we also aimed to promote value driven leadership, through both the mentor relationship and regular workshops organised by the Foundation.
We selected potential mentees from senior high school or early university students. For the most part they were from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, but in environments which have provided enough support to form a base on which we could build. They had to have already demonstrated leadership skills and distinguished themselves in the current context.
Mentors were fitted individually to each mentee. In our experience, members of the target group often reacted well to one-on-one interactions with an older peer.
The success of these interactions seemed to lie in a critical level of separation between the mentor and mentee – close enough to act as a real life role model, but far enough to avoid the messiness of friendship. There was a common base of shared experiences and goals, but with a stark gap in progress towards those goals. The pilot programme ran from September 2011 to April 2012.
This programme can be run repeatedly with modifications learnt from this first program and more funding.