At Give Girls A Chance, mentoring is part of our DNA. While it is important to provide scholarships and funding to help cover the costs of education and allow girls from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds to remain in school, this alone is not enough. Without proper psychosocial support that addresses the girls’ emotional and social well-being, most of them are likely to end up right back where they started — out-of-school and lacking the full range of support it takes to ensure that they can reach their full potential, in and outside the classroom.
We believe that our mentors, women from the community willing to lend their time and talents, are well-suited to provide the level of support needed to ensure that our girls succeed. In the past year we have grown our mentoring program from 5 to 15 mentors. These mentors commit to meeting with their mentees at least once a month. During this time, they coach the girls on their school work, help them practice their reading and spelling, talk to them about issues they may be facing at home, and provide a shoulder to lean on and a trusted confidant to share personal information with.
Judging by the results that we have seen, both from the girls’ progress reports and the feedback that we have received, the mentoring program is working. On one hand, the girls have regular contact with women who serve as role models and help them see what they could aspire to in life. On the other hand, the mentors have the joy and satisfaction of knowing that they are impacting the lives of many girls and changing their futures for the better.
In January 2018, we caught up with some of our mentors to hear what their goals for the new year are, concerning Give Girls A Chance and their interactions with their mentees. Here are the highlights of what they are looking forward to:
Proving inspiration: The mentors want to continue serving as role models, but also introduce the girls to other Nigerian and African women they can look up to and be inspired by.
Diving into STEM: The mentors are excited to kick off the STEM program and get more girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Reaching more sponsors: The mentors hope that they can connect with donors who will be inspired to support the program once they see the amazing results that have been achieved by the girls, in and outside the classroom.
Creating stronger relationships: The mentors are looking forward to getting to know their girls better, improving their relationships, and leveraging the trust the girls have in them to support them even more.
To hear more of what our mentors had to say, please watch the video. To follow the journey of the mentors with their mentees in 2018, please follow us on social media.