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Mentor Interview: Uganda

Mentor Christine of Krochet Kids Uganda Below is the full-length interview we did with one of our mentors in Uganda, Christine. As we've mentioned before, our mentors are a crucial aspect to our programs and our ability to empower individuals to rise above poverty. They work one-on-one with a select group of the beneficiaries to contextualize the aid that we offer and make it specific to their journey toward self-reliance. The care and intentionality in their approach is what helps give us the confidence, and the hard data, to ensure we are offering the best help possible. Read on.
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Mentor: Lawil Langol Christine What interested you in the mentor position at Krochet Kids Uganda? Much of my experience has been working with disadvantaged populations, especially women. I saw the need for not only financial support, but psychosocial support as well. They need a shoulder to lean on and someone they can consult with and learn from. It’s my duty to support them. That is why I’m here. We impart knowledge to them through trainings. We use a holistic approach when supporting them. This makes us unique, so many organizations focus on one thing, and leave out some things. We try to include everything. What excites you about your current position? Whenever I fill out a monthly progress report I’m always in awe as I see the ladies saving and focused and filled with hope to achieve more in the future. They are thriving financially, spiritually, and socially. They are being empowered. Also, I love the team spirit of working with other mentors. This is very unique. We’re always working together. I’m also excited because I’m learning a lot here. I don’t think people are ever too old to learn. What is something you didn’t expect in your role? I didn’t expect to see change in such a short period of time. Within 6 months you can see so much change in a lady’s life. I’ve never been involved in a place where people don’t fall back on the organization. Here, they are actually the ones supporting others (dependents). How does mentorship facilitate change? It works so well because instead of us having a big group to train - mentees are given to a particular mentor, which makes sure that everyone is taken care of, no one gets left out. Every person is different and unique, so when mentors are able to have close relationships with their mentees, they are cared for in the way that can help them specifically. When problems come up - we can keep track of what’s happening and walk with them. Could you share with us a specific story of change for one of your mentees? After one year in the program Lamaro Pamela has gone back to school and has completed her first year of high school. When I ask her what’s driving her to pursue education: she said she can do crocheting at day and study at night. She’s paying her own school fees as well as a sibling’s in sixth grade. She’s also saved money for future use. On top of that, she’s funding her mother’s produce business so the mother can support the family. Ever since joining KKU life has never been the same. The change is so much and they’re planning on buying new land for the family. Her future dream is to continue with her education up to university. She’s extremely focused and determined.
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