Our nation’s tomorrow depends on what we do for young people today
Moyo Zoo Lake, 1 Prince of Wales Drive, Parkview, December 3 at 5pm: A groundbreaking mentorship initiative was launched today at Moyo Restaurant, which gives mentors the tools to truly mentor and grow South Africa’s youth. The launch was attended by several of South Africa’s top musical artists including Jozi and Stealing Love Jones, as well as mentors and mentees who have contributed to the creation of the Heartlines’ mentorship resource.
What makes the Youth Mentorship Initiative truly innovative is that HEARTLINES is not matching up mentors to mentees. Instead, it’s a resource which will be available to South Africans who are serious about mentoring a young person already in their lives, and within their sphere of influence.
Mr Buhle Dlamini from HEARTLINES, which developed the Youth Mentorship Initiative explains that “Most of us already know a young person, perhaps in our community, our church, or even our extended family, who would benefit from some guidance and caring. The reality is that there are many young people out there who are growing up in really tough circumstances and have no one to help them make positive choices. If nobody intervenes, they will not reach their inherent potential. And neither will South Africa.”
The HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative consists of a printed guide and a DVD which will be made available free of charge to all mentors. Not only that, HEARTLINES has created a support line (accessible via phone, sms and email) to help mentors and mentees when they get stuck.
Says Mr Dlamini, “Young people have the potential to bounce back from incredibly challenging circumstances and become contributing members of society if they feel loved and supported. Mentoring also changes the mentor, as you become more aware of your own actions and attitudes, which begin to change as you walk your talk”.
“Our nation’s tomorrow depends on what we do for young people today,” he says.
More information about the HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative
The HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative is unique in that it encourages South Africans to mentor a young person already in their life, rather than matching mentors and mentees up.
The reason that HEARTLINES is focusing its attention on youth mentorship is because latest statistics show that 51% of the population in South Africa is under the age of 18. it is imperative that young people be supported in making choices in their lives in order to really impact on the major social challenges of our day – including HIV and AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and crime.
People wanting to join the HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative first have to join the HEARTLINES forgood network (log onto www.forgood.co.za or sms GOOD to 32197, sms costs R1.00) and indicate their interest in becoming a mentor. After being approved to mentor (there are some questions that need to be answered) they will receive a HEARTLINES mentoring starter pack in the post free of charge. The starter pack includes a:
The HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative resource has three sections.
Section One encourages mentors to first look inside themselves…what are their motivations for mentoring, what do they have to contribute to the relationship, are they mentoring from a position of strength?
Section Two helps the mentor to develop the skills that s/he will need (such as active listening, caring and empathising, resolving conflict, etc.) It also gives the mentor some concrete ideas around what to do with their mentee, “must have” conversations, and how to have those conversations.
Section Three is a resource section which points mentors and mentees to additional sources of support for specific challenges, such as depression, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, abuse; as well as resources available to help mentees access further education, start their own business, etc.
In order to support mentors and mentees, HEARTLINES has also established a support line which can be accessed via phone, sms and email.
The HEARTLINES Youth Mentorship Initiative is supported by a number of sponsors, whom HEARTLINES would like to acknowledge and thank. They are: Umsobomvu Youth Fund PEPFAR, First National Bank, First Rand Foundation, Lombard Insurance and Internet Solutions