I visit high schools in rural areas and guide them on the subjects they need so that they may reach their career aspirations. After that whole activity of career advising, I then assist them with university applications using my laptop and cellphone to apply for students online. Some learners ask that I mentor them. I do this in an informal way so that they feel free to ask me anything because if I only limit mentorship to education they will then make mistakes in other things.
What skills and resources were you able to draw from the community for this project?
The two schools I have visited allowed me to do a mini career exhibition. They encouraged the learners to listen and ask questions regarding career choices, university applications and bursaries. I was provided with a high school teacher who took me to classes that had the target audience. Upon arrival the teacher introduced me to the learners and provided me with electricity cables (extension cord) so that I could plug the laptop and projector.
Most learners from rural areas are not exposed to career exhibitions, therefore, they end up choosing wrong subjects. This later result in learners enrolling for the programmes they do not have full knowledge of or they do not qualify for due to the subjects they chose at grade 10. Some learners think they know a lot about their career aspirations but when they get to university that is when they realise that they actually do not like their programme. Some university students change their programmes in the second year or later. Other students are computer illiterate or do not even have broadband data to can apply at institutions of higher learning and lack of information about funding for higher learning studies. Other learners need guidance, the programme also mentor them. This programme aims to solve the above mentioned challenges.
Addressing the challenges
A good number of learners have been successfully mentored. Some of the learners that were mentored have enrolled in institutions of higher learning while others are still at high school. In the past, a number of learners were assisted to apply in institution of higher learning. What still needs to be done is to take learners to universities during career day. This will motivate them to want and encourage them to work hard so that they go to universities. More mentors from the working environment and from universities are needed so that learners may get a more specialized mentorship. Mentorship will be a success. Going forward we hoping to conduct a big career exhibition in one of the rural schools and invite other learners from nearby schools. Professionals and institutions of higher learning will be invited as well.
Managed to recruit 2 mentors who are part of the mentoring programme. People from the working environment are the ones who mentor students. The idea is to share the knowledge they have about their jobs and share it with students. The breakdown of the mentors is as follows: The first mentor is a charted accountant mentors one student who is a university student. The student is from Giyani (rural area). The student aspires to be a charted accountant. The second mentor is a university lecturer who is lecturing logistics. She is mentoring a student who aspires to be a logistics manager. The founder mentors students who would like to be academics and business people. The second accomplishment is that mini career exhibitions were held and they were successful. Students were assisted with career choices and subjects they can choose. University applications were done for students who were interested in applying in institutions of higher learning. Motivational talks were done as well and videos were played. This got students entertained and it made them to inquire about university life.