Achievements of the Mentoring Programme: (January – December 2010)
- Hard Measures
- About 67% of the mentors obtained employment
- Over 33% of the mentors accessed university education
- About 33% of the mentors are volunteering or on training
- Over 23% of the mentees obtained employment
- 4% of the mentees accessed university education
- Over 45% of the mentees are either volunteering or on training
- 2 homeless mentees obtained housing
Achievements of the Mentoring Programme (January – December 2011)
- Hard Measure
- Over 43% of the mentors are in employment
- Over 26% of the mentees are in employment
- 10% of the mentors are volunteering
- 10% of the mentees are volunteering
- Over 20% of the mentors have joined Further/Higher Education institutions
- Over 3% of the mentees have joined Further/Higher Education institutions
- About 7% of the mentors attended training at their own levels
- Over 17% of the mentees attended training at their own levels
- 20% of the mentors are applying for jobs
- 40% of the mentees are applying for jobs
- Over 26% of the mentees did not reply at the time of the telephone interview and the follow up continues
- Soft Measures
- Mentees self-esteem enhanced
- Language skills of mentees improved significantly
- A great deal of mutual cultural learning between mentors and mentees
- Successful Integration
Some of our former mentors who obtained gainful employment include:
- Neeraj Kumar, who is currently a full-time Co-ordinator of the Diaspora Volunteering Alliance. Recently, Neeraj invited WHEAT MST to DVA conferences and training programmes and has pledged to support WHEAT MST in any way he can.
- Tamiru Mihretu Tesema, also a Vice Chair of WHEAT MST, currently works as a full time Community Support Worker in Newham.
- Opeoluwa Oyendigba, a Law professional has obtained a full time job at a Law firm at Plaistow, Newham.
Some of our current mentees who obtained sessional work:
- Yodit Musie
- Eva Ortega
- Krishnapillai Sivayoganathan
- Nadifo Mohamed
Arezo Zoharrahimi is currently working on her access course to study Psychology at a degree level. Many more have moved on into several courses at their own levels. I would like to thank all their mentors for showing them the right direction.
Aspirational Success Stories
When I joined Wheat Mentor Support Trust in December 2010 as an IT Technician, I was lost, depressed, isolated in life and confused individual who had no sense of direction as to how to sort my life out and to have a sense of purpose in life. I then spoke to Haliu Hagos Executive Director of Wheat MST and he suggested to join the mentoring program so I joined in January 2011. I was then assigned a mentor whose name was Mo. At first I was scared and emotionally withdrawn but he slowly gave me the confidence to open up to him so he could find the best way to achieve the most out of the mentoring program. When I had felt comfortable in opening up to him I found out that he was a warm and friendly type of person who then found it easy to support me mentally and emotionally in setting my goals in life and giving me a sense of direction again.
While working with Wheat MST and my mentor I slowly ended up achieving my goals and not only that, I had made new friends who had given me the confidence in myself to achieve whatever I wanted in life. It was essential for me to get the confidence again in going out to meet new people and to be able to interact with society as I had been isolated from the community for a very long time. I am still currently with Wheat MST as an IT Technician, and the mentoring programme has given me the opportunity to be a strong and confident person who has now got the confidence and the important skills needed to gain full time employment which I have now achieved at the London 2012 Olympics.
WHEAT Mentor Support Trust has really contributed positively to my life. I was going through emotional hurt and being traumatized by my childhood experience back home. After coming to WHEAT I received lots of support to overcome all the hurts I have gone through.
I was given a mentor who assists me every week. I have seen changes and improvement after working with WHEAT. Every week my mentor takes me through a section and this has really helped and contributed to my emotional wellbeing. Social work student from Goldsmiths, University of London and Havering college of Higher and Further Education came to WHEAT on a placement scheme also helped me to deal with my emotional problems.
I also get the chance to do job search and interview skills with my mentor. At the moment I have become very busy person attending my courses in the university of East London studying Early Childhood studies. I am also actively searching for a part-time job.
Angela Awuah Bosompem
I started volunteering at WHEAT MST in February 2011 in order to improve my chances of finding a full-time job, and also to help a local non-profit organisation. My position at WHEAT MST is IT Technician and some of the tasks I completed were; updating member information on the database, maintaining the PCs and producing information for the organisations webpage. The experience at WHEAT MST helped during job applications as it was a role I could list on my CV. Employers and recruiters would ask several questions about the role during interviews and recruitment calls. As well as the IT knowledge I gained during this role, I was also able to mention soft skills, such as communicating with people at different levels within an organisation. In February 2012 I gained a full-time job as a PC Technician, and I am certain without the voluntary work I did, finding a full-time job would have been much more difficult.
I started volunteering for WHEAT back in 2011 where I got involved in the children’s activity project and also helping out with the charities finances, I was very sceptical to the world of volunteering as I had never experienced it before and knew nothing of WHEAT’s work. On my first day I was really nervous but Hailu the leader of the project was really understanding and patient with me and introduced me to other volunteers of different ages and different backgrounds but all so friendly and hardworking and it made it very fun and rewarding working alongside them. While working for WHEAT Hailu helped me to develop many personal and professional skills such as IT, social skills, organisational qualities and financial preparation which inspired me to go back to college and enrol on a-levels. A year later and I have just finished my A-levels with the best grades I could possibly imagine and I just got employed as a registration personnel for HR at Newham College this summer and I couldn’t be happier and more thankful for the help WHEAT’s given me. WHEAT has helped me to get my qualifications which will assist me to get to university and has helped me to make it in the world of employment.
I recommend anyone who has thought about volunteering to give it a chance as you won’t believe how much you will grow as a person, and if you do decide to volunteer there is no better place than WHEAT.
Thank you so much Hailu for everything.
My name is Arezo Zohorrahimi. I was a mentee from January to June 2012. Before I came to WHEAT, I had no idea about how to solve many of my problems. My mentor supported me a lot and without him I could not have achieved my goals and overcome many difficulties. I have managed to achieve many good things.
I had many problems with college about course fees and because of my status, I had to pay a huge amount of money. But everything is solved now. I am taking access course in Newham College.
I am deeply thankful to WHEAT and my mentor. That is why I decided to be a mentor. Because of this, I would like to help other person who may need support and not sure what she or he has to do or who cannot manage his or her life due to lack of knowledge or confidence.
I would like to say thank you to WHEAT because of this opportunity. Particularly in may case, it is a massive chance to study in college this year.
Arezo Zohorrahimi, Mentor
I am glad to say that I am very satisfied with the results of the mentoring programme. In only two weeks I was able to find a job suitable for me. During this time I was helped by my mentor, Arezo. She gave me advice on where to look and apply for jobs and we even talked directly to the local store managers such as Tesco and Iceland. We had full contact through email and phone calls, so whenever a good offer was found we were able to contact each other without problems.
Manuela Pereira, Mentee
Hi Dr Hailu,
I hope you are all very well as I am; I thank you very much for allowing me into your trust to volunteer when I had no paid job. What I did at WHEAT Mentor Support Trust was to assist people who have come to the UK to settle and whose first language is not English. What I did was, every Saturday morning for three hours, I meet them at the Eastham library and go through some simple words and their meanings. I also encouraged them to speak English with their children who are studying in this country to enable them to pick up some words and use them in constructing their own sentences. I also asked them to speak English with their family friends and new friends they meet outside the house and in the shopping centres. I did my research to find in their local areas where they can attend English classes and where they can meet people with the same situation. They were all interested in it and registered with them and started their classes whilst I also started a course in child care and had to do voluntary work in a child care setting.
I was really happy to be with them because we became friends and sometimes we talk about family matters, I also got to know people from other places and their cultures. I also directed them to organisations that can support them with other needs. I have completed Diploma in Child Care Level 2 and nearly finishing with Level 3. I have registered with agencies so I have been working since I finished the level 2 and I am looking forward to getting a permanent job. I will also take this opportunity to thank you very much for accepting to give me a reference when I needed it. I have got lots of assignments to complete before April to enable me to complete my Level 3, so when I am free I will one day pop in to see how you are doing. Keep up the good work, Thanks.
Catherine Ohemeng, Mentor
I am a qualified accountant with vast experience in Accounting, Audit and Finance. I came to the UK last year on a work visa and was looking for a job. Someone referred me to Dr Hailu. I went there and did a voluntary work for approximately 3 months regarding accounting and finance which includes designing accounting system and doing day to day book keeping. After that I got a freelance work in one of the Accounting firm. I would like to thank Dr Hailu for providing me the opportunity.
Salman Shafique, Finance
First of all thank you for helping so many of our jobseekers. The project for mentees has been such a success. Many of the clients have come back to the Jobcentre, motivated and job ready. All of them speak very highly of you and the training that they have received. Your training has enabled some of our jobseekers to secure employment.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Margaret Baxter, Plaistow Jobcentre Plus, 3-9 Balaam Street, London, E13 8EB.
“I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for the terrific work WHEAT does in Newham to support refugees and asylum seekers.”
Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms MP