By September 24, 2022 No Comments


Mentoring is an age-old process where older or more experienced individuals influence, guide and support the younger, less experienced ones to grow into their careers, or generally develop in life.  One of Rotary‘s missions is to mentor younger Rotaractors and Interactors.  The Rotary Club of Hurlingham has taken this responsibility very seriously and this year a mentoring program was launched. Following a call for volunteer mentors, 13 mentors have been paired with 29  Rotaractors from The Rotaract Clubs of Hurlingham and Technical University of Kenya. Some of the Rotaractors requested professional mentoring, some on general life mentoring and some, both.

The program is still in its early stages and we have not yet had an opportunity to assess the outcome, but it is an exciting moment not only because volunteers came from the RC Hurlingham,  but from other Rotary Clubs and also from individuals who are not Rotarians. We look forward to reporting on the outcomes of this program.

In order to support the mentors, a mentorship guideline was developed to help them understand the process of mentoring and, and to hone or enhance their skills that they will need in order to mentor successfully, such as questioning skills. The guideline identifies four stages in the mentoring process: Preparation, Engagement, Enabling and Closure.

At the preparatory stage, mentors and mentees are advised to reflect on what their motivation is for participating in the program and also to exchange background information before they have their first contact. During the first contact, they are encouraged to talk about any previous mentoring experiences, personal assumptions and limitations, the learning and development goals of the mentee, as well as personal expectations of the relationship. They are also advised to define the deliverables and desired outcomes of the program. It is also a good idea at this stage to talk about the mentees preferred learning style and to discuss preferred communication methods, including language and time.

The engagement stage involves setting the specific measurable achievable realistic and timely goals of the program. It is also important to clarify how much time can be committed to the relationship on a regular basis and what format discussions will take for example will you work with formal agendas? Will it be face to face meetings or virtual, or hybrid? How will progress be monitored? What milestones will be tracked?

The enablement stage is really where the mentoring happens. The sessions, the conversations, the actions and follow-ups and reviews.

Finally, the formal program comes to a close, and mentor and mentee are encouraged to review what they have taken out of the relationship, and to celebrate. Granted, mentoring relationships often remain for life, but given that this is a structured program, and there are more mentees than mentors, a formal end is needed in order to begin another phase with new mentees.

~Rtn Jaki Wasike-Sihanya, New Generations Director