“The best help we can offer the youth of today is to prepare them for tomorrow.” ― Mark W. Boyer
Organizations may mean well by doing CSR projects like education programs but many of the times there is no follow up of the students or schools being sponsored. Is it enough to just give a cheque or for meaningfulness to be there should an organization go further? This is what Rhino Cement Foundation thought about before starting its mentorship program.
The mentorship program was started in 2011, after their first formal high school selection process. Each student who was selected under the foundation to receive the scholarship was assigned a mentor who would be his/her link to the foundation for the four years of study.
Mentorship includes following up of student performances, sitting down to discuss performance, giving career and life advice, spending time with the student outside of school, taking the student shopping for suppliers, and taking the mentee to hospital if there are health issues.
The position of being a mentor is on volunteer basis. Members of staff volunteer and apply for the positions rather having it being a mandated requirement.
Mentorship creates a relationship between the foundation and the students. It also helps the foundation identify potential problems or performance issues early so they can be rectified easily.
Mentorship gives students an avenue to career choices, by being able to interact with employees in different fields who share their journeys to present fields. It then gives the students an opportunity to grow into the careers and futures with guidance and some form of clarity.
Rhino Cement Foundation has a mentorship day. The Athi River factory of ARM Cement hosted this years’ Rhino Cement Foundation University scholars Mentorship meeting. Twenty one (21) students representing various Universities around the country were invited for the event. Some of the disciplines they are studying are: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Process & Chemical Engineering, Finance, Medicine, IT and Environment.
The day started off with a tour of the factory where the students had an opportunity to see the last stages of cement production. After the tour, the students sat down to an informative session and introduction to ARM Cement, Value Systems, Staff management processes, the Company’s skills and talent development strategy and the Internship program . The latter is of particular interest to the students as they are required to undertake an Internship period with an employer as part of their degree courses.
The students under the Rhino Cement Foundation scholarship program have a guaranteed chance for internship at any of ARM Cement’s plant locations. The students were elated at the concept of also having a higher chance of securing employment immediately after completion of their studies, at the company.
The afternoon session began with a lively presentation on Mindsets and Attitude, setting the pace for speakers on various subjects ranging from the working environment, to Quality Assurance and applying the Kaizen Principles in their lives. This then led to a talk on the Rhino Cement Foundation work and pillars and the Mentorship Program.
“Most of the students we have mentored have pledged that that their first action on gaining employment, will be to sponsor the education of a child who has no access to basic education owing to their under privileged background. We are proud of this declaration and the intent to see this vision through, because it is in line with our objective, as the Rhino Cement Foundation. We exist to promote social investments in health, education and environment projects that have a lasting impact and increase the well being of our communities,” says Yvonne Wambui – Communications Manager ARM Cement.
“True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.” ― David O. McKay