New Beginnings as a Mentee in the 2014 Mentoring Women in Business Programme of the Cherie Blair Foundation

“At each point in our lives, we are at a crossroads. We are the fruit of our past and we are the architects of our future… If you want to know your past, look at your present circumstances. If you want to know your future, look at what is in your mind. ~ Matthieu Ricard”

Reinventing one’s self stops only when one chooses to stop learning. Over the years, I saw myself making decisions that took me 180 degrees away from where my corporate life began. There is a newfound desire to make the rest of my life meaningful and life-changing. I rediscovered my passion for knowledge, feeling like a sponge that just wanted to learn and absorb new things. Just recently, I blogged about those chapters of my life that brought me to where I am today.

And that is again about to change in some way as I embark on yet another twist in life, a challenge that I decided to take up recently. I was accepted into a one-year Mentoring Programme for Women in Business as a mentee under the Cherie Blair Foundation.

Cherie Blair Foundation website

Screenshot from the Cherie Blair Foundation website

Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is an accomplished and practising barrister (lawyer, in North American terms) in the UK. During her global travels, she realized that many “women entrepreneurs around the world still lack the business skills, technology, networks and access to capital they need to be successful in the long term.” When she set up the Cherie Blair Foundation, its vision was “…a world where women have equal opportunities and the capability, confidence and capital necessary to establish and grow businesses, resulting in a brighter future for the women themselves and their communities as a whole. Women who are financially independent have greater control over their own and their children’s lives. Economic security gives women a more influential voice in tackling injustice and discrimination in their communities and wider society.

Here is Cherie Blair talking about her vision — empowering women to be financially independent and useful in society.

And here’s a short one on the Mentoring Women in Business Programme.

Mentees are from Third World countries spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America.

Programme locations

 

I’m one of 17 Filipinas in the 2014-2015 mentoring program. Based on a matching process, the program chose a lady mentor for me who happens to be from the United Kingdom. We just spoke via Skype a few days ago, as a sort of introductory meeting. And we will be chatting for about 2 hours each month for the next year. I’m looking forward to making plans for the future, assisted and encouraged by a mentor who will lend me her own experience and know-how. It is both exciting and daunting because I know it will help push me beyond what I think are my limits.

Next year, when my mentoring program is about to end, the Cherie Blair Foundation will once again look for another set of women to mentor. If you are a woman who wants to explore your own potential for entrepreneurship with the help of a foreign mentor, I say GO! Visit www.cherieblairfoundation.org to learn more about the foundation and www.cherieblairfoundation.org/mentoring/ for details about the mentoring program.

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