As humans, we will at some point of our lives need mentorship from our parents, tutor, or an expert, to guide us in our pursuits of life’s success. The role of mentorship in a girl-child is also very important and cannot be ignored. Mobile Web Ghana, prioritizes in SDG 5 which is ‘Gender Equality’ and is concerned in advocating for women and girls empowerment.
As part of the Technology and Women Empowerment Program (TaWEP), a continuing project being sponsored by the US Embassy Ghana, we have successfully organized a mentorship workshop for girls. The mentorship program called ‘iMentor for Girls’, was aimed at developing and empowering the girls with knowledge and skills relevant to equip them for their personal development, academic excellence and building their mental capacity for their future career pursuits. The participating schools were: Umar Bun Hataab Islamic School and Ebenezer Methodist School, both in the La-Nkwatanang Madina District. In total, fifty (50) girls from the junior high level were trained in a two-day workshop.
The mentorship program was done at the American Corner Agbogba, located at Mobile Web Ghana. The days for the training were on 6th July and 13th July. It was a whole day’s program where the girls were taken through different training sessions. The session for the workshop covered the areas in:
- The Power of affirmations
- STEM advocacy
- The role and importance of mentorship
- Sexual Assault awareness
- Peer counselling
Florence Toffa, the Director for Mobile Web Ghana and American Corner Agbogba, hosted the girls during the workshop. Before the start of the workshop, the girls were made to register their attendance. After which the different sessions began.
The session kicked off with participants watching a Tedx video on ‘’How to build Self Confidence”, delivered by Cece Olisa (Founder of Cocoa by Cece). The video highlighted how she personally struggled with her confidence because of her body shape. Nevertheless, she identified four main factors she focused on, which helped her in building her confidence. These factors are:
1. Identifying your perceived obstacles.
2. Imagining what your life would look like if your perceived obstacles disappeared.
3. Address your perceived obstacles.
4.Choose to live the life you imagined today.
This session was facilitated by Princess Erwina Ndom, coordinator of American Corner Agbogba. After the video, she asked participants if they have ever experienced confidence issues. Some said they have and they shared what their struggles were. The facilitator also shared her experience on how she also struggled with confidence and what she did to overcome it. Later, she taught participants ways of boosting their confidence. Before ending, she played another video on ‘Self Affirmations, which opened up for the next speaker.
The next session, which was facilitated by Estella Hilda Anaman, which focused on developing the girls’ mentally to believe in themselves and speak positive words over themselves. She also illustrated growth and confidence by showing them a flower and the various stages it goes through in its growth. To take it up a notch further, the participants were asked to individually step forward to write out their wildest dreams or future aspirations on the theme: ‘’ I CAN..I WILL…IT’S POSSIBLE’’ . A bubble design was drawn on a card and participants took turns in writing on it. The aim was to highlight the power of their imagination to achieve their dreams. They went ahead to engage in a fun game on self-esteem, an activity aimed at boosting how they perceived their self worth. They did this by firstly filling out a self-esteem printed worksheet on what they loved about their body, their unique skills/ talents, favourite subjects in school and what they aspired to be in the future. It didn’t end there, everyone of the participants read out loud what they had written with a finishing line – I LOVE BEING ME!!!
Florence Toffa, the director of Mobile Web Ghana and American Corner Agboba was the next to facilitate. Before her presentation, she gave the girls some maths questions to solve. Some girls were called to solve the answers on the board. There were few who were not confident in their answers. She gave those ones the opportunity to come to the board to answer the questions through her assistance on deriving the answers. They later realised how easy the questions were. Based on this, she encouraged the girls to love STEM.. She added that they can do anything and excel once they set their mind to it. She went ahead to deliver an insightful and engaging presentation on the topic: “Mentoring and the Value of Mentors for Female Success”. She started by explaining who a mentor is and why every girl-child needs a mentor. She shared accounts of her background as one who grew up in the village but overcame obstacles such as criticism, rejections , gender biased talks that almost halted her educational journey. She hammered on the fact that, as they are growing, they might encounter certain challenges in life in their journey to the top. She encouraged the girls not to make excuses of not succeeding, but to rather study hard and especially dare to venture into science,technology,engineering and other related courses. challenge themselves to be better and stay focused on their books by not allowing distractions of any kind to stand in their way. She also highlighted in her presentation that a mentor is essential for every girl to serve as a guide or coach, to help her avoid mistakes, give help or support in acquiring the right knowledge and skills in her education or career. Participants asked questions and they were answered.
The girls went on a snack break after the second session. They maximized the opportunity to network with each other. At the end of the snack break, the next session focused on the topic “Sexual Assault”, which was facilited by Princess Erwina Ndom. The presentation started with a short animated video, highlighting a vivid description of sexual assault. Later, the facilitator explained what sexual assault means and some key terms as defined by the Criminal Offense Code 1960 (Acts 29). These were rape, attempted rape, defilement, attempted defilement and other sexual forms. She also pointed out some myths about sexual assualt, the forms of sexual assault and how to report if anyone ever encountered any form of sexual abuse. After her presentation, some girls asked questions. It was also a hilarious and learning moment when some girls demonstrated how they would defend themselves if ever they encountered any form of sexual abuse.
Towards the wrapping of the workshop, the girls were given sticky notes to write down some personal issues bothering them after which they had a one-on-one session on counselling with Florence Toffa.
As participants waited for their turn to have their counselling session, we gave the girls the opportunity to showcase their talents. It was interesting to watch different acts in singing, poetry, wrapping, comedy among others.
The Technology and Women Empowerment Program (TaWEP) project, funded by the U.S. Embassy Ghana is aimed at developing women and girls with basic digital and work-readiness skills and encouraging women to take up leadership positions with the hope of building their capacity in their careers, education and becoming great leaders