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Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda)

Written letters

For decades, 98% of the children and especially girls in rural Ugandan communities have been unable to complete high school. Only 0.5% will continue further for a tertiary training and graduate at a diploma level. This is due to the effects of chronic poverty, HIV, cultural beliefs that education is wasted on girls, and domestic violence.
Although these girls currently live in situations where they have little hope for a future that doesn’t include poverty and/or marriage at a young age, they have dreams of becoming educated, independent women who can effect change in Uganda in a variety of ways.
Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project is a one on one girl-to-mentor project aimed at empowering Ugandan girls through financial assistance for continued education, shared knowledge and wisdom, and creative thinking. Each rural Ugandan girl will be connected to a single mentor who will help nurture their vision for a brighter future. Our goal for 2012 is to find mentors from around the globe for 40 intelligent and motivated rural Ugandan girls.

Why One girl to One mentor project?

As the Founder of Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project, I have empathy for these girls. Ten years ago, I had little hope of attaining an education or acquiring a decent job. After staying home for two years due to a lack of school fees, I was extremely fortunate to find a mentor in the United States. She helped me finish my high school education and continued to support me in many ways while I pursued my dream of a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Now that I have graduated, I have a good job and am able to support my mother and my 17 nieces and nephews. I am also able to assist my community.

Recently I was selected by World Pulse to be one of the three world-wide awardees to speak to audiences in five major cities in the United States. World Pulse is an action media network powered by women from 185 countries, with a goal to lift and unite women’s voices to accelerate their impact for the world.
These personal experiences are why I feel so strongly about the value of mentorship for promising Ugandan girls. I have seen first-hand what a difference having a mentor can make, and want to make this opportunity available to others.
I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given Opportunity, Education and Motivation, ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY; everybody is SOMEBODY.
Below are some of the links that would help you to know more about me
• A podcast interview: http://www.futureprimitive.org/?powerpress_pinw=2313-podcast
• A panel with Gloria Steinem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiiORDrgVJw
• Contribution to Women leadership: http://vimeo.com/m/31171945
• Blogs/blog: http://worldpulse.com/node/46561
• World Pulse tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvg6Ybc-d-k&sns=fb

Benefits/advantages of One girl to One mentor project;

• One-on-one mentorship and sponsorship of a promising rural Ugandan girl.
• Helping a girl attain education she could not otherwise afford. This will help prevent forced early marriages, and provide a pathway to the achievement of dreams and career goals.
• This is an opportunity for direct involvement where the mentor is able to easily see the impact of their support for the girl they choose to support.
• The mentor has the opportunity of visiting the girl and/or her family, if they so wish (in a group with other mentors) once a year. Visits are not mandatory.
• There is direct communication between the girl and the mentor. Initially this will be done through snail mail. However, in the near future, we will set up a communications center where the girls will have access to computers and the internet in order to facilitate communication with their mentors through the social medias (emails, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) At the moment we are limited by resources.

Criteria for Mentorship – The Mentors;
• A minimum of one girl per mentor.
• The length of the mentorship shall be left up to the girl and her sponsor, although it is hoped that it will last throughout her education. Either can terminate the relationship with proper notice if necessary.
• A mentor shows commitment to provide the girl with emotional and financial support, and to provide guidance and suggestions to assist her in achieving her goals.
• Both the girl and her mentor may blog or share their experiences, stories and successes using the social media.
• The mentor is able to cultivate the girl’s talents and creativity.
• Anyone from across the globe can become a mentor as long as they are able to mentor and educate the girl with strategic leadership knowledge and skills.
• A mentor can come from any country in the world.
• A mentor may involve her/his family and friends during the mentorship period (a group can mentor one girl)
• A mentor may select up to 5 girls, ranked in order of preference, in case their first pick is already taken.
• A mentor commitment form shall be provided upon selection of the girl to be mentored.

Criteria for Mentorship – The girls;
Only girls from rural, impoverished families will be considered. The following will guide the evaluation of the applicants:
• Each girl will write a short essay on their current life, explain how they’ve overcome roadblocks thus far, and identify their dreams and goals. Here are the essays: http://worldpulse.com/node/48232
• Joining or in high school level
• Promising performance in class and may also be participating in sports activities.
• The girl under normal circumstances may live with her parents/caretakers while attending a day school, but in many cases a boarding school may be a better choice due to safety concerns and distance.
• Be willing to communicate to their mentors as often as possible.

For both parties, there shall be a yearly evaluation of what’s been accomplished. At this time, goals will set for the coming year.
We suggest that mentors provide school fees for the girls and the parents/guardians shall be responsible for scholastic materials, the feeding of their children and meeting their basic needs. This is to involve the parents/guardians in the girls’ education and personal development. It shall be my responsibility to receive and document the money submitted for each girl, and to pay their school fees. This will ensure that the money is used for the purpose it was provided for.

How the mentor-ship starts:

Step one: Select a girl from the available list at http://worldpulse.com/node/48232 . A brief history of each girl is provided, along with their dreams and visions.

To see the list of the mentors and mentees together with the names of the girls who still lack mentors please visit; http://www.worldpulse.com/node/48881

This a temporary starting point but you may find this social media site useful for the purpose of sharing stories and ideas with the world.

Step two: Contact me at biitry@gmail.com and exchange snail mail contacts.

Deadline
The deadline for selection of a girl by a mentor this year has been extended from January 27 to January 31, 2012. School starts on January 30, 2012.

For those who would like to become mentors next year, 2013, we will update you from as early as October 21, 2012; because our project is widely spreading, 719 girls preregistered for 2013 intake. We have selected on;y 20 [Last updated on October 05, 2012]

For more information, please send an email to biitry@gmail.com

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Comments

Breese's picture

You're doing amazing things,

You're doing amazing things, Beatrice! Keep it up :)

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Breeze

Thank you for encouraging me, Breeze. I will keep up!

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

jenwarren's picture

Sounds great!

Hello,

Main question I have is, what is the expectation of financial support? I.e., how much, how often, for how many years. It is a wonderful opportunity, and I am thrilled you set it up. I don't have much money right now, not more than my basic bills, but that may change.

Way to identify a need and take action!

Many blessings and happy new year,

Love
Jen

Hey beatrice,

Consider my question answered, and I will pass this on in my community. :)

Jen

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Jen

I will be very grateful for your efforts. Each of these girls has a beautiful soul, if supported I am sure they will become outstanding African Women leaders of tomorrow.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

jenwarren's picture

I couldn't agree more

Hi Beatrice,

I came across an article about education in Finland, and why they are believed to be doing so well. It reminds me of what you say--everyone is a somebody, in other words--equity. Here's the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-...

In the US, while school is free, it is wildly different depending on where you live, with many really really bad schools, called "dropout factories." And inside each school, they divide people up according to "ability", essentially creating first and second class citizens. There is outstanding research showing if you expect people to do well, and don't take excuses, they perform at a much higher standard, no matter how rich or poor, or the color of their skin.

I passed it on to a friend, and will continue to spread the word.

Much love!
Jen

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Jen

I will be reading this link.
I appreciate your efforts.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Ruth Beedle's picture

You are living your dream and

You are living your dream and making the dreams of so many others come true, as well. Not just the impoverished girls whose lives will be forever altered by this project, but for the sponsor/mentors as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Aunt Ruth

I am so happy to see my dream come true. Having confirmed 15 mentors. I am very sure there are women and men in this world who want to make a difference in the life of a rural girl. You have been a great force of inspiration to me. Thank you!
Love.
Bea

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

LeahO's picture

wonderful

This is a great program Beatrice. I am unable to give financial support to a girl right now, but I want to in the near future. Thank you for directing me to your post.

Leah Oviedo, Self Defense Instructor, Author ,and Artist. Learn about my work here: http://impoweryou.org

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Leah

Thain you for acknowledging my passion. Together we shall make a difference, someday.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

LeahO's picture

You are welcome. We already

You are welcome. We already are making a difference, by speaking up for human rights. We are setting a precedent for how others should be treated no matter their gender, skin color or beliefs.

Leah Oviedo, Self Defense Instructor, Author ,and Artist. Learn about my work here: http://impoweryou.org

Angeles Ronquillo's picture

Great idea

I think you have found a great way to target a problem that should be a concern to all, good education. I really wish I could help with financial support, although right now I can't, I want to believe that you will keep with the good work, I will share this post to friends and hope someone will be able to help. Good luck and have a nice year!

Ángeles

Angeles Ronquillo
Network of Rural and Indigenous Women form the State of Puebla, México.

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Angeles

Your positivity to this call encourages me to do more my sister. This is why I walk extra miles alongside my job to support the voiceless. I was once there, I do not want the un ending circle of povert and suffering to keep breading.
Will be grateful to have your friends on board.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

RCGM Uganda

Hello, Beatrice!

I certainly remember you and your unforgettable story. I was a mentor last year -- and am again this year -- and heard your story through your mentor before I heard you tell it in New York. Your light and love and humor shine through despite the enormity of the losses you've experienced in your family. And your victory is, of course, a victory for all women.

I have forwarded the link to RCGM Uganda to a seminary classmate who would like to get involved, and I may also put it on my Facebook site.

I wish you comfort and joy,

Sarah, WPVOF Mentor

AchiengNas's picture

Grateful!

For your admiration to this vision, Sarah. I am thankful for your efforts dear. So far there are 15 confirmed mentors for 15 girls. We have 20 more girls to go.
I have no doubt, these mentors are yet to be confirmed soon. I look forward to having you and your classmate sign up on our facebook group page; http://www.facebook.com/groups/rgcm.uganda/

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Hello, Beatrice,

I've just posted your link on my Facebook site with a request for mentors.

Love to you,

Sarah

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Sarah

Two girls have been taken today! I made facebook friends are the mentors, they are the 90% of the mentors.
Thank you for your efforts dear.
Love

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Wonderful!

That's wonderful news, Beatrice!

I'll keep spreading the word.

Love,

Sarah

Jess B's picture

Hi Beatrice

Thank you for your support. I just read through your project, it sounds fantastic, and I would love to be involved. I will email you shortly about volunteering.

Best,
Jess

Jess B.

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you Jess

Grateful you got to read about this project, and you are interested. I look forward to reading from you.
Blessings.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

CoachMarcie's picture

Great Idea

Please let me know if you still need to get the word out and I will also post the link on Facebook. I am very excited and glad I didn't miss this!

Best,
CoachMarcie

Best,
Marcie

AchiengNas's picture

Post the link on Facebook

Hi Marcie,
In these remaining two days, the 13 girls still have chance to fine mentors. Go ahead and post it to facebook. MOST of the mentors have come through my facebook so I know the power there in.

You can also join our facebook mentor group for mentors and listeners, and tell your friends to join at; http://www.facebook.com/groups/rgcm.uganda/

Thank you for your interest dear, Marcie.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

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