Alternative Mentoring of Street Girls in Bangladesh: New Identities and Non-traditional Opportunities

Apr. 14, 2008

Source: Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2 May 2008 , pages 207 - 221

This article examines how mentoring and female role models enhance perceptions of self-worth and career aspirations for adolescent girls from low socioeconomic backgrounds. It describes an eight-week project that provided nine girls from the slums of Bangladesh with female role models and mentors in a modern work environment. The project involved collaboration between a charity hostel for low-income girls and a private international school that aimed to raise self-esteem and awareness of non-traditional career and lifestyle options for the participating girls.

Qualitative data collected during the project from participants' diaries, focus group discussions, and mentor and participant interviews are analysed for evidence of the effectiveness of mentoring for empowerment rather than skill acquisition. The author concludes with reflection on the potential use of mentoring in non-formal educational and vocational settings for the empowerment of adolescent girls from disadvantaged setting.

Updated: Nov. 17, 2008