November 19th witnessed the procession of the 2016 Women Mentoring Walk all over Nigeria. As part of the activities to further strengthen intergenerational and gender – based shadowing amongst women; theWomen Mentoring Women Network held the Women Mentoring walk in major cities in Nigeria including Calabar.
The Women Mentoring Women Network envisions a community of empowered women living lives worthy of emulation and aims to inspire a new cadre of women leaders/entrepreneurs. The 2016 walk connected Nigeria’s leading women business leaders with emerging business women around the country to amplify the significance of all women –supporting the cause Women Mentoring Women (WMW) irrespective of vocation or creed.
Spearheading the Calabar Walk, the Faculty Lead of the Afterschool Centre for Career Development, Miss Esther Eshiet walked the streets of Calabar in company of other leading female executives including Mrs. Aja Enun, Head of Branch, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Tutu Ekeng, Executive Secretary, Cross River State Investment Promotion Bureau, Mrs. Maria Ojugbo, The Director of Fisheries Department, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Doreen Aji, CEO, See Babazi World amongst others.
Speaking on the essence of the Mentoring Walk, the Founder/Faculty Lead, Afterschool Centre for Career Development, Esther Eshiet highlighted that the benefits of Mentoring in the lives of young women to include knowledge, experiences and access to networks. The impact of the Mentoring Relationships for Mentees and Mentors has been so astounding the difference -3 months of intensive mentoring can achieve. She urged mentees to make good use of the opportunity; managing the privilege and unique perspectives these mentors are bringing to their lives”
Preceding the Mentoring Walk was a Mentors Breakfast Meeting and a Mentees Brunch. The 2016 Women Mentoring Walk was supported by Nestle Nigeria and CUSO International and delivered in partnership with Idea Builders Initiative
Some of the Mentors and Mentees shared their perspective about the walk:
Before coming in contact with the Mentoring programme, I have never really thought about my life goals. – Kate Ekpenyong,Mentee
My father has always been my mentor, but they are some issues I really couldn’t discuss with him because he is my father; I am grateful to have a female mentor now who I can share my challenges with – Wofai Usang, Mentee
There is fundamental need to mentor girls in our society, having that anchor that guides and enable them achieve their goals in life is why I keep signing up as a mentor – Mrs. Maria Ojugbo, Mentor
I have nice ideas and grand dreams but my problem is how to achieve them; I am hopeful that my Mentor will help me achieve my goals – Teresa Effiong,Mentee
Mentoring is a needed intervention in our country today, especially because of the quality of young people our educational system is producing. It makes a huge difference when you compare the impact of the mentoring exercise in the life of your mentee – Mrs. Aja Enun,Mentor