Empowering young women on their journey into adulthood

Students are benefiting from the mentorship provided by the Big Sister Network.
Students are benefiting from the mentorship provided by the Big Sister Network.
Image: 18twenty8.

Young women who want to achieve success in their lives often do not have the mentorship needed to reach their full potential.

Non-profit organisation 18twenty8 is focused on filling this gap through its Big Sister Network, which sees established professional women – or Big Sisters – acting as mentors to students – Little Sisters.

Refiloe Seseane is the founder and director of 18twenty8. The idea for the organisation came about in 2008, when Seseane, at the age of 28, reflected on what she had accomplished in the previous 10 years of her life.

“I felt like I would have gone a lot further if I had someone mentoring and supporting me,” says Seseane.

This led to 18twenty8 being established in 2011, with the organisation empowering young women between the ages of 18 and 28 through educational and personal development.

The Big Sister Network supports young women who are often the first in their families to go to university and therefore need support and guidance.

“Our network is a pool of educated, professional women who are established in their respective careers and are willing to be a Big Sister to one girl (or more). Big Sisters are mentors who guide and support our Little Sisters during their undergraduate studies by giving them professional exposure and concrete advice,” says Seseane.

Jamilla Muhammed was studying at the University of Pretoria, but was unable to keep funding her studies for her final year in 2018. She came across 18twenty8, which not only paid her outstanding fees, but also took her on as a Little Sister.

“I was able to receive training from seasoned professionals on topics such as leadership, personal branding and mental health, and was also given the opportunity to network with phenomenal women,” says Muhammed, who hopes to complete her Honours degree in 2020.

Big Sister Nokubonga Mbanga, an award-winning training and development leader.

To find out more about getting support from 18twenty8, call 011 064 4810 or 060 798 7683.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.

X