Benxi
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Victoria, Australia
(+1) 1800-123-4567
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About the Program:

Many of us have benefitted from the advice of mentors , family contacts and professional networks. Such advice may have helped us to apply for a college, enhance our CV or learn a life skill. But students in impoverished rural families have no access to such networks . The mission of Swadha Foundation is to help underprivileged but brilliant students to achieve their educational and professional goals. Therefore we invite people who want to give helping hand to apply for Swadha Foundation’ Mentorship Programme.

Goals of the Program:

Provide mentorship to our beneficiary students by,
1. Enabling mentees to navigate through career choices and other life issues.
2. Broadening mentee horizons by sharing experiences, resources, insights and opportunities.
3. Utilising the mentors’ network to serve and forward mentee interests.
4. Inculcating three core capabilities of being ambitious, staying resilient and a spirit of continuous learning, in the mentees.
5. Fill the void of an educated family member or a friend who is always there to guide & offer help.

So, if you’re one of those who believe in stepping forward to make a difference to a student from rural India, the Swadha Foundation Mentorship Programme promises to be the ideal platform for you.

APPLY FOR MENTORSHIP

Name:
Gender:
Email address:
Age:
Mobile:
Linkedin profile link:
Basic educational qualification:
Language Known:

Select one or more that apply

How many students can you mentor
Why do you want to join this program?

We believe that, to be an effective mentor at Swadha Foundation, you need to be

  • Someone who can dedicate at least 90 minutes in a month, over phone OR online OR physical, to mentor.
  • Someone who understands value of education & mentoring.
  • Someone with a progressive mindset & empathetic attitude
  • Someone who is not opinionated.
  • Someone who believes in equal opportunities.

If you are that someone, we welcome you on board Team Swadha in its endeavour to transform society through the power of education.

Mentoring can transform lives. Imagine mentoring one member & changing the life of the entire family. Here is why:

  • Swadha Foundation caters to mostly first generation graduates. They generally don’t have educated members in their families or even the communities, to look up to. A sincere mentor will easily bridge this crucial gap.
  • Unlike students from educated families, the students supported by Swadha Foundation do not have any one to turn to for problems, career opportunities & constant guidance. A mentor will be their guiding force in these scenarios.
  • Money does not always solve problems; sometimes more simple things like consistent and well thought advice change the game. By devoting time, a mentor shapes perspectives & in turn transforms lives. An ideal mentor will act as a role model.
  • Each mentee will be allocated a selected mentor
  • Mentor and mentee will have at least 2 sessions a month ( typically90 mins a month)
  • While face to face sessions may be infeasible, Skype/ WhatsApp Video calls are encouraged
  • The program will be documented through a system to manage the program . The twice a month sessions will be scheduled in advance. After the meetings the mentor will document the salient points of the interaction and any action items. Mentee feedback will also be captured
  • The mentors will imbibe the following in their mentees
    • A sense of ambition
    • The importance of being resilient
    • “Learning to Learn”

Here is a step by step walkthrough of how the programme will be initiated on the mentors’ end.

Step 1 – Sign up for the mentoring program by filling out all fields in the form.
Step 2 – Swadha Foundation will shortlist & contact you with prospective candidate(s)& have an initial discussion.
Step 3 – Mentor & mentee introduction happens with a Swadha Foundation member over a call.
Step 4 – Start interacting with mentee over phone for atleast 90 mins in a month.

1. Is this a paid service?

This service is expected to be absolutely pro bono or free from the mentor’s perspective. You will however draw satisfaction and pride as your mentees graduate and achieve various milestones for the first time in their families.

2. Who is assigned as a mentee?

Swadha Foundation currently assigns all students pursuing graduation for the mentorship program.

3. Can one mentor have only one mentee ?

Not necessarily, more than one mentee is allowed if you are able to spend 90 mins atleast per mentee per month. We believe that having more than three mentees is not ideal at this stage so that would be the maximum limit.

4. Is there a rigid agenda on how a mentor & mentee interaction should go?

Swadha Foundation does not prescribe a rigid agenda; however,the mentors would be expected to imbibe the following in their mentees

  • A sense of ambition
  • The importance of being resilient
  • “Learning to Learn”

5. What is Swadha Foundation’s role in this?

The following will be Swadha Foundation’s role,

  1. Assign a mentor to one mentee or a max of three mentees.
  2. Ensure that the mentor mentee interactions happen regularly.
  3. Ensure that the feedback is regularly gathered about mentees from mentors & vice versa.
  4. Provide structural inputs to make mentoring more successful to all stake holders.
  5. Take corrective action where ever necessary such as reassign mentor to mentees.
  6. Factor the feedback to ensure that mentoring process is fulfilling for all stake holders.

6. What is in it for a mentor?

Qualitatively, there’s quite a lot a mentor can consider fulfilment:

  1. They get satisfaction of having helped another person shape his/her life.
  2. Get a disproportionate outcome to the time spent.
  3. One mentored, the entire family of the mentee gets benefited.
  4. Ability to shape, mentee’s life.
  5. Education gets its importance in the minds of Mentee.
  6. Mentor sows the seed for a community/ village’s growth.
  7. Mentors provide a mentee the sense of importance critical to highlighting their problems and successes.
  8. Mentors’ efforts are proven to reduce absenteeism, adopt healthier lifestyles & promote social attitudes and relationships.

7. How does a mentor know that his/her recommendations to Swadha Foundation are being worked upon?

Feedback from the mentors are collected during the following times,

  1. Through the app that is designed to track mentoring activities ( To be launched in FY 20-21)
  2. Ad hoc comments received from the mentors to a designated email ID mentoring@swfn.org.
  3. Scheduled calls set up between Swadha team & mentors on a quarterly basis to get to know the developments on the students assigned to them.

All of the feedback goes to the review of the mentoring program team within Swadha and course corrections are made on a half yearly basis.

8. Should mentors expect any teething problems?

Yes, the following could happen, and the mentors should be prepared for any or all of these and look to work around these challenges.

  1. Students might not have sufficient data bandwidth or even smartphones, given their remote locations or lack of money to buy phones or adequate data. This would make video calls difficult. Mentors could instruct their mentees to come for a video call at Swadha Foundation Learning centers atleast once a quarter/ month where bandwidth is better.
  2. Students would start off mostly as introverts/responsive and would not open up. Once they gain confidence on mentors they would quickly gravitate towards the mentor and open up.
  3. Students from rural areas might have a limited world view or might lack knowledge on how to get information. Once they know how to do stuff like googling, they would be fast to pick up.
  4. Many a times, the mentees, might be using their parent’s phones and you might not get access to them when their parents carry their phones. This would change over a period of time as students would want to talk more to mentors so they would initiate more interactions.

This list is not exhaustive but based on Swadha’ experience. Your experience could be different & if you need any assistance please do write to us in the feedback mechanisms mentioned above.

9. What could a mentor do to get greater success ?

  1. Give them the importance that they badly lack .
  2. Understand your mentees pace everyone has their own pace of digesting change & information.
  3. Slowly increase complexity of what you are asking your mentee to do.
  4. Know your mentees likes and dislikes.
  5. Know their aspirations/ goals don’t be dismissive of them at the first instance.Mentors would have several opportunities to shape them later.
  6. Listen to your mentees as often as possible & give them space in each interaction.
  7. Guide them to make a decision & not make it for them.
  8. If instructions are not followed consistently even after repeated efforts, please bring it to the notice of Swadha Foundation.

10. What should a mentor avoid doing?

  1. Don’t get abusive when you are dealing with your mentees.
  2. Never draw judgements based on cast or gender.
  3. Don’t get involved beyond counselling in case of any family or personal issues.
  4. Don’t get involved in giving money or gifts or any material benefits to the mentee without the knowledge of Swadha Foundation.

11. Should the mentor know the mother tongue to be effective?

Swadha Foundation’s experience reveals that the language is important, but not the decisive factor. The graduate students of Swadha Foundation, despite coming from non-English mediums, learn English quickly and it gets better as they progress during their graduation years. So, if you don’t know their mother tongue you could still become great mentors.

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