Fostering a New Generation of Nigerian Youth via Mentoring Programs

One of Afrigrowth Foundation mentors Linus Okorie facilitating a youth mentoring session.

“As we reflect on the role of caring in young people’s lives, what becomes clear is that youth need to grow up in a world infused with and organized by care. To become the caring citizens, we need them to be, young people need to have made real the vision of the interdependent lives organized around public, as well as private, caregiving responsibilities. They must see care made the serious work of public life, rather than a private lifestyle choice. They must grow up in a community where they can both expect the constancy and trust of caring and know that such responsibility will be expected of them.”

        Diana Mendley Rauner, Author, They Still Pick Me up When I Fall

Mentoring helps youth succeed in school, work, and life. An effective mentoring program births positive impacts and outcomes across social, emotional, behavioral, and academic areas of youth development.

Governments, businesses, nonprofits, and young people endorse and value mentoring as an important asset in a young person’s life. The necessity for Nigerian youth to seek mentorship cannot be over-emphasized.  Having a mentor through certain stages of one’s career or field of study can help answer certain questions that would serve as a guide against mistakes.  It has been noted that having a mentor holds some benefits such as:

  • Self Confidence
  • Accountability
  • Education
  • Personal Development
  • Focus
  • Reciprocate

Since inception, AfriGrowth Foundation has mentored over 7000 Nigerian youth. 60% have been gainfully employed, with the rest indulging in entrepreneurship and furthering the education. The Foundation has sustained a relationship with its mentees; some of whom are currently setting high standards in their respective fields of endeavor and paving way for other youth. We understand the importance of youth mentoring, as it creates a relationship between caring adults and youth. The Foundation has a team or rather family of mentors that provide support and guidance from youth. As a public policy tool, mentoring is a positive youth intervention that reduces risky and negative behaviors.

Some Nigerian youth that tried to carve out a niche for themselves in chosen field, business or even career, failed and gave up on their passions and aspirations. This could be attributed to lapse productivity, which may have root in lack of guidance and support from more experienced adults in the society. Even though youth’s productivity can lead to a rewarding future, without sufficient support, this future may be made bleak by the uncertainties of the present. Hence, there’s a dire need for constant support and guidance, which can be effectively provided in a youth mentoring program. AfriGrowth Foundation promotes and propagates the notion that mentoring can avail youth the needed support to foster and nurture their ideas to reality. Many Nigerian youth have brilliant ideas that can impact positively on the nation. The time is nigh to bring those ideas to life and further provide guidance for sustenance of living ideas. This feat can be achieved via youth mentoring programs. We encourage other organizations, most especially youth-focused non-governmental organizations (NGO) to inculcate youth mentorship in their programs.

 

Bob Agbo
For: AfriGrowth Foundation

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