Mentorship Program

Background

There is a lot of evidence on the benefits of mentoring, however it is a component of learning that has not been given the necessary attention and support, especially in a time where youth are faced with distractions which deviate their focus. A country like Nigeria is blessed with abundant human resources and a burden of unemployed youth. There is a large population momentum with 3.2 percent growth rate and a youth dependency ratio of 83 .The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also stated that 38.1% of unemployed youth have post-secondary education, translating to 25.4m unemployed graduates, with diploma or degree qualifications. Nigeria Graduate report 2016, in fact, said ‘36.26% of recent graduates are currently unemployed’. Many graduates are also underemployed or wrongly employed.

For the purpose of including a definition of mentoring, I like Marilyn Lary’s:

“…a professionally supportive relationship between an experienced, successful mid-career employee and a beginner. It is a time-honored method of encouraging new talent, of sharing expertise and connections, and of providing rapid, upward mobility…” (in Kuyper-Rushing, 1998.)

Mentoring creates positive impact in youth’s lives and those with mentors have higher rates of graduation and are less likely to drop out of school or career paths. They find more self-confidence, self-esteem, and are able to create big goals for themselves. Additionally, studies show that behavior, attitudes, and relationships improve when a youth has a mentor. Mentors help youth grow and close the social and/or economic opportunity gap . The key to the development of leaders for the health care professions is mentoring. Both leaders and mentors need to develop their own self-knowledge, strategic visions for their own careers, engage in risk-taking, express creativity through all aspects of their lives, feel inspired and inspire
others. Communication is central to a positive mentoring relationship and a successful role in a health care leadership position. Thus, when neophyte health care leaders have the opportunity to be mentored, the development of good skills will benefit them in their future. An important gift health care leader can give to their professions is to serve as mentors for those who will lead health care organizations and institutions into the next decades .

Primary Compassionate Care Initiative has established objectives it would like to achieve from a mentorship program within a specified activity flow and chart of expectations:

  • To provide guidance and support for development of students who would be ready to graduate into the labor market with defined set of skills as an advantage for them.
  • To successfully support a community project by the end of the six-month program.
  • To create a pool of young professionals from the program who would be resource persons for future projects and collaborations.

The prompt for project selection is to create a feeling of empathy in the students during the mentorship program which will incline their thoughts towards the desire to practice sympathy. In most cases, the empathic human does not get the opportunity to practice compassion after the feeling of empathy due to scarcity of resources and unending needs. However, Primary Compassionate Care Initiative will give them the chance and work together to provide a solution.

Each cycle of mentorship is about six months after which students will continue to be supported with technical guide should they request, references, recommendations and considerations for any ad-hoc opportunities that may emerge. The present mentorship plan is one institution/location at a time, meaning PCCCI will propose this program to another institution and engage its students, however, should funding be available it would be a pleasure to conduct the programs with multiple student cycles in same institution more than once.

A certificate of participation will be handed to each student by the end of the project. If a student however feels the need to opt out of the program willingly, it can be done within one week of notification.

Adopted Logic Model for Human Centered Approach in Community Project Selection

Our first cohort of students are enrolled in the University of Jos Teaching Hospital and are twelve in number. They are passionate, young and diverse individuals who have demonstrated creativity in the field of public health and community support. We are excited to work with them on this journey and discover the great ideas they would put to practice during and after the mentorship program.