About the project
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has identified women’s empowerment as one of its main strategies for achieving sustainable development.
COL, through this mentoring project, will engage girls and women at the grassroots level in underserved communities to become part of its CommonwealthWiseWomen (CWW) Mentoring project. Through engaging them in the CWW Mentoring project, COL plans to promote change by empowering these girls and women to not only become leaders, but also to influence the next generation of leaders.
- Select successful and influential local women in leadership roles to build the capacity of young women leaders.
- Build the foundation of the young women’s (mentees’) success.
- Build trust across cultures among the women in the mentee-mentor partnership.
- Leverage relevant tools and resources to support young women’s empowerment.
- Create networking opportunities for young women (mentees).
What are the benefits?
COL’s mentoring project will allow each mentee and mentor an engagement period of six months. It will provide the mentees with a protected (safe) forum where they can, with the guidance and support of an experienced mentor, discuss and plan their future path by seeing (what leadership looks like), doing (using tools and skills recommended by mentor) and networking (engaging with others).The platform will provide the mentor and mentee access to a network where they can share their ideas and learn from others. The mentees will be able to develop bonds with strong women that will last them a lifetime.
Matching the mentor and mentee:
COL is working with its partners to identify mentors and mentees. The Mentor Profiles can be found here. Each mentee completes a registration form which is used by the COL team to match her with a mentor according to her profile and expectations.
The Mentorship cycle consists of four phrases:
Phase 1: Create a positive space
During this phase, the mentor and mentee will have the opportunity to get to know each other and build a rapport. They will also determine their means of communication and agree on meeting times.
Phase 2. Develop the roadmap
During this phase, the mentee will provide the mentor with information regarding her life goals and her expectations for the relationship. The mentor will guide the mentee to develop her goals for the mentoring period and timelines.
Phase 3: Implementing the roadmap and achieving goals
The mentor will guide and advise the mentee to achieve her goals as set out in the roadmap through stimulating her creativity, motivating her, and sharing additional resources, where relevant and available. During this period, the mentee will have the opportunity to develop her leadership and other soft skills.
Phase 4: What have we achieved?
During this final phase, the mentor and mentee will conclude their relationship and discuss what they have achieved, learned or gained from this programme, while providing guidelines to the mentee. Both the mentee and mentor will be asked to complete an end-of-project survey.
Orientation of Mentors
COL will provide the mentor and mentee with information on what is expected of them as well as some guidelines on how to engage with each other. COL will monitor the mentoring process of each team and provide support and advice where needed. It is expected that the mentorship project will be fully online, and therefore both mentors and mentees should have access to either their own mobile devices or to a facility where they can access computers.
Online Library for skill building
The platform will have links to various tools to support the young women on their leadership journey. This could include videos from inspirational female role models, brief summaries on how to use various technologies and other relevant resource materials to improve skills such as speaking, writing, studying, basic IT literacy, fundraising, and others.