Throughout February, the Leader Mentors and Young Leaders made every effort to make their discussion time as effective as possible. The mentoring sessions have allowed us to see the Leader Mentors and Young Leaders influence each other positively. This cohort started in December 2020, and as of February, our young people were in their second month of continuing the mentoring programme.
In a few months, we’ll be sharing the testimony of a young person who started the mentoring programme and within two months he started to experience some changes in his attitude. He is starting to have a deep desire to see himself live out his full potential.
We have two cohorts participating in the mentoring programme in Goma town. Each cohort is made up of 26 young people (12 girls and 14 boys) who are divided into Leader Mentors and Young Leaders. During February, all the teams had the time to challenge each other, and it was excellent. Here is how it went for each cohort:
‘Humour’ cohort: This cohort has proven to be strong and creative, since participating in the mentoring programme. Our Leader Mentor team is made up of a variety of talented artists and entrepreneurs. Our Young Leaders (their Mentees) are benefitting from their creative and inspirational influence. This helps them to consider their dreams and personal growth.
We were happy to hear from the mother of one of our Young Leaders that, since her child has been a part of The Congo Tree, there has been a change. Through the mother’s expression, it was clear that before The Congo Tree, this young person’s future did not look hopeful. It was noticed that after participating in the training and mentoring sessions, the creative entrepreneurial spirit of this child has been revealed. The family are celebrating and we are proud of this young person.
Important news for this cohort:
- One of our young people from this cohort is passionate about comedy. On Saturday 20 February 2021, he organised a comedy show in Goma in the hall of the Alliance Française. More than 100 young people attended this event. The event was therapeutic for some and an opportunity for others to relax. The event was called: …randomly like this. Those who attended the show had high praise and many said that it was a magnificent event.
- We also attended a conference where two mentees, Esther and Yannick, performed at a poetry slam. Even two days after the event, it was evident that their prowess had a lasting impact on the young people who attended. As with Esther and Yannick, we see that the more our young people challenge themselves, the more other young people are inspired.
‘Panthers’ cohort: This is a strong team that continues with monthly mentoring meetings. All the young people are based in Goma, among them are professionals and others who are engaged in business. The mentees include those who are high school students and university students. Most of our young people find they can apply their training in the real world, from the school setting to a professional setting. In February, the young people had the opportunity to meet in the mentoring session for their six-month mentoring evaluation.
In February, Rutshuru was declared to be a red zone (areas not recommended) by international travel advisors. This was due to the increased insecurity and criminal activity taking place in the area.
On 22 February 2021, the Italian Ambassador, his bodyguard and driver were killed in a robbery. Following that, there was a succession of ambushes, kidnappings and other criminal acts taking place in this area. We were there in February to facilitate the WYLD training programme before these tragedies occurred. We were grateful that the young people were able to their journey on the mentoring scheme.
We have 7 mentor pairs. For their first mentoring session, in their pairs, our Mentors and Mentees completed a questionnaire to establish areas of the Mentees lives where they would like some support. Based on the questionnaire answers, the Mentor then helped their Mentee set their goals.
When we assigned the pairs, we considered the individual profiles and how each person balanced the other. We also considered travel routes so that there would be no trouble in meeting people who live in remote villages. We look forward to sharing how these relationships develop with you over the next coming months.
Report by: Sage Dunia