The MiWay MiHeart Leaders in the Making mentorship programme kicked off two weeks ago with a workshop at the MiWay head office in Kosmosdal. The event was designed to introduce this year's mentees to their MiWay mentors and other role players who will help them make the most of their Grade 12 year and reach their full potential.
The Leaders in the Making mentorship programme has been running since 2016 and started as a replica of Tracker’s Men in the Making programme, which MiWay was a part of. Over time, MiWay’s initiative evolved and now includes female learners as well as a MiHeart Bursary fund. The programme offers a select group of high-performing Grade 12 learners a holistic bouquet of services and interventions: Mentorship from a member of the MiWay Management team, counselling services from registered counsellor, Jeanette Masina, and academic tutoring services from Lotus Tutoring.
Participants will also be exposed to job-shadowing opportunities based on their interests during the course of the year. If they obtain more than 65% in their matriculation examinations and are accepted by an accredited institution, they will be eligible for a MiHeart bursary which covers tertiary education expenses.
“As we all recognise, today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders, and the Leaders in the Making mentorship programme is our contribution to raising a new generation of the leaders our country desperately needs,” says Greta Goosen, head of Customer Experience at MiWay. “South Africa’s socio-economic realities mean that the private and public sectors have to work together effectively, and this programme forms part of a collaborative approach to addressing educational challenges. The programme aims to empower and develop the Grade 12 learners by exposing them to positive role models and career guidance.”
Goosen says that counselling has been included in the programme because mental health has become increasingly important and especially so for learners who transition into adulthood. MiWay is determined to give mentees the tools to cope with their mental health and emotional challenges which, if left untreated, can derail their academic performance. GroundUp estimates that up to 750,000 pupils between the ages of seven and 17 dropped out
of school during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these dropouts would have been caused by financial pressures, but undoubtedly depression and anxiety fueled by the uncertainty bred by the pandemic will have played a major role.
“This year we are even more committed to ensuring our beneficiaries are equipped with the tools they need to deal with emotional challenges,” Goosen says. “At MiWay, a priority is promoting awareness of mental health to our staff and providing access to assistance – extending this to our MiHeart beneficiaries was a natural extension of this concern. Mental and emotional health is essential if you want to achieve your goals and give your best.”
“Our Leaders in the Making and MiHeart bursary initiatives are aimed at equipping individuals with potential to pursue a tertiary qualification and to go on to find satisfying work that benefits both them and society,” Goosen says. “We count it a privilege to play our part in raising active citizens who seek opportunities to better the communities they live in by bettering themselves. By investing in young people’s futures, we are also investing in the country’s future.” MiWay is a licensed non-life insurer and Financial Services Provider (FSP 33970).