Best of Youth Development & Mentorship Programmes

November 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

Last night’s well-attended Joburg New Ideas for Africa session brought together a diverse group of participants who work in the area of youth development and mentorship. Busi Dlamini was facilitator of our session and supported by the experience of Olifele Masangane from Heartlines, Julian Hewitt from Allan Grey Orbis Foundation, Phyllis Byars-Ameguide from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Glen Steyn, Conquest for Life.

From the session, we have collectively defined the conditions for effective youth development and mentorship programmes as the following:

  • Lessons are rooted through travel and experience. Provide opportunities for first-hand experience
  • Break down the traditional authority structures, let youth take ownership of the programme and move into a relationship of mutual exchange
  • The roles of teacher/learner are often interchanged between the mentor and mentee
  • Responsibility is the role of both mentor and mentee
  • Instill in kids that someone believes in them; that they’re worth something
  • The roles of coach, mentor and councillor are different but overlap
  • Sometimes good intentions have unwanted ramifications so create the right frameworks. Have defined measurement tools in place for progress and set goal posts for your journey
  • Engage several stakeholders for optimal design
  • Diversity of kids provides the highest impact, not merely for the ‘high potentials’ but have a mix of personalities, backgrounds etc. This allows leadership to emerge through cross-sharing
  • The extent to which you listen to someone directly affects the degree to which they intellectually engage
  • Listen with a view to understanding!
  • Learning often occurs under pressure
  • Same-sex groupings of mentor/mentee keeps the relationship clear
  • Allow your mentee to keep you accountable to your values
  • It is often beneficial to use ‘ordinary people’ from the community to be mentors and make use if existing relationships. This may however limit the ability of the mentee to be open
  • The criteria and selection of your mentors should depend on the context/community
  • Involve parents through workshops/training
  • Psycho-social support is often lacking for the child, incorporate this as far as possible
  • The child is also a resource to the rest of the family once mentored
  • Provide locally-relevant resources
  • Have regular meetings with your mentee
  • Peer to peer mentorship is highly effective when youth have the appropriate conditions to dialogue (create shared experiences and a trust-base)

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

London event: Going beyond words to bring about change in Africa What support is needed to realize socially innovative and entrepreneurial ideas for a transforming Joburg?

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