Mildred Chirwa has just gone through a mentorship programme which she claims has widened her horizons.
She is Malawi’s sole 2017 mentee in the Commonwealth Mentorship for Young women.
In an interview, Mildred was positive that the mentorship programme, which she went through between June and December 2017 has committed her to her professional and personal goals.
“I now identify opportunities easily and use them as bridges to where I want to be. Additionally, it is more rewarding to belong to a network of young women who are bringing change in their communities all over the world.
The mentorship programme conceptualised at the Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit in 2016, matches aspiring young women with experienced professionals in their fields.
Mildred was grateful to Commonwealth for challenging young women to nurture their ambitions and reach their fullest potential.
The 25-year-old was mentored by Rotaract Club’s former president in Guyana, Liz Cox.
“She is a business woman, a consultant and has worked extensively with different organisations all over the world. She mentored me in entrepreneurship, leadership and career development,” explained Mildred.
Baleka Mbete, Speaker for South Africa’s National Assembly is quoted on the Commonwealth website urging young people to be humble and open to guidance.
She praised the benefits of mentorship and its importance in passing on values and lessons from one generation to another.
Commonwealth Young Person of the Year Krystle Reid from Sri Lanka spoke about the importance of having someone to help young women to network, achieve personal and professional development; and rise above discrimination.
“Look for a mentor who will hold your hands all through your journey, who is accessible, who understands what your priorities are and is able to guide and keep you energised, especially when you have bumps in the road,” said Commonwealth deputy secretary-general Josephine Ojiambo.
The initiative is described as a critical part of the Commonwealth’s drive to empower young women.
Mentorship is essential for boosting the economic position of women with all the guidance, advice and support for women in building the character and confidence to become a strong leader and progress in their career.