Social Sabbatical in SA – what it takes to change someone’s life…
If you ever wondered if it makes sense to participate in the Social Sabbatical program – yes, it does!
To give you an example of my experience:
Khulisa is implementing in South Africa the Global Give Back Circle program, location Newcastle. I could actually see how it works during my field trip.
Girls from high-risk families (without parents, prone to early pregnancy, sometimes from dysfunctional families) apply to GGBC program to participate in additional training such as computer skills, Story Telling, presentation skills, health training, basic legal training within the scope of regulations applicable to women rights. They also work with individually assigned mentors who contact them on regular basis; very often they do not meet in person, but over the phone due to large distances.
I participated in the final session of the first GGBC program round and was really touched by feedback provided by the girls about the program and especially about their mentors.
For us, people from the corporate world, a mentor is someone who can provide professional guidance and help with career development.
For these girls, a mentor is very often the first person in their lives that they can trust, someone who can clarify their doubts and answer questions, finally someone who can give direction to their life. They call their mentors: my mother, or my sister – someone I always wanted to have in my life.
For me it was an eye-opening experience that made me aware that small things such as becoming someone’s mentor can change a lot – even the whole life of a girl! I am glad that I could be there and spent 3 days in the field, with the girls and with the people who change their lives – mentors and facilitators of the GGBC program from Khulisa.