Global Shapers Victoria Hub launches second mentorship programme cohort with Independent School students |24 March 2020
A team of young adults from local youth-led NGO, the Global Shapers Victoria Hub (GSVH), organised the first of eight mentorship sessions with 20 students from the Independent School recently.
The first session, which took place at the National Baha’i Centre at Bel Air, provided mentors and mentees with the opportunity to get to know each other through activities such as icebreaker games, discussions, art activities and reflection exercises.
The mentorship programme follows on from the success of the first programme at the school run by GSVH, which concluded in August 2018 and involved 6 mentors and 9 mentees. The programme aligns with one of GSVH’s key focus areas of youth empowerment. This year’s programme has been designed to provide support and guidance and to build the confidence and self-esteem of 20 young people in S3, S4 and S5. All students have self-referred to participate in the programme, to receive support in achieving academic and personal success. GSVH, comprising young professionals aged 20 – 33 committed to bringing about positive youth-led change on a community and national level, has trained 18 mentors to run the programme. The role of mentors is to listen, coach, support, motivate and serve as role models to the students that they work with.
After conducting surveys, consulting the school and holding information sessions with students, GSVH has designed a mentorship programme that aims to provide pastoral support to young people and equip them with the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate key themes, such as: confidence and self-esteem, time management, exam stress and study techniques, motivation and goal-setting and career guidance. Students are also encouraged to embark on a continual process of self-reflection throughout sessions, in order to support with their development.
Speaking about the mentorship programme, GSVH’s mentorship programme principal project lead, Craig Francourt, said:
“GSVH is passionate about the development of young people in our country. We are keen to support the efforts of our schools by filling any gaps that may exist in relation to the emotional and social development of our teenagers. The mentorship programme provides us with an opportunity to directly support with the empowerment of the next generation, by equipping them with the soft and life skills required to be more resilient and confident. We believe that these skills will ultimately help our young people to fulfill their potential. We remain indebted to the Independent School for providing us with the opportunity to refine our programme with its students. As our mentors grow in knowledge, skills and confidence, our long-term goal is to bring this programme into the public-school system, where we know that there is need.”
GSVH had originally planned to deliver eight two-hour sessions on Saturdays from March to June this year across various venues in town; however, in light of the recent developments regarding the COVID-19, GSVH has since taken the decision in consultation with the Independent School to postpone all future activities under the programme until further notice, with all parents having been informed of the decision.
GSVH has also taken the step of postponing all in-person gatherings and activities related to the NGO – including its successful monthly Pub Quiz events and ‘Meet the Leader’ initiative – in order to encourage social distancing and to adopt its responsibility in keeping the wider community safe.
“The decision to postpone all in-person Hub activities was made in the interest of the safety of all Hub members, students and community members. We are keen to stress that the COVID-19 outbreak is a community problem, and that is requires constructive community solutions. Over the coming weeks, GSVH hopes to develop initiatives that support efforts to contain this outbreak. If you have ideas on how GSVH can play a role in supporting the community through this challenging time, please get in touch,”said the Hub’s curator, Nandita Nair.
GSVH forms a part of the Global Shapers Community, which is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. GSVH currently comprises over 30 members and mounts projects related to its three thematic areas: youth empowerment, democratic engagement and climate action. The current curatorship of the Hub is made up of Nandita Nair as curator, and Rabia Somers and Ayda Noel as vice-curators.
To recall, the GSC is a network of inspiring young people working together to address local, regional and global challenges. In each city, teams of Shapers self-organise to create projects that address the needs of their community. Projects are delivered under the GSC’s three impact areas: Education and Employment, Equity and Inclusion and Climate Action. With nearly 10,000 members worldwide, the GSC spans 428 city-based hubs in 156 countries.
Editor’s note: This activity took place before measures were introduced banning all assemblies and public gatherings as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.