Mentor Me India program is a one-to-one community-based mentorship model similar to the Big Brothers Big Sisters in the US, but carefully tailored to the Indian context. We are unique in India in that we focus exclusively on mentoring younger children through a one-to-one relationship within a community setting. This program provides extensive mentoring and support structure through intensive training and parental engagement, a month-long orientation, and quarterly group mentoring sessions.
- Mentor Recruitment– We recruit both male and female graduates through our corporate partners, social media outlets, alumni groups and personal networks. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please visit our Volunteer page
- Mentee Recruitment– We partner with various non-profit organizations to identify other non-profit organizations and schools in low-income communities where students could benefit most from having a mentor. Based on teacher recommendations, we select boys and girls aged between 10-12 years to participate in our program
Training and Induction
- Orientation – Mentors participate four-hour Orientation sessions prior to meeting their mentees. We also offer another mid-year training session. Topics covered include roles and responsibilities of a mentor, handling difficult situations, designing mentoring sessions, and much more!
- Kick-Off– Each mentor-mentee pair attends four-hour Kick-Off sessions at the start of their mentoring relationship. These sessions form the foundation of the relationship as mentors and mentees get to know one another in a safe group setting and get acquainted with the Mentor Me India program. In addition to this, mentors meet their mentees’ parents and get to know other mentors, teachers and the Mentor Me India staff.
One-on-one Meetings and Group Sessions
- One-on-One Meetings – Mentors meet with their mentees every week (or at a minimum, every other week). The minimum requirement is for them to meet for six hours per month on average. Mentors design activities to meet their mentee’s individual preferences and needs. Activities may include taking a walk in a nearby park, doing an arts and crafts project or reading a book together
- Cohort Events – Each cohort of mentors and mentees from the same school will occasionally come together for larger group activities. For example, a movie screening of “English Vinglish” gave us the opportunity to discuss the importance of communication and relationships with our mentees
- Group Mentoring Session – Every 2 months we plan group sessions for our mentors and mentees at our centres. Activities are planned around our Curriculum and these include skits, songs, goal setting and conflict resolution. These sessions are equally exciting for mentors and mentees who learn more about themselves and everyone else through 2 hours of energy filled games and conversations.
- Staff Support– Our staff are on the ground in Mumbai to help mentors overcome challenges that they might run into along the way. The staff knows the mentee’s community well and will have a 360-degree view of a mentor’s relationship with the mentee by connecting with the teachers, parents and the mentee as well. We also have access to experts in education and child psychology if our mentors need extra help as they progress through their mentoring journeys.
- Feedback and Evaluation – We welcome feedback from our mentors, mentees, parents and the school to ensure that our program is set up to foster successful mentor-mentee relationships. We check in with each of our mentors and mentees on an ongoing basis to understand any issues that might have surfaced and identify areas of improvement for our program.