School Mentorship Program: Aware, Educate, and Inform

Hamro Palo understands the requirement for awareness among young girls and boys. After years of experience in the field of adolescents and education, in January 2020 we launched the School Mentorship Program, a weeklong mentoring program in schools of Kathmandu valley, both private and government, for children aged 12-16. The idea of the School Mentorship Program emerged after numerous media reports on sexual harassment and abuses at schools of Kathmandu valley.

We believe that adolescents need to stand up and speak out for themselves. Our pilot program aimed to equip them with skills and voice by educating, encouraging, and engaging the young through activity-based curriculum led by mentors. In coordination with schools, mentors are assigned to guide the students in topics that can be confronted at home or schools like bullying, domestic violence, sexual abuse, social media, and skills that are vital to them like life skill, and future-plan. Along with the curriculum, the students were also provided with a guidebook on issues such as sexual harassment, which are not discussed openly.
“The topics we shared are less prioritized in the school curriculum and children have only vague knowledge. With our sessions being more engaging through group work and fun activities, they enjoyed and learned,” says Puja Panta, 26, one of the mentors of the school mentorship program.

She adds, “I am glad I said yes to this opportunity. Being a part of this program has made me feel more confident to communicate well.”

The seven Mentors of the program were trained for two days and provided with Training Curriculum, which was followed throughout the mentorship program.
Some mentors recalled their initial stages and shared with Hamro Palo.

“We had reached out to three schools, Pushpalal Memorial School, Kathmandu Valley School, and Prashanti Academy. This was a completely new experience for me. In the beginning, I did not know how the children would react to these topics because mostly they are not discussed and/or ignored. However, as we started, children loved it. By the end, we received love and respect which was precious to me,” says Sampadha Uprety, 18, another mentor of the School Mentorship Program.  

It is very important for a mentor to love and be invested in what they are doing since the role of a mentor for this program is to guide students on some of the pertaining issues the adolescents face and prepare them with basic life skills.

So far, our mentors have reached 20 schools both private, government, and one foundation with the total of 687 students, but we plan to continue following up with the adolescents and look for ways to have a wider reach in schools. This is Hamro Palo’s small effort for young girls and boys to create a safe environment, encourage and guide them to have an awareness and voice they need.

Sampada and Puja after mentorship session

school mentorship