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Who We Help

Dedicated to Making a Change

Our primary priority is to help young women, from 17 onwards to take steps that help them achieve their full potential, whatever that looks like. We mentor a range of young women - from those who have graduated from Harmony House, when their formal education ends and we help them access opportunities for work experience, university and / or permanent employment

In addition to our international mentees, we also accept mentoring applications from local young women from disadvantaged backgrounds who would benefit from our support. These could be young women in Dubai who have reached the end of high school and (who for financial) have no choice but to return to their home country, or who may stay in Dubai but have to look for lower paid employment rather than continue education.

Regardless of their origin story, we support all these young women the same - we offer them skills, mentoring and work experience to enable them to level the playing field and achieve their potential. 

Below you can find out how we help young women from different age groups with the right support to take the right next steps for them.

High School Students

Pursuing Potential

Often our mentees have to fight to access higher education, rallying against the social customs of their home countries and against the expectations to marry or enter the workforce without formal qualifications.

Our partner charities have fought to provide education to these brave young women, and we partner with them to ensure that that battle hasn’t been fought in vain. We work with these charities to find work experience opportunities for these young women aged 17-20, preferably in roles and organizations that align with their personal ambitions. Our aspiration is that these young women can use this experience and mentoring to secure a full time role or access to university to further study. In addition, all of our high school graduates take part in a curriculum of mentoring sessions to help build essential life skills to enable them to thrive. They are also matched with an individual Mentor who helps them to integrate their skills and use them to navigate their next steps out of the cycle.

Image by javier trueba
Image by Clay Banks

University Graduates

Networking & Skills

For those young women who have been able to access university in their home country (or those disadvantaged young women already in Dubai) or have been sponsored to study abroad, we support them to access established internships in the corporate sector, or to find internship opportunities in non-corporate organizations through our network of inspirational women that will help build a winning CV for a future permanent role.

In addition, all of our high school graduates take part in a curriculum of mentoring sessions to help build essential life skills to enable them to thrive. They are also matched with an individual Mentor, aligned to their aspirations, who helps them to integrate their skills and use them to navigate their next steps out of the cycle.

Young Professionals

Supporting Growth

For those women who have taken the first steps out of poverty into paid employment, we continue to provide upskilling and mentoring sessions. They are offered a personal mentor who touches base with them regularly to support them through all stages of their careers. We aim to create deep, personal bonds between our mentors and mentees that last years, and supports the achievement of our mentees ambitions. Our upskilling sessions draw on the skills and expertise of our inspirational women, and aim to both educate and inspire young women when they most need it.

Image by Bernard Hermant

Organizations

Giving Back

For those women who have taken the first steps out of poverty into paid employment, we continue to provide upskilling and mentoring sessions. They are offered a personal mentor who touches base with them regularly to support them through all stages of their careers. We aim to create deep, personal bonds between our mentors and mentees that last years, and supports the achievement of our mentees ambitions. Our upskilling sessions draw on the skills and expertise of our inspirational women, and aim to both educate and inspire young women when they most need it.

How we help

Breaking the cycle of poverty for our mentees is not going to be fixed by mentoring and work experience alone. We know that there is so much more that needs to be done at a systemic, governmental and cultural level to deliver the life changing impact that our girls need early on in their lives. All we can do is to help them as early as possible with valuable skills, guidance and opportunities - all the things that can help them achieve the incredible potential which otherwise risks being lost to inequality and disadvantage.

Our focus is on:

Skill and confidence building

Our aim is to help build up the specific “technical” or job skills and insights our mentees need in their chosen industries to enhance their employability . On top of that our primary focus is on soft skill development that help them thrive and excel in complex organizations - from communication, team work, problem-solving, time management, mental health and wellbeing. Basically all the things that we wish we’d learned before we embarked on our careers and had to learn the “hard” way. One of the most important skills we help to develop is that of self-esteem and confidence, through encouragement and support we believe that self-belief will help them achieve their full potential.

Career guidance, networking and work experience

When it comes to careers, many of our mentees haven’t dared to dream of a career in an field that interests them - too often their futures are determined by family members or the lack of alternative opportunities. Our mentors coach on setting realistic career goals and developing strategies for achieving them. We provide insights into the job market, and have experts to support on CV writing, interview preparation and assessment centres.

Once a career aspiration has been identified and a plan developed, a key enabler is networking, meeting other professionals and peers who can provide insight, advice, resources and potentially job opportunities

New perspectives and stereotype breaking

A significant challenge for our mentees that keeps them within the cycle of poverty is that of exposure to different worldviews, cultures, work cultures and ways of thinking. We sensitively encourage them to broaden their horizons, to explore new paths and opportunities that they might not have had the encouragement or support to consider otherwise.
 

Work experiences and mentoring can expose individuals to different worldviews, work cultures, and ways of thinking. This exposure can broaden their horizons and encourage them to explore new paths and opportunities they might not have considered otherwise. Through their work placements we hope to challenge stereotypes and biases - their inclusion can help promote inclusivity and reduce discrimination more broadly - many of our mentees are enthusiastic champions of inclusivity.

Image by Umar ben

Goal setting and mentoring

Giving Back

Our mentors have all set and achieved many of their life and career goals, and through their 1-2-1 sessions they work to understand and develop our mentees vision of their future, and then help them with creating a practical roadmap to achieve it. Regular check ins keep them motivated and focused on upward mobility. Our inspirational mentors all have personal stories of hard work, perseverance and resilience that inspire others to strive for success in their chosen fields.

Our overarching aim is to help our mentees gain skills and work experience that helps the to build a career and ultimately, financial independence. With financial independence comes empowerment to make decisions about their lives and escape the financial and cultural constraints of disadvantaged backgrounds. In doing so they act as beacons of home and inspiration women themselves to the next generation of women in their communities.

But for us to be successful, we need the support of community organizations, businesses and educational establishments - We find those with the greater potential, nurture and grow it, but its the opportunities to put it into action that ultimately make the biggest difference to our young women in leveling the playing field and achieveing their potential.

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