Mentoring Program Kicks Off @ Rukmini Foundation

Rashmita K.C. and Nabin Aryal

Mentoring the scholars for overall personal and academic development is one of the key goals of Rukmini Foundation. To realize this, mutual trust and close communication between mentors and scholars is very important. To build this trust, the mentors (Didis — meaning older sister in Nepali) and the scholars (Bahinis –meaning younger sister in Nepali) need to develop a better understanding of each other. Although the Rukmini scholars and mentors knew each other and even had some limited communication, no formal meeting had taken place to officially kick off the mentoring program.

After a long day of school, the students stay afterwards to learn more about the mentoring program.

On May 16, the first mentor-scholar meeting was organized in the premises of A School of Community (ASC). The participants were: two mentors (Rashmita and Pramila), the head of selecting committee (Kedar Nath Acharya) and the ten scholars. The chief goal of this meeting was to get to know more about each other and also to explain to the scholars about the importance of taking part in various non-academic activities. Since the scholars are not used to participating in other activities besides attending school, it was a challenge for the mentors to convince the scholars about the importance of taking part in extracurricular activities.

After much discussion, two things were decided in this meeting: the scholars pledged to write a monthly report on their personal lives as a way to express themselves through writing, and the mentors planned to make a home visit to better understand the scholars’ daily lives.

Some scholars expressed that they did not know how to write reports, while some were concerned about a lack of time for this extra work.  After much persuasion from Mr. Kedar Nath and our mentors about how to find extra time for such activities and the importance of creative writing, the girls became more excited about the idea of doing something other than regular school “homework”. The scholars promised to write a monthly report about their interests or whatever topic they wanted to choose.

In the coming weeks and months, we expect to get individual home visit reports from the mentors and personal reports from the scholars. We will post these reports in our homepage regularly. Involving the scholars in non-academic activities is a new concept in this school, however, we believe that it is an important step towards the scholar’s holistic development. Along with these types of activities and a closer interaction with the mentors through home visits, we are starting to build a strong bond between our Didis and Bahinis.

Rasmita & Nabin

About Nabin Aryal

Dr. Nabin Aryal led the foundation’s work in Nepal from the inception till April 2015. He is now serving as a special adviser from his new home in Myanmar where he works with the US and Nepal Teams to provide strategic guidance for the foundation. He received a PhD in Economics from Hitotsubashi University and has been managing NGO programs in underdeveloped areas in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka and has extensive experience in grassroots development efforts.
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