Empowering Young Africans (18-25) Through Mentoring with The Richard George Foundation and PushFar

Read to discover how the Richard George Foundation and PushFar have come together to make mentoring more accessible and empower young Africans.

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In the face of rising unemployment rates and limited opportunities for young Africans to thrive in business and career, the Richard George Foundation (RGF) has emerged as a beacon of hope dedicated to raising change makers.

As a registered private non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation with headquarters in Abuja Nigeria, RGF is taking a proactive approach to become a catalyst for change by equipping young and talented Africans with skills, education and entrepreneurial development through mentoring that sets them on the path to success.

On this journey RGF wishes to reduce the impact of unemployment which continues to be a cause for concern in Africa particularly in Nigeria. According to the latest KPMG research (2023) the unemployment rate among young Nigerians stands at a staggering 41%. This figure highlights the urgent need for initiatives such as RGF's that focuses on equipping young talented Africans with skills, knowledge, access to technology at affordable cost, and support necessary to secure a stable employment and succeed at it.

Recognising mentoring as a transformative career development tool and its importance in achieving the organization’s vision, RGF has partnered with PushFar.com, a UK based world-class online mentoring platform, to pair mentors and mentees effectively. This collaboration has not only facilitated improved monitoring and evaluation for the program's outcome but also enhanced the success and continuity of the mentoring journey for both mentees and Mentors.

Although informally launched in March 2023 via an online event, the Richard George Foundation had already onboarded over 40 mentees during 2022. The RGF-PushFar programme currently has a total of 71 users: 20 mentors and 51 mentees within its ecosystem of learning and development for advancement. For the first cohort of mentees, the mentorship program has been nothing short of a transformative experience. The guidance and support from mentors have inspired in them the zeal to learn new skills, expand their networks and effectively tackle and overcome challenges.

While the mentoring journey has been that of self-discovery for some, other mentees have recorded academic excellence as well as new opportunities for career progression and business growth. Oyindamola Mabeweje, an RGF mentee has this to say about her experience: “I see RGF as a safe place for growth, encouragement and dream realisation. This is because RGF is a real community with available resources for dream realisation - from human resources in terms of mentors, from various walks of life to other learning resources that can aid realisation of potential.”

Simon Brown, an HR Director, and experienced Mentor, based in the UK, says: “In 2022 I wanted to broaden my understanding of different cultures beyond Europe and the Americas where I have been mentoring individuals for several years. I chose to reach out and connect with early career aspirants in both Kenya, Botswana and Nigeria in Africa and I have found this to be an eye-opening experience.

In 2023 I have met with many bright and enthusiastic young people in Africa and have entered positive mentoring relationships with four of these. What has surprised me is that these bright young people do not have the same access to careers and technology that we have come to expect in Europe and America. Also because of the high cost of Laptops these young people are socially disadvantaged as they don’t have the same access to communication technology that they need to progress their career in an increasingly digital world. In addition, there is also a high incidence of laptops being stolen in Nigeria and Kenya and this has meant three out of four of my mentees have had to postpone meetings or use mobile phones to continue their mentoring discussions. With support via RGF and PushFar, and also European based organisations offering virtual internships to mentees and loaning or recycling laptops, we have a real opportunity to reach out and offer an inclusive bridge to learning and real career opportunities for young Africans."

Looking ahead, RGF has set its sights on an official launch and fundraising event scheduled for September 30th, 2023, in Abuja, Nigeria. This milestone occasion will provide the Foundation, the opportunity to showcase its achievement, highlight the impact of mentorship and garner support from government, organisations (public and private) and the wider community, to expand its reach and make an even greater impact on the lives of young Africans. Beyond the launch, the RGF urges organisations and leaders of organisations to be a part of this wave of change through partnership. Partnering individuals or organisations can make donations or provide opportunities for virtual internship placements for mentees, to accelerate knowledge transfer from theory into the real world of work including cross-cultural working and values, and the leveraging of information technology.

In a world where opportunities for success seems scarce, particularly across many countries in Africa, RGF is taking giant strides in the right direction to pave the way for a new generation of skilled professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders who will drive positive change in Nigeria and cause a ripple effect throughout Africa.

Want to help?

Contact info@richardgeorgefoundation.com.

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