IATC and Salesforce have teamed up to provide an ongoing mentorship programme to build transformational relationships, share skills & exchange experiences with inspiring girls and boys living in Kakuma Refugee Camp, home of nearly 200,000 refugees.
The mentoring programme runs for 12 weeks with a 1 hour commitment per week.
Patrick Taylor leads the Salesforce mission and has been working closely with iamtheCODE founder, Lady Mariéme Jamme, to enlist some of Salesforce’s top mentors for this unique opportunity.
“The iamtheCODE Mentoring Program is different compared to other mentoring programs out there. It is a transaction based on kindness, empathy and compassion while sharing skills with the most needed in the world” said Lady Mariéme Jamme.
So Patrick, can you tell us a bit about the mentoring programme?
The programme pairs up mentors in this case from Salesforce with mentees, with the mission is to drive opportunity for underprivileged young girls and boys in Kakuma Refugee Camp which is based in Kenya. It is a great marrying of interests and talents – learning how to code and build knowledge and expertise is a phenomenal way for refugees to show they are super capable and can eventually exit a refugee camp with job prospects and opportunities.
What does the mentor do?
There are several ways a mentor can help. I personally found it most useful to work with his mentee to find out their goals – in my mentee’s case they wanted to get into medicine. So I helped them map out a path to look into the field of medicine. The idea is to engage with them, help them set goals and hold them accountable. This tends to work in a few different ways. As communication devices can sometimes get a bit lost, I found it useful to communicate across email, the iamtheCODE platform and WhatsApp to really make an impact.
Mentors not only give back to society through this program, but they also learn from the stories of resilience shared by their mentees & become part of iamtheCODE global community.
What value does the mentorship provide mentors?
This was my first mentor role outside of Salesforce, it bought awareness about the state of the world and the circumstances outside of the Salesforce corporate bubble. It’s a critical reminder of people with our privilege to give back to this situations.
‘It’s amazing to see someone who hasn’t been given anything in life just take on everything with passion and excitement.’
Any advice for someone looking to mentor with IATC?
My advice for anyone looking to mentor is to expect to get out what you put in. Working with the mentees can be challenging due to a lack of better and stable connectivity in the camp. There will be gaps in time when you don’t hear from them – so persistence is key. It’s an incredible opportunity to give back to an individual in need. It shouldn’t matter what level you are in your career, as soon as you have some experience in the job market you have enough experience to help someone at iamtheCODE.
Three words to describe this mentorship:
Fun, Rewarding and Eye Opening!
iamtheCODE has launched a 1girl1computer – Donate here if you can.