Mentoring school leavers
Even with the benefit of four years at secondary school, finding regular, meaningful income in Kenya is a challenge. Finding paid work or setting up a small business requires confidence, business acumen and personal contacts.
We develop these personal and leadership skills in our sponsored students by matching them with local business leaders who become their mentor to help them pursue their ambitions and prepare them fully for the world of work.
The business leaders are in contact with their student at least once each month, supporting the next generation and giving back to their community.
And our mentors become better business leaders too – learning to coach and mentor; developing their communication skills and their ability to manage people and projects; and extending their own network of business contacts.
This will be a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
“It is the best thing l have ever been given, asante. Thanks mam, you are my hero.”
“The best thing I have done this year. We’ve changed lives”
Why is this needed?
The Red Rubber Ball Foundation has sponsored 237 Kenyan children through secondary school scholarships so they can complete their education. These are children from disadvantaged backgrounds; some orphans, while others have lost a parent to AIDS or malaria, or have a parent who suffers with illness or disability. All are too poor to afford the ‘luxury’ of education and would not be in school without our support.
Our scholarship has allowed them to complete secondary school and as we have watched their progress over four years, we have seen them make the most of the opportunity they have had. Many have gone on to university or college.
But what happens then?
The Education for All Global Monitoring Report revealed that income levels for many people in the slums and rural areas of Kenya is very low, and insufficient to provide for their family.
About 50% of men and 80% of women aged 15 to 24 in the slums have no income-generating activities. Of those who are employed, about 60% of men and 40% of women are in causal employment earning only around the poverty line.
Much work is casual by nature (e.g. waiting each day outside building sites to see if there is any work available) which offers no security.
Figures from Africapay.org/Kenya show that an unskilled worker earns approximately £40 a month.
From these small amounts, people must pay for rent, electricity, food, and water. Only then can they think about ‘luxuries’ like schooling for their children.
Our mentoring programme aims to develop well-rounded, enterprising young people, able to identify opportunities, make decisions and take action to earn a regular meaningful income, enough to support their family and contribute to their community.
With help from their Mentors, our students have …
- Found full-time work
- Completed a Diploma
- Started a degree course
- Obtained an apprenticeship
- Undertaken work experience
- Started a business
- A better understanding of what they really want to do
- Taken steps to achieve long-term dreams and short-term goals
- Learned a new language
- Been able to speak in public
- Greater self-awareness of their own thinking and behaviour
- Had a positive impact on others
- Joined a university peer group providing mentoring/counselling for younger students
- Supported a mentor by caring for her when recovering from an operation
- Shared accommodation with fellow students
- Volunteered at a primary school in the Kibera slums.
And the Mentors have benefited too …
- Giving back to their community – sharing what they have learned in life
- Boosting their own confidence by being chosen as a mentor
- Raising their own game and improving their own business performance
- Learning new skills so they’re better prepared for the future
- Meeting wonderful new people and expanding their own network of contacts.
All mentors and students reported that they had created life-long friendships.
Help us do more
There are many simple ways you can help us roll this out to more places and some of them won’t cost you a penny.