For the better part of last week, Elgeyo Marakwet county was a beehive of activity as more than 40 university students, 20 professionals and 20 leaders descended upon it with only one mission in mind: to mentor this year’s form four candidates. Ultimately, more than 7000 students, drawn from nearly 80 schools had been spoken to.
Mentorthon is an annual countrywide call for professionals, corporates, entrepreneurs and political leaders to give 42 hours to mentor high school students. Mentorthon brings together students to learn self-belief and self control from the stories of the leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals and brands. The initiative was founded in 2016 by Mr. Tim Kipchumba, an entrepreneur, CFO and Co-Founder of Questworks; a real estate consultancy and integrated project delivery (IPD) firm which provides solutions to companies and individuals who want to undertake significant construction projects.
“1 in 3 young people will grow without a mentor (Mentor 2016). Daily Nation reported increase in teenage sex with over 23% of girls under 18 years falling pregnant, 55% of all high school students having tried drugs and alcohol, and well over 300 out of 5,000 schools experiencing massive strikes contributing to a high dropout rate. Kenya Vision 2030 considers that one of the biggest challenges in education lies in improving overall transition rates, particularly from secondary to tertiary levels currently at 3% and also changing attitudes and behaviour of students.
Aside from all these benefits, mentorship opportunities offer an opening for professionals and corporates to Pay Forward, to the next generation, the lessons we have learnt on our journey in life,” says Tim. “We decided to start this noble cause in order to connect with the children and speak to their dreams early enough in their lives in the hope of guiding them through the challenges of choosing a career and helping them deal with whatever challenges; both social and academic, that they may face”, he added.
The event began on Wednesday 4th, July, with a mentor’s dinner hosted by Hon. Kiplagat Sabulei, speaker of the Elgeyo Marakwet County assembly. The event was graced by Hon. Alex Tolgos, Governor Elgeyo Marakwet, his deputy Hon. Wesley Rotich and a host of other leaders drawn from other sectors within the counties of Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeiyo Marakwet. All who spoke during the event lauded the organizers for thinking up a wonderful program which they deemed timely.
The next two days saw the mentors who included, Hon. Tolgos, Hon. Rotich, Hon. Sabulei. Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen Senator of Elgeiyo marakwet and leader of majority in the senate; Dr. Susan Komen Koech, PS at the Ministry of EAC, university students drawn from across the country, professionals working with the event sponsors and teachers crisscross the entire county speaking to children.
The events were comprised of two sessions a townhall kind of setting and group discussions which were very interactive. The host schools included Tambach High School, Sing’ore girls’ high school, Kapsimotwo boys’ high school, Kaptagat girls; high school, Sambirir girls’ school, Queen of peace girls’ school, Chebara boys’ high school and Kapcherop girls’ high school. Some of the topical issues handled included self respect, Self confidence, self control, career choices and emerging trends, life in campus and options available to those who might not make it to tertiary institutions.
Every school got 100 copies of Tim’s motivational book; unstoppable courtesy of the sponsors who included KCC, KPLC, Elgeyo marakwet county, great rift coffee, Transnational Bank among many others.