Women Win believes that mentoring is a valuable tool to promote and encourage the development of young women as leaders in their sport organisations and communities. Often, AGYW have little access to role models or mentors who they can speak to candidly about their lives, goals, and future aspirations. Mentors play a variety of roles to help a mentee achieve a goal, including: as a teacher, sharing knowledge and skills; as a guide, sharing insights step by step; as a counsellor, listening and supporting; and as a coach, encouraging and motivating. A girl who plays sports is already familiar with one mentor, her coach. As girls prepare to become economic agents, different types of mentors become critical resources in helping a girl succeed. Programmes must also keep in mind that mentor / mentee power dynamics should be monitored closely, especially if the mentor is the coach. See the Internaitonal Guideline for Desinging Sport Programmes for Girls for more information on ways to ensure that power dynamics are not used to harm or create unsafe environments for the participants in the programme.
Although mentorship happens informally within a sport programme, organisations should consider designing and implementing a formal and structured mentoring programme within the organisation for girls at various points in their leadership development. Mentorship programmes can be designed to expose peer leaders to local, national and international mentors to build their leadership skills and connect them with employment or entrepreneurship opportunities.
Women Win's Young Women in Sport Mentorship Programme is a unique opportunity for young women who are emerging leaders in the sport for development field to connect with international mentors, develop their leadership and work towards personal and professional goals. Young Leader Fellows (YLF), learn skills to tell their story of how sport has impacted their lives and take part in leadership activities. Mentors join the YLFs for three days during which they build leadership skill through sport and play, explore the integration of sport and leadership, engage in one on one mentoring and most important of all, have fun! After the workshop, mentors and YLFs engage year long online mentoring activities.
The Community Change Project is an important part of the Young Women in Sport Mentorship Programme. It not only serves as a way for YLFs to identify problems in their organisations or communities and develop creative solutions to address them, but it gives them a platform on which to practice and reinforce their leadership skills. The YLF (with the help of their mentors) drives the process of identifying a problem or issue, developing an action plan to address it and implementing that plan from start to finish.
Pooja Rawat, Naz Foundation, Former YLF
“Through the programme, my most significant change was in my personal leadership. I am more comfortable in leading trainings and talking with outside people or visitors. My coordinator has seen these positive changes and I am now given more responsibilities.”