The COSA Retreat by – Mutiso Hillary
A band of 9 AYLF members came together and traveled to the hilly city of Arusha ,Tanzania to attend the 10 year anniversary of the Cornerstone Alumni Student Association. (COSA). This year’s theme was “ Intentional Mentorship”. In the 5 days that they were there they learnt so much , made lots of friends and experienced what Arusha had to offer.
On a trip to the town, the band visited the monuments , ate the local street food, “chapatiyai” and bought some souvenirs. They also learnt how to use the word “ naomba” as often as possible. The Kenyans also took home the trophy after rigorous competitions during the entertainment night. A proud moment for the band.
During the days that followed, Uncle Tim Kreutter spoke about intentional mentorship. Many of the successful people throughout history have had someone hold their hand through this journey of life. Maya Angelou was Oprah Winfrey’s mentor, and Nelson Mandela was mentored through Mahatma Gandhi’s writings. Mentors included older mentors, as we have been doing in Africa with the older generation around the fire, peer mentors who we might consider friends and those younger than us.
In order to find a mentor, you needed to locate potential mentors. They could be of different facets of your life. You can have a pool of mentors. One for your spiritual life, another one for career, social life and so on. A powerful tactic to use when you have located your mentor would be to ask” What can I do for you?” Offer them value. To get the most out of them you would need to keep asking them questions. About their life, friendships, challengers etc. This is the only way you will learn
80% of what a person takes away from a mentorship came from what they observed and the rest of it came from what they were told. It was therefore very important that as one endeavored to be a mentor to possess these qualities they were trying to pass on and to live them out. You also had to have faith in your mentee and call out the greatness in them. You also had to have unconditional love for them. As human beings the mentors too could be experiencing turmoil in their own lives. The call is not to be perfect but to be a wounded healer.
Sitting around a fire on the last night, the team reminisced on the friendships they had formed, the lessons they had leant and the spark that had been lit in them to pass on some of the things they had taken away from the retreat.
“COSA Retreat tz was fun and informative as well. The warm welcome, the love, activities, food and the tz people, everything was amazing. The icing on the cake was a presentation by Uncle Tim Kreutter on intentional mentorship. I learnt a lot on how to be a good mentee and a good mentor. We can be mentees without formally informing our mentors, mentorship can happen naturally. The more you work on yourself, the more you study and apply the knowledge you learn, you will attract or God will send you the mentors you need to take you to the next level. “when the mentee is ready the mentor will appear”. Something that I connected very well to what i’m doing is on how to be a good mentor. i.e As a mentor you should have faith and love for your mentee and you should be good hearted and willing to ooze knowledge to your mentee.”
Thank you AYLF for the opportunity.