This Mentoring Toolkit has been developed by youth workers in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with two aims: 

  1. To inspire you and give you the tools to start or improve mentoring for girls in your own youth clubs 
  2. To act as a template that you can adapt for mentors in your youth projects 

This Mentoring Toolkit contains simple and enjoyable worksheets and tools which are informed by the character trait journey that mentees explore during their time at your youth club. An individual’s character is the unique set of personal traits and skills that guides their behaviour.

This is a template you can adapt for your own organisation. Some parts are fixed while others have reflections to help mentors in their conversations with mentees. The Mentoring Coordinator/Lead should orient the mentors in using this guide and how to use it as inspiration for creating one for their own organisation.

This toolkit is not intended to be an instructional manual, telling you exactly how to deliver your sessions, but to be used together with your mentee as a point of reference where you can select different sheets each week, explore the links to a pool of resources and decide how they can be used for each unique session. The worksheets can be used in any order. You do not need to complete every single activity of each section, but we highly encourage you to cover all the different topics of this journey throughout your mentoring relationship.

Mentoring Journey: Mumbi’s story

Mumbi was very excited when she received her admission letter to study finance at university. This was a dream come true as she wanted to be an accountant in the future. Mumbi grew up in another town, which meant living in a different city and she was very nervous. In her first week at the university, Mumbi heard of a mentoring programme from a friend. What was this all about? Being very curious, she decided to find out more. As the program seemed like a great idea, she signed up. Mumbi liked the idea of having an experienced friend to walk hand in hand with through campus life. Being in a new city and making new friends alongside her studies was quite overwhelming.

Mumbi still remembers how her mentor, Irene, welcomed her with a warm smile on their first meeting. “I am excited to meet you Mumbi!” she said. Mumbi felt at ease, and they got to know each other. Irene had just finished her MBA and worked as an accountant in the central bank. Mumbi couldn’t believe this! She was inspired and greatly admired her. Irene asked how often she wanted to meet and Mumbi was impressed by her dedication to helping her. They agreed to meet every week.

Through Irene’s caring and listening attitude, Mumbi felt she could trust her, and they became friends. She shared the challenges she was going through in her personal and academic life, and Irene listened and gave advice. She helped Mumbi reflect on decisions and always asked what she wanted to achieve in life. Irene encouraged Mumbi and held her accountable for fulfilling the goals she set during their mentoring sessions.

Irene was very supportive throughout her campus life. Mumbi remembers one time she failed a subject and was greatly distressed, as she was always top of her class and had never failed before. She had thought that she would be disappointed after sharing this with her mentor. Instead, Irene was very understanding. She went on to explain to Mumbi that failure was normal and that she should be grateful for this learning opportunity. She was also very understanding with other people when they failed. Mumbi felt encouraged, revised the subject better and when she redid the exam, she passed.

Mumbi says she could write many pages of the lessons she has learnt from her mentor and how she has helped her, but she only wishes to share a few. It’s now been more than ten years since Mumbi finished university and got a job as an accountant. Irene is still her mentor and a great friend. What they have is a lifetime relationship. She still calls Irene and asks for her advice and Irene goes out of her way to find the time. Mumbi is very grateful for this. How would she have gone through campus without a mentor? How would she have transitioned from school to work without her advice? Would Mumbi feel confident in herself as she does now? Would she have had the courage to make life decisions? Would she be sharing her journey with you today?

Irene greatly influenced Mumbi in many ways, one of which is her passion for mentoring. She loves mentoring young women like Irene mentored her. She likes learning about mentoring and being involved in developing guides like this one. She believes in mentoring as she can see how it has helped and is still helping her grow. Mumbi would like to be a great mentor like Irene; for this to happen she needs to constantly learn and improve her mentoring skills. As one of her friends says, her dream is to “Rise as I lift others through mentoring.”

Reflection Questions 

  • Do you currently mentor young women, either formally or informally?
  • How would you define mentoring?
  • How does your organisation define mentoring?

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