Empowerment Through Mentoring

Mentoring is a relationship between people with different levels of experience. Its main goal is to enable learning and growth, often understood as non-formal practical learning. The more experienced mentor guides the mentee for a certain duration of time.

Political or managerial mentors are sometimes mentoined in newspapers. These are influential people who foster ambitious young politicians' careers. This informal style of mentorship represents a traditional model. Today there are numerous programmes that create more focused structures for mentor-mentee relationships, which can take place in companies, in institutions, universities, schools, or social work.
An essential part of mentoring is the ability to enable learning and growth, often understood as non-formal, practical learning. Mentoring is similar approach to coaching. 

At MitOst we understand Mentoring as a mixture of knowledge transfer and exchange of experiences, motivation and encouragement, councling and coaching. Our focus is to support young professionals and activists in their civic engagement by

  • supporting the civic engagement of individuals
  • bringing people together who are activly work in the field of civil society
  • learning from each other across cultural borders
  • accompanying activists in voluntary projects
  • integrating alumni of various programmes in our network.

Our Instruments:

  • We qualify mentees and mentors,
  • develop publications and offer tranings,
  • run national and international mentoring programmes,
  • develop new programmes and approaches,
  • combine mentoring and project work.

The Mentor-Mentee Relationship

The personal connection and relationship between the mentor and mentee is one of the essentials for sucess and sustainability of the moentoring process. This is rather unusual for common forms of learning and teaching. Even if we know today how important personal relationsships and role models are in the development of people's personalities and their learning processes, especially in informal practical education.

Purposes of Mentoring

  • Building Personal Relationships - creates positive experiences and trust. It forges connections between mentors and mentees.
  • Learning Life Skills - develops mainly within the personla relationshio. The effect is most evident in the mentee, who gains knowledge and experience. Teaching - transfers knowledge from the mentor to the mentee. The relationship places emphasis on results.
  • Assisting in Transition - supports the mentee in transforming personal interests and skills into forming new perspectives.
  • Sharing Power - qualifies for particular psoitions. The result is closer connections between various hierarchical levels. Both sides see results over the long term.

We emphansize in our benefits of mentoring for both side - the mentee and mentor. The mentors benefit by

  • Assistance with career planing,a larger personal network,
  • knowledge and expertise,
  • close relationship to the institution that offers the mentoring programme,
  • trusting and honest feedback,
  • and shared idealism and social engagement.


Nils-Eyk Zimmermann
+49 30 315174-83

Mentoring Handbook

Providing Systemic Support for Mentees and Their Projects