Life changing mentorship project “Razam”


Since 2011 more than 300 young Belarusians have received scholarships to go studying at universities across Europe. The scholarships were granted as part of the OESS and ESSYB higher education programmes funded by the European Union. Katsiaryna​ ​Lysionak was one of the students who received OESS scholarship and went to study master’s degree in International Marketing at ISM university in Lithuania.

Today Katsiaryna has ​nine​ ​years​ ​of​​ ​experience​ ​in​ ​running​ ​various professional​ ​projects​, corporate coaching and a wide network of international partner​s. ​She says that would have been impossible without the OESS scholarship and her studies abroad. Therefore, she felt she must give something back to the Belarusian community and decided to organise a mentorship project “Razam” (in English, “together”) for schoolgirls from her hometown.

The​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​the​ ​project was​ ​to​ ​introduce​ ​the​ ​range​ ​of​ ​women's​ ​role​ ​models​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​the​ ​traditional framework​ ​through​ ​woman​ ​to​ ​girl​ ​mentorship, ​​to​ ​provide​ ​supportive​ ​and​ ​likeminded​ ​environment for​ ​growth​ ​and​ ​personal​ ​development, ​​​and​ ​to​ ​educate​ ​about​ ​the​ ​available​ ​tools​ ​and​ ​resources​ ​​that help​ ​to​ ​turn​ ​dreams​ ​into​ ​plans.

“Razam” invited 10​ ​mentees​ (from 9th and 10th ​grade) ​from​ ​rural​ ​areas and 10​ ​mentors​ (​professionally​ ​successful​ ​self-made​ ​women​ ​who​ ​were​ ​born​ ​and​ ​raised​ ​in​ rural areas). During a whole year project team organised 1 on 1​ ​weekly​ online sessions​, ​real​ ​life​ ​meetings, monthly​ ​group​ discussions, joint​ ​projects​ ​with​ ​invited​ ​experts and speakers, face​ ​to​ face​​ ​workshops​ ​and​ ​seminars.

Katsiaryna Lysionak says she already received a lot of interest from other schools and she hopes this project will have a successful continuation.  

You can find more OESS/ESSYB Alumni stories on our Youtube channel