Mentorship is at the core of Affecto Foundation’s Education program. Various research studies and observations show that mentees perform better after getting out of school compared to students who studied without mentors. It is with this conviction that Affecto Foundation under its education pillar has put solid emphasis on mentoring students. This is also informed by the foundation’s principles in the values of integrity, hard work and discipline as important products of education.
Since its inception in 2017, Affecto Foundation rolled out a mentorship programme for the 70 students currently in its programme. This usually takes place during school holidays in April, August and December when our students converge at a central location in Nairobi where they meet, interact and exchange ideas with different professionals.
And on May 18, 2019, Affecto Foundation climbed a notch-higher when for the first time- its mentorship programme was taken to Kinangop in Nyandarua County. The beneficiaries were the 1,650 students at Karima Girls’ High School where two of Affecto Foundation’s Stars are students. Affecto could not have been happier especially after witnessing two of our Affecto Ambassadors at the school confidently addressing fellow students and highlighting the foundation’s work and how they had benefited. What was even more captivating was that the two beneficiaries had even interested their schoolmates to become ambassadors of the foundation and also beneficiaries of its holiday mentorship programme.
During the career day at the school, the students had an opportunity to meet mentors in different professional backgrounds. The key thematic areas were;
4. Finance & Business
5. International Relations and Diplomacy
6. Quantity Surveying, Architecture & Real Estates
7. Media & Filming, 8. ICT & Telecommunications
We had seasoned professionals led by the youngest PHD holder in Biomathematics Purity Ngina and Sammy Kaihuri of Breathe Ministries. The students had an opportunity to see, hear and ask questions from the professionals in their (students) interest fields. Affecto provided the platform free of charge to the students and to the school fraternity. They interacted with experts from the eight broad thematic areas. They were able to engage on what it means to become professionals and pick careers, from their areas of interest from the grades they need to attain, duration of training and employment opportunities among others.
We also had young mentors mostly final year students drawn from top universities in the country. Due to the similarity in age, the girls easily related to them strengthening their belief that it was possible for them to achieve their dreams since their peers had made it.
Affecto Foundation stands for inclusive style of mentorship to ensure mentees tap knowledge from a diverse world of careers including leadership in different capacities. To that end, the foundation is always more than happy to work with the National and County Governments to boost the social well-being of young people by offering advice and life-time lessons that can make them become better citizens. During the career day at Karima Girls’, we had the blessings and support of the Nyandarua County Government marked especially by the presence of the First Lady H.E Amb Anne Thuita- who in her capacity as the first lady and also as a professional diplomat- came in as a lead facilitator. She was also a mentor in International Relations & Diplomacy thematic area.
Karima Girls’ Deputy Principals (Academics and Administration), the Career Department, ICT and other teachers stayed with us from morning till evening (By the way our program was to run till lunch time but the girls held the team till 5pm).
Our new partner Expeditions Maasai Safaris came in handy to facilitate transport for the team that travelled from different areas to Kinangop. Thanks to all who made this day a success. On to the next! Between 2018 and 2019, Affecto Foundation has sponsored 70 needy students to different schools across the country. We also provide mentorship to the students by exposing them to the professional world by giving them opportunities to interact with professionals so that they can learn from the very beginning work, ethics and leadership – becoming leaders with integrity. This perhaps explains the reason we are careful about the type of individual professionals we pick as mentors to our students so that they learn from positive role models.
At Affecto Foundation we have realized our education program beneficiaries are growing up in a village and whatever we do in terms of capacity building, if we don’t build the village -which is the school where they live in – then our efforts may be watered down by dynamics of the village. So we are reaching out to the schools where we have our students receiving education to make sure what we teach has also been taught in the village so that there is continuity and support. We are not just building our students but also the system where they are receiving learning. It’s more of holistic support where we support the schools so that the schools can empower and support our students.
This explains why we also hold capacity building sessions for parents of the students in our programme to ensure their parents/guardians give them support and also understand why what we do is important. It is our goal to also work with schools where our students study to ensure they get full support from all angles of their education and social lives.