NAYA| Big Sister/ Little Sister Program: Empowering young women

The Big Sister/Little Sister initiative has so far matched 75 young women with suitable mentors.
by Hala Mezher and Manal Makkieh

2 June 2019 | 12:55

Source: by Annahar

Picture shows the first group of Little Sisters.

BEIRUT: Making important life choices is often difficult for anyone, including young women, who don’t have access to guidance by professionals.

Developed by Sustain Leadership Consultancy and launched by Challenge to Change in 2016, the Big Sister/ Little Sister program matches young women from different geographical areas and backgrounds with professionally accomplished women across the region.

The program aims to provide rising female talents with guidance on important aspects of their lives, whether it was on the academic, career, or personal levels.

Accordingly, it plays a vital role in permitting successful female mentors to voluntarily give their Little Sisters advice and coach them to make the right decisions, without any prejudice.

With no physical location, the program currently operates in several countries in the Arab world, including Lebanon. It has also collaborated with universities, NGOs, and foundations to work towards achieving that same end.

Dina Bseisu, CEO of Challenge to Change, considers mentoring as a golden chance. She explained to NAYA how “amazing” it is to witness the progress of the Little Sister’s life through the guidance of the Big Sister.

“Every young woman needs a mentor today,” Bseisu, told Annahar. “It’s important for any young woman who’s about to embark on her life journey.”

The target group includes women who’s ages range between 17 to 25. Bseisu believes that the decisions taken at this age determine the course of these women’s lives, adding that the guidance provided by a Big Sister would be neutral and judgment-free.

The Big Sister/Little Sister initiative has so far matched 75 young women with suitable mentors. Seventeen girls have successfully completed the one-year program.

“I am proud to see the impact of the program on the young women’s lives,” Bseisu said. “We have some real success stories, and this, for us, is a major driving force. It makes us proud to hear that some of the little sisters have found jobs or secured scholarships through the guidance they were offered.”

Nadine Najdi is one of the Little Sisters who joined the program in 2019.

“I’ve definitely noticed personal changes in my life after the sessions. For example, I have more control over my negative thoughts and I’m finding new ways to channel them into positive thoughts,” Najdi said as she discussed the benefits of the program.

She also added that the program has also helped her improve in her field, which is education, through making her take more initiative in the classroom and become a better teacher.

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Welcome to “Naya”, the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents,  challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations-Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.farhat17@gmail.com

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