What is the Mentorship Scheme

The Mentorship Scheme is a UNICEF project implemented by us which aims to contribute to empowering and developing young people by increasing the capacity and the ability to participate in the workforce, policy-making and decision-making processes, through private sector mentors or young mentors. Mentorship Scheme has different objectives and models depending on the circumstances of the youth they are targeting. For example, the advice and support that a young person who is starting a business requires is markedly different to the support a youth who is at-risk of dropping out of school will need. The Mentorship Scheme connects young people participating in UNICEF's initiatives with volunteer mentors coming from the private sector and alumni associations.

What does “Becoming a Mentor” mean?

The mentoring process is separated in two ways: Mentoring during the workshops and Mentoring during the implementation phase. Mentors who will be required for a workshop (3 full days) organized from our implementing partners will be notified in advance hence they have to participate in the Training of Trainers before the workshops to be prepared of all the materials and the dynamic that the workshops have.

The second phase includes mentoring during the implementation of the projects. The mentors who will be appointed to the groups will meet/ skype / call with their group and advise them in any issue they might encountered during the implementation phase.

The Workshops

Workshops will have different topics such as developing critical thinking and writing and reading media, environment, quality education, activism etc. Workshops are usually held on the weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) all day long. Each mentor is assigned a group of 6-7 young people who will guide their groups into shaping their ideas for projects and making them more professional while going through the modules that the mentors have received during the Training of Trainers.

Workshops will be in different fields, but mainly are divided into:

  • UPSHIFT: Social Impact Workshop, focusing on the development of marginalized young people and teenagers to become innovators and future entrepreneurs.
  • PODIUM: Advocacy for Change which aims to develop advocacy and lobbying skills for adolescents and young people so that they can improve the living conditions in the communities which they live in.
  • PONDER: Critical Media Literature which is aimed at improving critical thinking skills, focusing on critical media literacy.

Mentoring during the implementation phase:

The second phase includes mentoring during the implementation of the projects. All the groups who have won during the 3-day workshop, will start the implementation of their projects in the upcoming months. During this period, a mentor from our database will be appointed to one of the groups which he/she will monitor/ help/ advise. This can be conducted with shorter meetings where young people who need ideas for further development of their projects such as marketing, finance, IT app, starting a start-up, will have the opportunity to meet/skype/phone call with their mentor.

Participants:

Participants who will be part of the workshops are mainly teenagers of ages 15 to 24, from different cities and ethnicities of Kosovo. The Mentorships Scheme is thought to help them move from Education or NEET to start working, or from NEET to Education.

Why become a MENTOR?

Mentorship can have profound positive effects on young people’s academic and professional performance and on their self-confidence and mental health. Therefore, mentorship goes beyond providing support to overcome personal challenges, to empowering leaders and enabling youth to take charge of their future. Mentorship also has positive knock-on effects beyond the mentee: mentors improve their cognitive and social skills; schools show improved student outcomes and stronger connections with the labor market; and at a national level mentorship supports social cohesion and employment rates.

Mentors participating in these initiatives will be considered UNICEF Volunteers and will be given certificates from UNICEF and the implementing partner at the end of the workshops in recognition of the volunteer work they do. Before officially becoming a Mentor, everyone should pass on child protection and sexual harassment online courses and Human Centered Design Training which will be held in person from a professional trainer. Everyone who participates in these trainings will be certified at the end of the courses.