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Why be a mentor for young agricultural professionals?

YPARD is running a number of different mentoring initatives that foster intergenerational learning in agriculture. Read about them at

We are always looking for great people to serve as mentors in our programs.

Benefits you will receive as a mentor:

Mentoring is a responsibility that requires time and dedication, but also yields a wealth of rewards. Not only will you directly contribute to the development of young professionals in agriculture for rural development but you will also:

  • Deepen your understanding of youth issues in agriculture
  • Enhance your mentoring, listening, role modelling and online technology skills through formal and informal training opportunities
  • Build networks with leading young agricultural professionals
  • Be exposed to new ideas from young professionals
  • Develop and practice a more personal leadership style


“I got a chance to put into practice my leadership style of taking the backward seat and let the mentee lead the way, I felt more in control of myself in regards to getting more patient, more interested to see how my mentee would make decisions and this helped me to become a good listener. I come to realize the power of being a listener, instead of the usual ‘teacher-student’ attitude which most people adopt without much reflection on its impacts to both mentor and mentee.” YPARD Mentor


Can I really make a difference in one person’s life as their YPARD mentor?

Yes! Otim Joseph was only 2 years old when the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency began to decimate Uganda’s forests and farms. Twenty years later, Otim decided he could empower young people and make a difference but didn’t know how. With the help of his mentor, he has completed a university diploma and developed an internship program to give 30 young Ugandans training in natural resource management.          

Can my mentee make a difference in my life?

Yes! Cathy Watson, a social entrepreneur and journalist said: “Mentorship is not patronizing. With me and Otim, the relationship is increasing equal. I ask his advice. A lot of what I know about trees and culture in northern Uganda, I owe to Otim.”

How much of a time commitment is it?

Every mentoring relationship is different and is based on a number of variables included the mentee's needs, the mentor's skillset and expertise, location of the mentor and mentee etc. We do not prescribe the type of relationship each pair should have, however we do expect mentee and mentor to meet (either face to face or by phone) for at least 2 hours per month for an agreed period of time (normally most of our programs are 12 months).
Most of our mentors are incredibly busy people and are looking to building meaningfully supportive, not transactional, intergenerational relationships. This is why we also invest time in training mentees about how they should conduct themselves in mentoring relationships, so as to make the most of their mentor's limited time.


What qualities do we look for in our mentors?

  • Able to ask key questions to support your mentee to develop their problem solving and creative thinking skills, and to be resilient and independent.

  • Able to establish clear expectations and commitments and express your expectations and commitments to your mentee, and to ask for the same.

  • Committed to your mentee’s learning and project goals.

  • Able to provide positive feedback, encouragement and advice when requested.

  • Interested in seeing your mentee’s growth and success in their work or studies.

  • Generous with tools and approaches that support others to learn.

  • Willing to share key contacts and networks with your mentee, and to source other areas of expertise when required.

For more information or to express your interest in becoming a mentor, contact YPARD’s mentoring coordinator