New Mentoring Alliance for Action to foster participation in youth mentorship community
Co-led by the National Youth Council, the alliance was announced during the National Mentoring Summit 2021.
Sometimes when we face difficult times in life, what we really need is a mentor to provide us with some much-needed guidance.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to link themselves up with an appropriate mentor.
During the National Mentoring Summit 2021 on Mar 26, the National Youth Council (NYC) revealed statistics that participation in formal mentoring programmes here remains low.
Out of the 1,500 youths that participated in a poll they conducted, only 11 per cent of them had taken part in programmes which could help them.
But it also revealed that more than half of those who had not participated in a formal mentoring programme said they would be open to doing so.
The reason participation rates remained so low however, was due to a significant lack of awareness of formal mentoring programmes and little knowledge of those which are suitable for them.
To this end, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan announced the Mentoring Alliance for Action (AfA), to develop common resources and share best practices on mentoring to raise standards of mentoring in the youth sector.
After sharing a little about how he himself has benefited greatly from mentorship, Mr Tan spoke about why he feels it is so important.
He said: “When you believe in mentoring, you go on to mentor others. It’s a virtuous cycle and mentoring in itself is also a rewarding experience. You learn from mentoring others and bless yourself in the process.”
Co-led by NYC and non-profit organisation Mentoring Alliance for Singapore (MASg), the new Mentoring AfA will work with many other mentoring organisations such as Care Singapore to build up the pool of volunteer mentors and develop training courses for them.
Mr David Chua, Chief Executive Officer of NYC, also spoke about how beneficial a good mentorship program can be.
“We all need that older and wiser person who is willing to give some time and good counsel in times of need. Mentoring helps sharpen purpose and direction, improves resilience and mental wellbeing and helps our youth make better choices,” he said.
To help encourage youths to be more involved in the local mentoring community, a platform dedicated to collecting pledges and commitment to youth mentoring was also launched in conjunction with the event.
Into its third year, the National Mentoring Summit brings together experts, practitioners, academics, and people who are interested in mentoring to share their knowledge and best practices, to exchange ideas on how to promote mentoring as a platform to change lives.
Referring to how the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew held the title of Minister Mentor, Mr Tan said: “Even as we are here, we learn a lot from mentors that have come before us.
“We also develop capacities and capabilities to be mentors to others. We’re welcoming and building the capabilities of the next generation of mentors.”