Maharani Footprint programme: Positive changes in mentors and mentees
Quest International University Perak (QIUP) senior lecturer J. Gogilavaani reluctantly stepped into the shoes of the Footprints programme coordinator when the initial person in charge left to further her studies.
“I was only called in at the later stage to be the coordinator. But, after seeing the Maharani learning lab and the girls who were selected as mentees, I was very impressed. I did not know that there was such a place to help the girls to bring out their talents,” she said.
“Although I stepped in as a replacement, I began to get very much involved as I saw the impact of the programme. I appreciated the initiative to help the young girls from this area where the parents are mostly low-educated and with low income and will never be able to give these kinds of opportunities to their children,” she said.
As the coordinator in the six-months project, Gogilavaani also noted changes in the mentors.
“Through the process of helping their mentees, the mentors also showed positive changes as they learned to manage their time between their academic commitments and the programme. They became more self-disciplined,” she said.
“I noticed that the mentors also seemed to experience personal growth as they became more confident after witnessing how they were serving as role models to these girls and helping mould them to become better persons,” she said.
The mentors for the Footprints programme were selected from students enrolled in QIU’s Special Needs Education, Communication and Early Childhood courses.
“I think the experience was beneficial to both the mentors and mentees,” she added.
Through our flagship Maharani programme, we reach out to adolescent girls from disadvantaged backgrounds and support them to develop self-confidence and realise their true potential.
The Footprints mentoring programme is introduced to the Maharani girls to assure these young girls that there is someone who cares about them, someone they can talk to and help to deal with the day-to-day challenges they face. The friendship between the mentor and mentee helps the girls understand the world around them a little better.