By Volunteers Kratika Trivedi (FHI Lucknow) and Lathika Jain (FHI Chennai)
We live in a world full of uncertainties! And to combat these uncertainties and ensure growth we need constant guidance to discover our destiny. Be it professionals, adults, or children we all need a direction, we all need to acknowledge our apex to make our existence meaningful! The right direction and right guidance pave way for achieving self-actualization.
Here is where the role of a mentor comes into play.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside you by digging out the potential and giving fuel to it.”
A mentor is a person who gives direction to the right path, acknowledges our worth, helps us to reach the summit, and brings the best out of us by being an advisor, supporter, and so on.
A child from an unprivileged background is raw, in its most vulnerable form just like a seed. A seed when planted and if not nourished properly with enough water and sunlight will fail to be fruitful. This is where a mentor plays a role…nourishes the child (mentee) by making available the essentials that will lead to his/her growth. The perseverance of the child and the motivation and guidance of the mentor goes hand in hand.
Underprivileged children have to live mostly in the state of oblivion; they lack the right resources and the capability to understand their potential. To bring it out and to give them the right exposure, mentoring is needed at every step.
Mentoring does not advocate total dependency on the mentor but it provides direction to children to become independent in their thoughts, skills, and their self.
A teacher cannot always be a mentor, a parent cannot always be a mentor because they may give children lessons and knowledge but unless and until they develop a mutual understanding with the children, they cannot be a mentor. A mentor not only imparts knowledge but also real-life experiences that are impactful and relatable to children.
Right mentoring gives the scope of extraordinary development in children, in terms of enhancing competitive skills to face the external world, by growing their urge to learn, become better individuals, and explore opportunities stacked for them, by making them realize that their growth matters and there is no limitation to it, by developing freedom in thoughts, by giving them free space to observe and experiment more, by honing their strengths, pooling opportunities for their learning, and by setting them free from all the myths of being from the underprivileged section, by letting them dream big, by discovering their motives and developing self-belief in them, by empathizing with them, by helping them at all costs and by making them realize that just because they lack resources doesn’t mean they cannot do wonders! It definitely cannot obstruct their growth.
A good mentor is an asset for a child, a role model, an inspiration, a social connect, a source of learning, and what not!
Mentoring not only benefits the mentee but also gives innumerable opportunities to the Mentor as well for his self-growth.
The more involved the mentor will be, the more productive will be the child. Through the right mentoring, a mentor learns about a child’s pattern of behavior, gets involved with the thought process of the children, and learns about their lifestyles and limitations.
A mentor initiates a change in society to make a much-needed difference. Even the diaspora of his knowledge expands and he discovers his own identity.
He gets introduced to the child’s world that is full of ideas and gets to taste the diversity of thoughts, and this is an extraordinary thing to experience in itself!