Two Stories, One Lesson: MCW Global Builds Meaningful Mentorship Connections
Can you imagine a world where experience, knowledge, and goods are not shared with others? You would have to start from scratch.
Fortunately enough, human relations constantly improve our surrounding circumstances, among other benefits, thanks to the human instinct and will to help or guide others in need.
So, here you are — definitely not starting things from scratch because someone more experienced than you was there to lend a helping hand. In a nutshell, this is the description of mentorship.
Mentorship stands among the most crucial traits of a successful, productive environment. This fact is easily embraced by MCW Global (Miracle Corners of the World), which with numerous activities since its founding in 1999, fulfills its mission to address communities’ pressing needs by empowering current leaders and preparing young ones.
A living proof of the successful accomplishment of this mission is Khalid Elachi, Executive Director of MCW Global. He started his journey with MCW Global 18 years ago. Khalid’s path from volunteering to having an executive role in the organization today has doubtlessly been impacted by the power of mentorship.
Tangible results of MCW’s mentorship over the years show us why and how MCW Global builds meaningful mentorship connections and why we believe in the importance of this concept.
In addition to Khalid, in this piece, we will talk to Noor Imran from Pakistan, who realized the importance of mentorship just after attending the Youth Leadership Retreat (now known as the Young Leaders Access Program-YLAP) in 2016.
Khalid — MCW Global’s key to success is the strong belief in mentorship.
After his first few days of participating in MCW’s 5th Youth Leadership Retreat in 2003, Khalid observed a common thread among MCW Global ’s leadership.
“I was just 17 years-old that summer and was heading into my senior year at high school so I couldn’t quite define what that thread was at the time. I was eager to stay involved — partly because I wanted to grow and “do good” in the world — but also because I was interested in this undefined quality that empowered young people with the confidence to run such a life-changing program.”
Before returning the following summer, he reached out to MCW Global’s Co-founder, Eddie Bergman, to see how he could volunteer.
“Even though Eddie was busy running MCW Global while attending university, he made time for me to shadow him and learn the ins and outs of the organization while volunteering. I learned as we went along — watching applications being reviewed, phone calls coordinating speakers’ schedules, developing the retreat’s program, logistics — every aspect of planning and coordination was right in front of me.”
Khalid recalls Eddie often stopping to take a few moments to share his rationale for approaching a situation a certain way or why it was important to pick up the phone and just ask. During the next few years, Khalid attended university and continued to volunteer and intern with MCW Global in various capacities.
Little did he know that this was the beginning of a new, exciting era in his life.
“Each project I took on, I worked closely with someone who was more experienced and was open to sharing guidance and advice with me.”
“During these early years of growth, I learned what that common thread I couldn’t define early on — it was the concept of mentorship. At just about every step of the way during my journey with MCW Global, I had at least one mentor (sometimes many more) who ‘took me under their wing’.”
He realized that “MCW Global’s success, its ability to positively impact the lives of so many young people and communities was due to its strong belief in mentorship.”
In Khalid’s words, the mentorship role in his journey with MCW Global is priceless.
“There is no course or a magic book or expensive product that could have given me the same insight or confidence that my mentors have given me over the years. What is unique about MCW Global’s concept of mentorship is that there’s no defined or perfect mentor. Some of my mentors at MCW Global have been colleagues while others have been highly experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds — at their core, however, was a deep passion for supporting and guiding someone else’s growth.”
He further talks about the role of mentorship when it comes to working towards MCW Global’s vision.
“Learning from a mentor’s lived experiences and hearing their insight allows us to carry forward their insight. […] Mentorship allows us to build up our toolkit and a sense of confidence as we tackle these difficult issues our communities face.”
Since he began his journey with MCW Global, Khalid says that their concept of mentorship has not really changed.
“What has changed is our ability to relay the importance of mentorship across our programs.”
Khalid started small and with every step taken proved that mentorship not only accompanied him during his path, but it certainly helped him grow and take on new, exciting roles.
Noor - MCW Global Mentorship expanded my horizon in ways that would never have been possible without it.
Although Khalid and Noor’s experiences are separated by more than a decade- their stories meet and merge in the essence of MCW Global- the decisive importance of mentorship gained from MCW Global in their prosperities.
Despite the fact that her mentor was a year younger than her, thanks to this experience, Noor realized how this concept always existed in her life- even without a specific title.
“You’re bound to go through multiple good and bad experiences in your life and it’s quite hard to imagine that you would get through them without any help by your mid-20s. Some might only be able to recognize that help later in life. YLAP helped me with that recognition at 24.”
The unconditional support Noor gained from her mentor paved the way for her to be the cheerleader for someone else, just as her mentor was for her.
“I got to mentor three wonderful human beings in the coming year. They taught me so much! This journey of receiving mentorship and being a mentor expanded my horizon in ways that would never have been possible without MCW Global.”
She believes that becoming the Lead/Co-Lead Mentor helped her grow professionally and even personally.
“MCW Global gave me the platform to design a training program and then train mentors from all over the world! I think it was an absolutely precious opportunity!” Noor says while adding that now she has better management skills, more patience, and knows how to contextualize cultures and different perspectives.
Noor witnessed lifelong friendships flourish out of this program and she believes that is something unique to MCW Global’s YLAP mentorship.
By: Gresë Sermaxhaj
If you are between 18–26 years old in need of a mentor to support you in developing a project that you wish to work on in your community, then you should definitely Check out HERE the open call for the Young Leaders Access Program 2021.