The Empower The Boy (ETB) mentoring program is a community based mentoring model in Kenya serving primary school boys age 11-14. The program gives special attention to boys identified by school administration to be at risk of educational failure, dropping out of school, juvenile delinquency or gang-related offenses. By partnering with the schools, and working closely with school administrators, we identify, and serve the boys most at risk for educational failure.
The ETB initiative aims at:
- Helping participants in the program to achieve academically, by addressing the school dropout rate
- Choosing safe environments to sharpen life skills in order to decrease radicalization rates.
- Developing leadership and a strong work ethic in our participants, and in so doing, reversing the cycles of unemployment and generational poverty. This heralds the beginning of a new path toward stability and wealth
- Building men who stand up for themselves, their families and their communities.
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION (MENTOR-MENTEE MEETINGS)
Each meeting begins with a check-in round. A mentor models the check-in by sharing his teenage experience on that week’s topic. One of the most important tenets of ETB is the mentor doesn’t teach, lecture or tell boys what to do. He just tells his story and talks about the feelings he had when he was a teenager, the mistakes he made, the lessons he learned and the long-term consequences of his actions.
This approach gives the boys permission tell the truth about the challenges teenage boys face, make their own decisions on how to deal with those challenges, and begin to take responsibility for their choices and the consequences of their actions.
Every school holiday, the groups participate in a fun, physical activity like foot ball. Playing together is an important program component that deepens the connection between boys and mentors.
The schools will form Boys’ Lives Enriched Clubs – BLEC and a patron (a teacher) will be sourced and trained by life enrichment institute. He/ she will be considered as an associate mentor of the program. The patrons will be meeting monthly to deliberate on the issues. The program will seek to partner with association of professional counselors to help the emotionally needy cases.
Potential mentors are interviewed and carefully screened, and must pass empower the boy background check for quality assurance.
All mentors are required to attend an 8-hour mentor orientation, and receive ongoing feedback and training from ETB staff before and after the weekly sessions.
The group-mentoring model allows ETB volunteers to monitor and evaluate the mentor’s interactions with the boys. All group leaders are trained to spot signs of predatory behavior. We frequently discuss predatory behavior at group sessions and instruct boys and mentors to immediately report ANY concerns or inappropriate behaviors to empower the boy staff. Every meeting has at least one ETB staff member.