The Cycle of Mentoring
Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month? In partnership with our sister organization, GLAMI (Girls Livelihood and Mentorship Initiative), AfricAid supports locally-led mentorship programs that benefit secondary school girls in Tanzania. Mentoring is at the core of our work and our beliefs, and for more than a decade we have seen the incredible impact such mentoring relationships have, creating resilient, proactive, and socially-responsible girls who secure better jobs, raise healthier families, and increase the standing of women in society.
But did you also know that GLAMI’s Scholars aren’t the only young women being mentored within the Kisa Project and Binti Shupavu programs? Mentors need Mentors as well! When a Mentor is hired, she agrees to a two-year contract. During this time, she is a Mentor herself to her Scholars, but she is also a Mentee, receiving personal support, career coaching, and professional development opportunities from long-term, more experienced members of GLAMI’s Staff.
When a Mentor’s time with GLAMI comes to an end, she uses the skills gained from the experience to pursue a career in her chosen field. Usually, Mentors (many of whom are Kisa Alumna themselves) have recently finished university when they are hired, and in Tanzania it can be very difficult for new graduates – especially women – to find employment unless they have significant experience. GLAMI knows that women and girls are capable of anything if they are given the necessary support to grow, and therefore offers as much support as possible by providing real-world experiences in office and teaching environments.
With the start of a new year, it is time for many of GLAMI’s beloved Mentors to pursue new chapters, both personally and professionally. Of course, they will always be part of the GLAMI and AfricAid family, supporting our mission and using their new networks to help expand the impact of GLAMI’s programs and events.
“My time working with AfricAid and GLAMI has been nothing short of gratitude, love, and growth,” says former Kisa Mentor Einoth Justine, who recently completed her time as a GLAMI Mentor. “I do not take any opportunity attained while working with GLAMI for granted. GLAMI has been and still is my family, a place where I have had considerable professional and individual growth. I have made sisters, friends, been exposed to so many opportunities, and met amazing young girls in whom I have no doubt what their future holds. My time with my Mentees is one that words cannot explain, and I want everyone in the GLAMI family to know that I appreciate them all, our memories together are so valuable and will forever stay in my heart.”