Posted on December 12, 2015
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Mentoring The Next Generation of Leaders
If we all want a better Africa, we need to train, guide, coach, support and mentor the young Africans at home and abroad. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Mentoring involves helping people to progress, most importantly young people. Our effective mentoring program focuses on the future of the next generation.
The liberalization of immigration policies in the west has caused a 60% increase on the number of migrants coming from African countries. Once abroad they work double jobs and/or go to school at the same time. Time spent at work and in school is time spent away from their children. The lack of attention from the parents affects the performance of the students at school; which eventually affects the kind of jobs they can apply for.
In addition, the young African migrants who arrive in this country found difficult to adjust to the environment and take advantage of the many opportunities that exist abroad. There is a strong business case for establishing a formal or informal mentoring program for African students and professionals living abroad.
The goal of LeadOneAfrica’s mentoring program is to pair talented, experienced African migrants (mentors) with promising, less experienced African students and professionals (mentorees). Ideally, over time, the mentoree gains skills, knowledge and a better understanding of the profession, subject, or discipline of choice. The mentor, in turn, typically gains a new perspective and learns about an area of life that was unknown previously. The true benefit and impact of mentoring is often seen not in achieving goals and objectives, but in the personal exchange between the mentor and mentoree.
Our mentors are carefully selected and screened. They focus on the mentoree’s total development – coaching the mentoree and teaching specific skills, but also sharing resources and network contacts, challenging the mentoree and creating a safe learning environment that encourages the mentoree to take risks and share vulnerabilities. This exchange helps impact those intangibles that are so critical to personal success – self-confidence, communication skills, and realistic self-assessment.
As stated before, the end goal of LeadOneAfrica’s mentoring program is to develop the right leadership and communication skills in order for young Africans at home and abroad to make an effective social change in their environment.
We have both formal and informal mentoring programs. It’s important to understand the difference between formal and informal mentoring. Why? Because different mentoring processes require different strategies and include different benchmarks and goals.
Formal mentoring programs include:
- Connection to a strategic objective within the community
- Established goals
- Measurable outcomes
- Open access for all who qualify
- Strategic pairing of mentors and mentorees
- Mentoring engagements lasting 9-12 months
- Expert training and support
- Direct organizational benefits
Informal mentoring programs include:
- Unspecified goals
- Unknown outcomes
- Limited access to the program
- Self-selection of mentors and mentorees
- Long-term mentoring
- No expert training or support
- Indirect organizational benefits