For decades, 98% of the children and especially girls in rural Ugandan communities have been unable to complete high school. Only 0.5% will continue further for a tertiary training and graduate at a diploma level. This is due to the effects of chronic poverty, HIV, cultural beliefs that education is wasted on girls, and domestic violence.
Although these girls currently live in situations where they have little hope for a future that doesn’t include poverty and/or marriage at a young age, they have dreams of becoming educated, independent women who can effect change in Uganda in a variety of ways.
Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project is a one on one girl-to-mentor project aimed at empowering Ugandan girls through financial assistance for continued education, shared knowledge and wisdom, and creative thinking. Each rural Ugandan girl will be connected to a single mentor who will help nurture their vision for a brighter future. Our goal for 2012 is to find mentors from around the globe for 40 intelligent and motivated rural Ugandan girls.
Why One girl to One mentor project?
As the Founder of Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project, I have empathy for these girls. Ten years ago, I had little hope of attaining an education or acquiring a decent job. After staying home for two years due to a lack of school fees, I was extremely fortunate to find a mentor in the United States. She helped me finish my high school education and continued to support me in many ways while I pursued my dream of a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Now that I have graduated, I have a good job and am able to support my mother and my 17 nieces and nephews. I am also able to assist my community.
Recently I was selected by World Pulse to be one of the three world-wide awardees to speak to audiences in five major cities in the United States. World Pulse is an action media network powered by women from 185 countries, with a goal to lift and unite women’s voices to accelerate their impact for the world.
These personal experiences are why I feel so strongly about the value of mentorship for promising Ugandan girls. I have seen first-hand what a difference having a mentor can make, and want to make this opportunity available to others.
I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given Opportunity, Education and Motivation, ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY; everybody is SOMEBODY.
Below are some of the links that would help you to know more about me
• A podcast interview: http://www.futureprimitive.org/?powerpress_pinw=2313-podcast
• A panel with Gloria Steinem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiiORDrgVJw
• Contribution to Women leadership: http://vimeo.com/m/31171945
• Blogs/blog: http://worldpulse.com/node/46561
• World Pulse tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvg6Ybc-d-k&sns=fb
Benefits/advantages of One girl to One mentor project;
• One-on-one mentorship and sponsorship of a promising rural Ugandan girl.
• Helping a girl attain education she could not otherwise afford. This will help prevent forced early marriages, and provide a pathway to the achievement of dreams and career goals.
• This is an opportunity for direct involvement where the mentor is able to easily see the impact of their support for the girl they choose to support.
• The mentor has the opportunity of visiting the girl and/or her family, if they so wish (in a group with other mentors) once a year. Visits are not mandatory.
• There is direct communication between the girl and the mentor. Initially this will be done through snail mail. However, in the near future, we will set up a communications center where the girls will have access to computers and the internet in order to facilitate communication with their mentors through the social medias (emails, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) At the moment we are limited by resources.
Criteria for Mentorship – The Mentors;
• A minimum of one girl per mentor.
• The length of the mentorship shall be left up to the girl and her sponsor, although it is hoped that it will last throughout her education. Either can terminate the relationship with proper notice if necessary.
• A mentor shows commitment to provide the girl with emotional and financial support, and to provide guidance and suggestions to assist her in achieving her goals.
• Both the girl and her mentor may blog or share their experiences, stories and successes using the social media.
• The mentor is able to cultivate the girl’s talents and creativity.
• Anyone from across the globe can become a mentor as long as they are able to mentor and educate the girl with strategic leadership knowledge and skills.
• A mentor can come from any country in the world.
• A mentor may involve her/his family and friends during the mentorship period (a group can mentor one girl)
• A mentor may select up to 5 girls, ranked in order of preference, in case their first pick is already taken.
• A mentor commitment form shall be provided upon selection of the girl to be mentored.
Criteria for Mentorship – The girls;
Only girls from rural, impoverished families will be considered. The following will guide the evaluation of the applicants:
• Each girl will write a short essay on their current life, explain how they’ve overcome roadblocks thus far, and identify their dreams and goals. Here are the essays: http://worldpulse.com/node/48232
• Joining or in high school level
• Promising performance in class and may also be participating in sports activities.
• The girl under normal circumstances may live with her parents/caretakers while attending a day school, but in many cases a boarding school may be a better choice due to safety concerns and distance.
• Be willing to communicate to their mentors as often as possible.
For both parties, there shall be a yearly evaluation of what’s been accomplished. At this time, goals will set for the coming year.
We suggest that mentors provide school fees for the girls and the parents/guardians shall be responsible for scholastic materials, the feeding of their children and meeting their basic needs. This is to involve the parents/guardians in the girls’ education and personal development. It shall be my responsibility to receive and document the money submitted for each girl, and to pay their school fees. This will ensure that the money is used for the purpose it was provided for.
How the mentor-ship starts:
Step one: Select a girl from the available list at http://worldpulse.com/node/48232 . A brief history of each girl is provided, along with their dreams and visions.
To see the list of the mentors and mentees together with the names of the girls who still lack mentors please visit; http://www.worldpulse.com/node/48881
This a temporary starting point but you may find this social media site useful for the purpose of sharing stories and ideas with the world.
Step two: Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and exchange snail mail contacts.
The deadline for selection of a girl by a mentor this year has been extended from January 27 to January 31, 2012. School starts on January 30, 2012.
For those who would like to become mentors next year, 2013, we will update you from as early as October 21, 2012; because our project is widely spreading, 719 girls preregistered for 2013 intake. We have selected on;y 20 [Last updated on October 05, 2012]
For more information, please send an email to email@example.com