By Volunteers Harleen Kaur & Parul G (FHI Jaipur)
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”
These are the words of Oprah Winfrey, best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, who was mentored by the celebrated author and poet, the late Maya Angelou. She said, “She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life”.
Guidance and support is very crucial for a child in order to thrive in life, especially for a child from an underprivileged background. Some kids have a promising future, but their parents may not be able to afford their education. For the underprivileged children in our society, opportunities don’t come easy. Such children are not just devoid of the advantages enjoyed by the privileged children, they are also more vulnerable to turning towards the dark path in life. In such cases a mentor, a positive role model, a ray of sunshine, someone to whom the mentee can look up to would be of great help. A mentor helps them grow to his or her full potential and prosper in life by providing motivation and inspiration.
Mentoring may also help the kids develop high self-esteem and take on new challenges with the newly found confidence and improved behavior. This new light in their life, leads them to develop a positive view of life and come out of the path of darkness and of hopelessness. With the undivided attention towards their education and growth, these children can focus on their school studies and aim for better results. Not just academics, mentors also help them hone their talents and build their own path in life.
The relationship between a mentor and mentee is not only beneficial to the latter but also the former. The mentors, who play a huge transformative role in a child’s life, themselves not only learn to let go of their comfort zone and enjoy themselves, they also learn to enjoy a child’s perspective and see the world in a new light. Added to the huge advantage of personal satisfaction, a mentoring relation may help in improvement of self esteem of a mentor too. An adult gains new relations and also learns to communicate effectively, building up interpersonal skills which is vital for personal as well as professional life.
The benefits of a mentoring relationship may last long after the mentor and mentee part ways, in the form of good memories and life-learnings. The effects of this new ray of sunshine, lasts as flowers of hope and determination to prosper and be good in both the lives of mentor and mentee.