Help mentor others to greatness

2018-12-04 06:01
Amina Pululu (left), a mentee, and mentor Michelle Becker at the graduation ceremony.

Amina Pululu (left), a mentee, and mentor Michelle Becker at the graduation ceremony.

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A non-profit organisation that facilitates mentoring for underserved young people is calling on individuals interested in making a positive impact in their community, to apply to become a mentor.

This is after 98 young people graduated from the organisation’s 2018 mentoring programme a week or so ago.

SAYes provides a structured, formal mentoring programme for young people growing up in challenging circumstances who are preparing to transition into

The Woodstock-based organisation matches these young people with volunteer mentors and provides a framework and ecosystem of specialised staff and resources to support the mentorship process.

Each year, the SAYes graduation honours the courageous work of mentees and their mentors after they successfully complete a year in the programme.

Through the programme, mentors and mentees undergo mentorship training and then meet for weekly mentorship sessions.

Mentor/mentee matches also attend life skills workshops designed by SAYes to guide mentees towards improving independence and wellbeing as they approach adulthood.

The graduation celebrates the mentors’ and mentees’ dedication to one another and to the mentorship process, as well as to their own personal growth and wellness.A lot to celebrate

This year’s graduation was particularly meaningful as the organisation is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

SAYes was founded in 2008 by UK actor, activist and writer Gillian Anderson, and Michelle Potter, SAYes executive director.

There were 15 mentor-mentee matches in the first-year

SAYes has now grown to more than 100 mentor-mentee matches and, over the last 10 years, it has facilitated 15 750 hours of mentoring for 392 young people in the Cape Town area.

Renowned South African business executive and SAYes mentoring patron, Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, was a featured guest speaker at this year’s graduation.

As she spoke to a room full of graduating SAYes mentees and mentors, she talked about the critical role that relationship and mentorship played in her life – from when she was starting her career in finance in New York and unexpected mentors helped her open doors and find opportunities, to more recently when she suffered a stroke and the care and support of those around her encouraged her to recover and continue advancing towards her dreams.

“It is so important to seize the moment and take advantage of opportunities that arise because life is short and unpredictable,” said Mahanyele-Dabengwa.

“I applaud all SAYes mentees for the incredible work they have done, and everything I know they are going to do with the bright futures that lie ahead of them.”

With the 2018 programme drawing to a close, SAYes is now recruiting mentors for its 2019

Mentors needed

Individuals in the Cape Town area or surroundingd who are interested in making a positive impact in their community, working with young people, and pushing their personal development boundaries, are encouraged to attend a no-commitment information session, and/or apply to become a mentor, the organisation says in a

V Further information on information sessions and the mentor application process is available online at


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