How the Family Group Foundation Mentorship Program Works

Ms. Wanjiku Waithaka, Dr. David Thuku and Ms. Jacqueline Mathaga with students during a recent mentorship workshop

Access to education is one of the Fundamental rights of all human beings regardless of their social class, race, tribe gender or even physical capability. Studies show that the number of people enrolling in school has increased between the year 1990 and 2015. Additionally, the gap between educated women and men has tremendously decreased. Nonetheless, children from poor backgrounds continue to miss classes and others fail to further their secondary education despite their qualifications.

The Family Group Foundation(TFGF) rose up to respond to the society’s need, which could not be alleviated wholesomely by the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The Foundation supports students from poor backgrounds to access Secondary education through the scholarship program. Their main target population is the orphaned, most vulnerable and marginalized children across all Counties in Kenya.  

To date, a total of 425 students have been offered these scholarships both in high school and tertiary institutions. In high school, there are 349 students currently supported across over 210 schools in the country with 76 others having graduated from high school. At the tertiary level, 35 students are currently supported in 13 colleges all over the country through the Afya Elimu program.

The Family Group Foundation believes that paying school fees for our scholars is not enough. And that is why we came up with a Mentorship program in which students are taken through counseling on academics, personal development and careers.

Two mentorship workshops are held every year. The first one is held in April and it involves all the students currently in the scholarship program; this includes students who just completed their high school. In November the foundation holds a mentorship workshop for form 3’s.

TFGF also recruits mentors for all the high school students. The mentors are volunteers from Family Bank, Kenya Orient and Daykio Plantations Limited.

Mentors fulfill two roles in the program. First, they guide and coach scholars to achieve specific, measurable, instrumental goals. The goals include specific academic, extra-curricular, college and career-based goals. The mentors also help scholars/mentees attain developmental objectives. These are the kind of objectives that make one a better individual and citizen – a better sibling, friend and colleague. Such developmental objectives are learnt over a lifetime, and often best learnt by looking up to someone else’s example and modeling one’s life after such an example. The mentoring process is therefore critical to achieving TFGF’s objectives – whether it is instrumental mentoring or developmental mentoring.