The African Youth Mentorship Network (AYMN) aims to inspire, develop and empower African youth, through education and mentorship programmes, to be emotionally intelligent, socially responsible and self-confident citizens.

WHO ARE WE?

Rooted in the understanding that “It takes a village to raise a child”, the African Youth Mentorship Network (AYMN) is a platform that brings together like minded “villagers”. These are the men and women who shape and drive the Network’s vision of mentoring youth to become individuals who meaningfully contribute to society.

At the heart of AYMN is ubuntu, a Southern African humanist philosophy that means “I am, because you are”. Ubuntu can be described as the capacity, in African culture, to express compassion, and is grounded in the understanding that the village is a key building block of society. At AYMN, we believe that alone we can only get so far, but together our success is more resounding and certain.

Founded by four young women, the network seeks to transmit human, ethical and moral values to young Africans, in the age of shrinking “ubuntu” , with the hope of nurturing a generation of adults who are aware of their potential and are grounded in their identity. These youths have a vision for themselves and for the African continent.

OUR GOAL

AYMN aims to inspire, develop and empower African youth through education and mentorship programmes. Our goal is to build emotionally intelligent, socially responsible and self-confident citizens.

OUR WORK

Navigating adolescence is daunting, considering that youth in this age bracket are faced with a multitude of issues to contend with. The ubiquity of information, positive and negative, does not make this transition any easier. It is becoming more difficult to raise teenagers to become responsible citizens because the village concept has faded away, parents have become busier and there has been an increase in single parent households – to name but a few challenges. Believing in the motto “It takes a village to raise a child”, AYMN recognizes that parenting in all its facets is a shared responsibility – a communal affair – not just the concern of parents and guardians, but of the wider community.

With a keen awareness of the importance of positive representation, mentorship, and the role that fathers play in the upbringing of children, we have developed a mentorship programme for young men between the ages of 13 and 18 called BECOME.

The impact on youth from fatherless homes

%

Youth suicides

%

Youth in prison

%

Runaway kids

The impact on youth from fatherless homes

%

Youth suicides

%

Youth in prison

%

Runaway kids

Meet the villagers

Founders

Founders

Lulu Shabell

Lulu Shabell

Co-founder

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As a mother of a 7-year-old boy, Lulu has a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of mentorship and role modelling for young people in creating positive youth development.
Rutendo Urenje

Rutendo Urenje

Co-founder

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Rutendo’s path has been paved with the mentorship and encouragement of men and women. She believes that life is better lived with others. Rutendo has a rich background working with young people from all across the globe.
Elsie Minja

Elsie Minja

Co-founder

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Elsie realizes the importance of paying it forward. She understands that many of us would not be where we are without the support of mentors. Elsie believes that through mentoring boys, we can positively impact their lives and help them achieve their potential and discover their strengths.
Melissa Tui

Melissa Tui

Co-founder

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Melissa appreciates the role of education in Africa’s development and believes complementing formal education with positive mentorship equips youths with the right tools to tackle challenges in and out of their professional circumstances.

Elders

Elders

Tom Cummings

Tom Cummings

Elder

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Tom Cummings has served as global head of Learning and Organisation Effectiveness for Unilever and ABN Amro Bank; project leader/adviser on planning and learning in companies such as Shell, Compass Group, Fortis, Marakon and BUPA and others. Tom has created and co-designed business transformation and learning vehicles such as Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Center for Strategy Research, Leading Ventures and Common Purpose Netherlands.

He is the co-author, together with Jim Keen, of Leadership Landscapes.

Tom is on the board of directors of the Tällberg Foundation. He has led the Tällberg Leader Program since 2006. This work has involved him as a designer and catalyst in hundreds of projects and board retreats across many cultures. He works with people who wish to engage with complexity and want to learn how to move between and across different perspectives. The approach helps to integrate experience and anticipate challenges.

His work encourages leaders to be present and mindful of their personal impact while sustaining a perspective on their legacy in the wider world.

Shepherd Urenje

Shepherd Urenje

Elder

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Dr. Shepherd Urenje is a Programme Specialist in Education with the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD). His current work supports teaching and learning for the future (within and among countries) in Scandinavia, Africa and Asia. His expertise includes facilitating strategies of learning for change that develops in learners, 21st-century skills for a changing world. Dr Urenje studied Developmental Education at the University of London, United Kingdom. His professional background includes teaching environmental science and development education in Zimbabwe, Regional Programme Manager for Education and Training at Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Principal Examiner of Environmental Science in the UK.

Gbenga Oyebode

Gbenga Oyebode

Elder

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Gbenga Oyebode is the Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode (Barristers, Solicitors & Trademark Agents), one of the largest integrated law firms in Nigeria. He also serves on the Boards of MTN Nigeria Limited, Nestle Nigeria Plcand Socfinaf S.A.

He has been a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 1980 and an Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court of New York State since 1983.
Oyebode sits on the Africa Advisory Committee of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), is the Chairman of Teach for Nigeria, Director at Teach for All – New York, Member of the Global Advisory Council of the Africa Leadership Academy –  Johannesburg, Director at Jazz at the Lincoln Centre – New York, Director at the African Philanthropy Forum and Member of the Board of Trustees Carnegie Hall – New York.

Oyebode received his undergraduate degree from the University of Ife and his masters from the University of Pennsylvania. He was conferred Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), by the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti (2016) and Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Nigeria (2017). He is the Chancellor of Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Nigeria.

Baba Reggie Singleton

Baba Reggie Singleton

Elder

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Baba Reggie Singleton, Executive Director of The Males Place Inc. is a Health Educator and a highly regarded authority on issues that include: Mentoring, Fatherhood, Parenting Education, Manhood and Youth Development.

Baba Reggie has mentored thousands of Black boys in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding communities on their arduous journey to manhood. He is also a Farmer and Master Gardener and utilizes growing and farming to solve serious problem regarding food access, employability and self –sufficiency.

He was a lead consultant with the Gang Alternative Program – G.A.P. More recently he conceived and led an educational and cultural immersion trip to Ghana West Africa for nine “high risk” males.

Baba Reggie is a frequent guest on talk shows, conferences, radio and has been featured in numerous publications.  Reggie Singleton is a husband of 25 years and a father of three. He is a native of the Sea Islands of Charleston, South Carolina and a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Karim Ajania

Karim Ajania

Elder

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Karim Ajania was born in Nairobi, Kenya and attended primary school in Nairobi and secondary school in London, UK.

He is a school teacher by profession and is a former headmaster of a Massachusetts State Charter Middle School.

Karim holds advanced graduate degrees from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and from The Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While at MIT, Karim was part of the pioneering research team of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program which brought weather-resistant laptops to rural schools to Rwanda and other African countries. While at Harvard, Karim pioneered a global educational program, as part of his doctoral thesis, that expanded to four continents, and developed Global Community curriculum which he taught in schools in many countries including Lithuania, India and Zimbabwe.

Karim is the co-founder of the African Peace Journal, together with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu, and the founder of Pencils for Africa, a middle school program in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Staff

Staff

Shanee Rumbidzai Banda

Shanee Rumbidzai Banda

Staff

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Shanée believes in leveraging her knowledge and technical capabilities to think in broader and bolder terms, pushing the creative boundaries for positive change.

CURRENT PROGRAMMES

Through  BECOME, we aspire to invest in building healthy masculinities on the African continent. BECOME is an effective and feasible model to facilitate mentorship of adolescent boys, guiding them toward improved self-esteem, violence prevention, civic responsibility, gender equity and sustainable lifestyles.

A big thank you to our partners!

Our Goal

The African Youth Mentorship Network (AYMN) aims to inspire, develop and empower African youth through education and mentorship programmes. Our goal is to build emotionally intelligent, socially responsible and self-confident citizens.

About

The African Youth Mentorship Network (AYMN) is a registered Association in accordance with Articles 60 to 79 of the Swiss Civil Code.