November, 2019
Oxfam OPTI and Mowgli Mentoring combine forces to enhance market development within the West Bank and Gaza agricultural sectors
The success of a mentoring programme lies in setting the right foundation, and for Mowgli this means making sure that we select the right people onto our programmes while managing expectations about what mentoring is all about and how it can support the personal and professional development of both mentor and mentee.

Within all Mowgli programmes, our foundation setting begins with a half day Mentoring Awareness Session (MAS) which, as the name suggests, is aimed at helping people to experience what mentoring is in practice, and its value whilst fitting it into the context of the programme. 
This is exactly what we did in the West Bank and Gaza in September as we officially kicked off activities supporting the Oxfam OPTI Mentoring Programme. This programme is aimed at promoting the economic contribution of small-scale agricultural producers, empowering them to create more income generating opportunities for themselves which will pour into the economic development of their communities. 
The Mentoring Awareness Sessions gave over 220 professionals the opportunity to learn more about the programme, and interact with mentoring first hand, to understand, and distinguish it from other approaches of building human capital.
Within this programme, we're leading on the selection and preparation of 45 professionals sourced from Oxfam’s partners and incubators in the West Bank and Gaza, who will be trained as 360-degree mentors supporting the personal and professional development of their matched mentees. The target mentees are entrepreneurs and innovators developing solutions in agribusiness, and professionals offering support services in areas such as agronomy. 

With participant selection currently on-going, the next notable phase of the project will take place next month when Mowgli will deliver Kickstart workshops to train selected professionals as mentors. 
Our team of facilitators and staff will be in Ramallah between 1-6 December, 2019 to run Kickstart workshops that will see Oxfam OPTI mentors trained and matched with mentees. If you would like to meet with any of the team while there, please email our Business Development Manager, Maia Gedde on maia.gedde@mowgli.org.uk .