The power of structured mentoring: A Bokamoso story

“In addition to being Tshenolo’s mentor, I have also become her friend,” says Alice Cochrane-Murray, one of the mentors on the Bokamoso programme.

The Bokamoso Education Trust provides 63 kids with more than just the financial stability required to attend school. It provides them with a community to belong to.

CN&CO has partnered with the Bokamoso Trust to help raise awareness of its activities and attract donors and mentors to this worthy, grassroots cause.

“So often we are asked to contribute to causes where we never see the end result of our specific contributions,” says CN&CO’s Josie Dougall. “We love that Bokamoso gives donors and mentors the opportunity to interact and engage directly with the beneficiaries of their time and money.”

Below is a letter from a Bokamoso mentor that shines a light on the dedication it takes to be a mentor, and the incredible results that proper, structured mentoring can provide.

Mentoring doesn’t cost money, it costs time. The Bokamoso Trust is happy to receive either or both from you. R165 a month toward a child’s education, or an hour of your time once a week to talk, share experiences, and listen is all it takes. You will be making a profound impact on the future of a child if you can help out in any way.

Click here to find out how you can get involved. R165 a month? An hour a week? Your resources are invaluable.

Below is a letter from Alice Cochrane-Murray about Tshenolo Sihlangu:

I am privileged to write in reference of Tshenolo, a nine-year-old girl who I have been mentoring at Vuleka school in Rosebank, Johannesburg, for eight months.

In this time I have witnessed Tshenolo’s tremendous strength of character and proficient intelligence. Tshenolo is a rare type of student who combines exceptional natural ability yet faces challenges of her own. As her mentor, I hope to assist her in conquering these challenges.

In addition to being Tshenolo’s mentor, I have also become her friend. I look forward to our time together each week, which serves as a safe place for Tshenolo to release herself from personal and academic pressures that she may be facing. I enjoy being a mentor because I know what it is like to have an adult on your side in a time when life can be confusing.

I have made a vow to myself, which I intend to keep, referring to my manner of how I mentor Tshenolo. It includes being honest when I am asked difficult questions, being kind when it is necessary, being patient when my patience is tested, being consistent in my visits and never giving up on the little girl who has become a very big part of my life.

Tshenolo challenges me in many different ways. She has a curious mind, which needs guidance and consistent monitoring. My Tuesday mornings are dedicated to a little angel who is going to shine as bright as her smile one day.

Mentoring is a journey that I am honoured to share with Tshenolo. I have put my faith in her and she has put hers in me. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.