Proven results from inspiring mentoring programmes
While formal one-to-one mentoring is a novel approach in the Indian context, it has over 100 years of history in the United States. Evidence on the positive role of mentors is abundant. A meta-analysis of 55 evaluations of effectiveness of youth mentoring programs shows strong improvements in high-risk behavior and educational and employment outcomes. A 1995 study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program showed that children who had mentors were 52% less likely to skip school and 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs compared to their peers in the control group after 18 months. The effects are especially large for children considered “at risk” due to their low socioeconomic backgrounds, but who are not yet demonstrating significant dysfunctions.
Results from our Mumbai Pilot Project
After just a few months, we were already seeing impressive results from our Mumbai Pilot Project. During the first six months of our pilot project, our mentees:
- had made significant academic improvements (especially in English and Maths)
- had started a mini-mentoring programme at their school to share lessons with younger students
- better handled family challenges (e.g. death, sickness, relocation)
- had increased access to knowledge of technology, enabling them to access new information (e.g. helping parents find better bus routes to work using Google Maps)
End of year quantitative impact:
We measured impact through surveys run at three stages of our programme: prior to the launch, in the middle of the year and at the end. Both our group of 30 mentees and a comparison group of children in the same classes took the surveys.
At the end of the year, over 80% of our mentees felt more self-confident than a year before, whereas only 20% of the comparison group did. The mentees’ academic results were much better than the comparison group, especially in Maths and English.
Having a mentor also opened their horizon, and most of them were more curious about the people from other countries, whereas the comparison group remained focused on India.
Watch the feedback from the Shindewadi school staff about our programme