The beginnings

Once upon a time, in the recent past, 2019 actually, a journey began. The beginnings of this journey were the building blocks of today’s UiPath Foundation’s mentorship program, a still growing and evolving entity set out to provide better perspectives to children in our Future Acceleration Program.
Since then, 82 UiPath employees, from both Romania (Bucharest and Cluj Napoca) and India, chose to dedicate their time and resources by becoming mentors in the program and providing support and guidance to children.
The mentorship program is coming into its own, maturing and steady growth pattern. A quick glance at this productive yet pandemically hindered time frame gives us a scope of the proceedings:

 

• the program started in Bucharest in 2019 with 38 mentors and 38 children and it grew to include Cluj, Romania, and Bangalore, India, a year later;

 

• the program has seen a total of 82 mentors and 78 children (2019 – 2020);

 

• 1924 hours of quality time spent together in Romania and India in 2019 and 2020 – that is 240 working days or 12 working months.

The mentorship program in India represents the joint effort of UiPath Foundation, UiPath India and Dream a Dream, our local non-profit partner, to mirror the efforts of the Romanian contingent and support children from a vulnerable background to make the transition from an impoverished life to a life of thriving.

Guiding the growth of both kids and mentors

This is not a path lightly taken by either UiPath Foundation or its volunteers, it requires commitment, dedication and patience and, above all, an open spirit and a kind heart. All the mentors enrolled in the program  undergo hours of training to ensure their good grasp and understanding of the new delicately balanced situation they are entering, and their readiness to take on the responsibility of a growing mind.

 

But it is worth it, the feeling of giving back and lending a hand is  like little else in the world. It helps build self-esteem and provides a great sense of achievement. While the  mentors give agency to the children in the program, they, themselves, grow more empowered in their own lives.

 

The mentorship program is not only aiming at giving the chance for a better start to kids  that come from poor and underprivileged communities. It also aims to contribute to:

•Development of soft skills in children: team work, problem solving, decision making and leadership skill development;

•Encourage children to self-discover their own interests, abilities and career interests.

To achieve these goals , UiPath Foundation set out a road map that focuses on the journey of all parties involved. The mentorship program constantly adapts to their interests and expectations . It goes like this:

2019 - 2020

Relational mentorship – the mentor plays the part of a role model, a guide that opens the world up for the kids.

2020 - 2021

Project based learning mentorship – aimed at helping the kids develop soft skills like teamwork, leadership and decision making, with the help of their mentors through the mentor’s guide (only in Romania)

2021 - 2022

Aspirational mentorship – where mentors will help the kids choose and develop actionable career goals and plans.

The pivotal importance of child safeguarding and mentor support

We strongly believe that all children deserve equal opportunities in life, regardless of their social background, religion, ethnicity or culture. All mentors commit to adhere to and comply with the strict child safeguarding regulations in place, fully observed in all the foundation’s initiatives.

 

Starting this year, the 2×2 initiative is implemented, meaning that 2 kids and 2 adults are sharing a common meeting, thus ensuring a full compliance to the child safeguarding policy in place.

 

Before any interaction with the menteed children, all mentors must undergo a training course of 10 to 18 hours (depending on the country of intervention) in Project Based Learning, life skills assessment and child safeguarding.

 

After starting their journey as mentors (both in Romania and India), they receive constant support and monitoring from our team, from the partner organisation in India, Dream a Dream, and from other specialized organizations, such as Noi Orizonturi (our partners in the design and development of the project based learning mentorship). We organize recurring reflective meetings for the mentors and various procedures in place to ensure that both the mentors and the mentees have the best learning journey together.

The digital shift spins the story on a new path to the same goal

In the year of the pandemic, when everything drew to a halt, the journey kept on going. The heroes of our story switched their mentoring care to safe digital channels. The kids joined in on tablets and, even though face-to-face interaction was no longer an option, most activities found a way to get translated into digital encounters.

 

There is opportunity in crisis, with the mentorship program digital shift, while there are, of course, hindrances along the way – like unstable internet connections and the fact that a real-life person draws more focus and attention than the screen but there is an idea to try, to make the best out of a very difficult year all around.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the mentors, volunteers and partners involved in making this entire process possible!

To wrap up, here are some thoughts from our mentors:

Being a mentor to these wonderful children is like learning all over again to be a child, but this time life presents you with a chance to learn together with a friend.

Sonia, mentor, Romania

It took me a while to decide if I wanted to or had what it takes to be a mentor. I had no expectations but I knew I wanted to help, to give something back to the communities- to my surprise, I also received a lot back by seeing the impact we can make with so little effort.

Cristina, mentor, Romania

I appreciate your nice behaviour, your guidance and the fact that you listen to us whenever we have a problem.

Catalin, mentee, Romania

(Our dear mentors and volunteers,) Thank you for everything that you do for us now, you are wonderful people!

Luiza, mentee, Romania

I have always believed that every single one of us can achieve great things provided there is somebody to guide us. I am happy and fortunate to have joined UiPath Foundation’s mentoring program where we get the opportunity to mentor, guide a couple of bright young children

Tejus, mentor, India

I joined the mentorship program to be able to contribute back to society and help in my own way

Ajay, mentor, India

Make a safer

Tomorrow.