Posted by & filed under Project Updates.

Largest in-house recruitment. Launch of our biggest mentor cohort yet. And close to INR 9.5 lakhs crowdfunded, with 9 runners running for our cause at the largest marathon in India!

Mentor Me India is proud to release its annual report for the financial year 2016 – 2017.

Since its inception, Mentor Me India has been driven by its sense of community and that’s what we’re celebrating in this year’s report!

We have had a year filled with milestones to revel in and challenges to combat. But words alone cannot capture the excitement behind it all! Here is our attempt to breathe life, not words, into the page!

 

Read our annual report here: bit.ly/MMI2016-17

 

If the thought of mentoring children appeals to you, here’s how you can join the #MentoringMovement!

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Stay updated!

    

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Meet a Mentor-Mentee pair, Mentee Stories.

Neha, a mentor and her mentee Nishreen (name changed) are from the first cohort of mentee-mentor pairs at Mentor Me India. Neha is an ambitious investment banker who is often identified as a workaholic by her friends. Nishreen speaks impeccable English. Divya (name changed) is Nishreen’s best friend at school who is an important chapter of Neha and Nishreen’s mentoring tale…

 

Dear Divya,

This is a secret letter… Please, don’t show it to anyone! We have known each other for 5 years now. You’ve become my very best friend and we share everything with each other. That’s why today, I want to tell you a secret…

5 years ago, I didn’t like you!

I had my reasons. Maybe you didn’t like me too. We never spoke and at that time, I was sure we never would! But then Neha didi entered our lives. Remember? Teacher announced in our class that some of us will get older friends who will talk to us, help us out, and be our mentor. We were each going to get one didi or bhaiyya. That’s how I met Neha didi. I could talk about anything with her. We used to talk so much about our lives…

Many times, I used to complain about you, in our weekly meetings. Neha didi always told me that the purpose behind your actions wasn’t to bother me. You may have had your own reasons for the way you behaved. She taught me that there is always a different side to this story, and to every story. That’s how I started understanding you better. In no time, we became friends. And today, we are inseparable!

Though didi doesn’t take any credit for doing this, I will be always thankful to her.

Neha didi and I are always honest with each other. She tells me if I am going wrong like when she told me about you. I do the same. I told her that she can’t work all the time. Even the clock’s battery dies sometimes. And she listened to me. With this letter, I wanted to be completely honest with you too.

Tomorrow is Friendship Day. I want to meet Neha didi and you, both. Please don’t tell Neha didi about this letter… Let it be our secret. I am glad to have you and Neha didi in my life. Happy Friendship Day, in advance!!!

 

Your best friend,

Nishreen

 

This mentoring tale has been represented in the form of a fictional letter.

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Posted by & filed under Mentoring.

In 2016, I received a Whatsapp message from a close friend about a mentorship program she was a part of…

For a person who rarely opens links on Whatsapp, I am glad I opened the link that said an organization called Mentor Me India was looking for mentors. After I conducted a little research, with great anticipation and excitement I applied for the mentorship program.

 

Mentor Me India (MMI) is an organization that aims to empower children in low-income communities through a year-long mentorship program. They match children from partner schools and NGOs to people who wish to mentor those children, like myself! An interview and few background checks later I was selected to be a mentor. That was the start to my amazing journey with Mentor Me India.

 

The program includes one-on-one mentoring as well as group mentoring sessions wherein mentors meet their mentees for at least 6 hours every month. I am mentoring a 12-year-old, Tanvi from A B Goregaokar School in Goregaon, a sprightly and feisty girl. Over the last one year, I have had the most enriching and fulfilling experience while mentoring Tanvi.

 

When I had signed up, I had no idea over a span of 1 year; I would be learning Origami through YouTube videos, talking about the solar system and parts of the body in broken Marathi, learning sketching through Vincent Van Gogh sketch books or playing Jenga and Kho-Kho on Sunday afternoons. Nor did I know that I would be learning about gender bias, non-conventional career aspirations or rights and duties of a good citizen.

 

At MMI we aim to inculcate self-awareness, social interaction, aspirations and good citizenship in our mentees. The experience of mentoring with MMI was not special only because I could introduce Tanvi to various arts, sports and games. Neither was it because I could teach a child how to interact socially or about the difference between a good and bad touch. It was not special because she learned about her family tree or the significance of Indian festivals. What has made mentoring so special is what Tanvi and I have taken back as memories and experiences.

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Amongst the 100 other mentors along with me, there were women who were of my mother’s age and wished to make a difference to someone’s life. Learning the various reasons why people chose to start mentoring was such a heartwarming experience! In today’s fast-paced world it was heartening for me to interact with people from different backgrounds and interests, coming together just to make a difference in someone else’s life. What I learned while mentoring was also how impressionable children are and how important it is for adults to teach and guide children on to the right path.

 

One balmy afternoon, Tanvi and I were running out of things to talk about, and we chanced upon a shop selling mehendi cones. I applied mehendi on her hand. A month later I noticed she had the same mehendi design drawn on her hand. On my asking, she said she had copied the exact same design I had made on her hand and had been practicing applying mehendi on her friends and family. At moments like these, I was overwhelmed by how my behavior and actions were being observed and the importance of setting a good example dawned on me.

 

One of the other defining and exhilarating moments was when Tanvi called me one evening and said that she wished to take English as her primary language in school. She said, “Didi main kar paungi na?Mujhe nahin aayega toh aap sikhaoge? Mujhe English seekhna hai”. [“Didi, will I be able to do it? If I do not understand, will you teach me? I want to learn English”]

Mentoring is a selfless act but when I see Tanvi becoming more confident and aware, I cannot ask for anything more. Instances like when she was selected to sing the national anthem on Republic Day in school or when while talking about good citizenship she said discrimination on the basis of religion is a bad thing, have made this journey worthwhile.

 

Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. Mentoring with MMI has been exactly this – involving and interacting with mentees for their holistic development without preaching or lecturing. While I had joined MMI without any selfish motives, I must admit I have gained much more than I gave. I have met so many people who selflessly and tirelessly work to make a difference to society. While I can also claim to have learned patience and science (just so I can answer the endless questions posed by Tanvi about the universe and biology), most importantly I have learned perseverance, humility and the ability to celebrate small victories with great gusto. Mentoring is not only a satisfying and humbling experience but also an enriching and fun-filled journey.

 

Note: This article was written by Namrata Patel, a mentor with Mentor Me India, and has been modified since. The story originally featured on DNA India.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

We are now in our third year of operations and continue to be convinced that our structured Mentorship program is a win-win concept. It creates a positive impact on the life trajectories of children while at the same time providing an answer to people looking for meaningful volunteering opportunities.

As we continue to dream about and plan for a future where Mentorship impacts an increasingly large number of people, we are excited to bring our very first Annual report. You will see in the report how an idea born on a hot afternoon three years ago in Mumbai has grown, through the support of our partners, mentors and donors to change the lives of 250 mentees (as well as their mentors) across 7 locations in Bombay.

Download the Annual Report for 2015-16

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Last month, our Summer 2015 Mentors and Mentees attended a group mentoring session around Aspirations. They interacted with the following professionals- Chef, Dance therapist, social Entrepreneur, Journalist and a Robotics Engineer. All the professionals shared why and how they chose their respective fields and how Passion played a major role in getting them success in these careers. Our mentees felt confident about exploring different professional options and have gone back with many things to reflect on.

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Our winter 2015 mentors attended their first training around Biases. Everyone who attended it shared how all their discussions will be helpful in their journey ahead with MMI. Our mentors were very engaged in honest and open conversations.

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Posted by & filed under Project Updates.

On August 7th and 8th 2015, Mentor Me India and Rosy Blue Foundation co-hosted India’s First National Mentoring Conference aimed towards ‘Building a Mentoring Culture in India’: Over 2 days and 12 sessions, 29 expert speakers, 50 organisations and 100+ participants came together to work towards common goals and vision to ensure quality mentoring relationships.

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The keynote address was delivered by renowned Bollywood screenwriter, actor and director, Amole Gupte (Taare Zameen Par fame)

Several different aspects of mentoring were covered by industry experts, from how to design a mentoring experience to the importance of child safety, and from recruitment of volunteers mentors to assessing the impact of these mentors in the life of the children.

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For the first time ever, founders of mentoring organisations got together to tell their story. Samyak Chakrabarty (the Green Batti project), Dayoung Lee (Mentor Me India), Puja Roongta (Akanksha Foundation), Trishya Screwvala (The Lighthouse Prohect), Arundhuti Gupta (Mentor Together) and Luis Miranda (Take Charge)

One of the highlights of the two days were the amazing stories of change from 3 different actors of existing mentoring relationships: an organisation, a mentor, and a mentee, giving everybody a reason to connect to the cause.

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Rakesh Saha, from Make A Difference, walking us through the story of Lilavati and her mentor Aditi

We are very proud and happy that participants gave very positive feedback about each and every session: the variety of speakers was highly appreciated for the range of viewpoints and opinions they shared, and attendees felt that the conference covered all aspects of mentoring – the theoretical, operational and emotional.

Participating organizations include: Apne Ap Women Collective, Antarang Foundation, Apnishala, Atma, Avanti Fellows, CCS, Dasra, Door Step School, Godrej, The Great Eastern Shipping Co., The Green Batti Project, HSBC, Innovaid, iVolunteer, L&T Finance, Leher, The Lighthouse Project, Make A Difference, Majlis, Mentor Me India, Mentor Together, Muskan Foundation, Rosy Blue Foundation, Safe Spaces, Take Charge, Udaan Foundation and many more!

Here is a link to the full photo album

A huge THANK YOU to all who made this possible and special thanks to Rosyblue Foundation for co-hosting with us!!
Let’s continue to work together in building a stronger mentoring culture in India!

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The whole team of Mentor Me India

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Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

In recent times, there has been a tremendous rise in organizations working on and embracing mentoring. As mentoring continues to reach more youth in India, there is great need to develop leadership, industry standards and a network for building a stronger mentoring culture to exchange best practices and resources.   Read more »

S & P

Posted by & filed under Meet a Mentor-Mentee pair.

We recently caught up with one of our Pilot year mentor, Prabhjyot, to ask her how everything was going with her mentee Simran. Her and Simran have been matched 2 years ago. We were so touched by her reply that we thought of posting it on our blog. These are her own words, we didn’t change any of it. Thank you Prabhjyot for your commitment and dedication towards Simran!

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One of Prabhjyot and Simran’s first picture

“It feels absolutely amazing to be associated with Mentor Me India (“MMI”) for the last two years. It has been a very meaningful and an enriching journey so far with MMI and Simran.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Project Updates.

We already have 30 freshly recruited mentors in the starting blocks, ready to build a meaningful relationship with a child from a low-income community. This is great, thank you for your support.
But we need more!!
You want to be involved in your community? You always wanted to do something beyond your work and family, but you never had the chance? This is for you!
Change the life trajectory of one child by volunteering 4hrs a month for a year.
https://mentormeindia.org/application/

This Summer, Mentor Me India is expanding to support over 200 children in Mumbai. We operate in various locations of the city, and just adopted a new school in Grant Road.
Apply here to become a mentor today, and forward this email to anyone you think would be a great mentor! 

Posted by & filed under Group activities.

While March marked 3 wonderful months of Mentoring for our Winter cohort, it also called upon our first Group Mentoring Session which was around self-awareness. The day was planned so mentors and mentees could reflect upon what they know about themselves, what they don’t and acceptance of existence of both these states. Read more »