We are very pleased to announce Farah Munir as our Hero of the Month for July. A busy mum and banker at HM Revenue and customs, Farah also finds time in her packed schedule to mentor at Victoria Primary School in Leeds.
Commenting on Farah’s commitment, Yorkshire Regional Manager Nabila Ayub said: “I am personally so thrilled that Farah has been recognised as our Hero of the Month for July. Farah has a lot going on in her life, yet she still finds the time and patience necessary to be a great mentor.”
How long have you been volunteering as a Mosaic Mentor for?
I have been a mosaic mentor for 3 months. It has been an amazing experience so far.
What motivated you to become a mentor?
When I heard about mosaic I thought it was an ideal opportunity to share my personal experiences and also to give back to the society. I believe in sharing your knowledge and I was thrilled at being given an opportunity to do so. I have a daughter aged 11 and working with young girls aged 10-11 was an opportunity for me to share my skills and learn new skills.
What has been the most rewarding or special experience?
The most amazing experience for me was at the second session at Victoria Primary School, we led the topic of role models. My role models are my Mother and husband, we had a discussion as to why I see both these people as an inspiration to me. I could see the girls began to look at personal character traits from a different point of view and appreciated how unique each person really is. Knowing that the discussion they had with me has changed their opinions made the session so much more special.
To hear feedback from the students and mothers about me increasing their confidence and being an inspiration was very special. Every lesson I had at Victoria Primary School I was able to put into practice with my daughters and their friends. I have 2 daughters and 1 son. Being able to apply everything I learnt at the school sessions to my sessions at home with my 11 and 8 year old daughters were a truly rewarding experience.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
Initially I found trying to find a balance between the mothers and daughters when taking part in group mentoring extremely challenging as the daughters have very different views to the mothers. It didn’t take me long to make the daughters feel comfortable enough to put their views and opinions across to their mothers and realised the mothers appreciated their daughters honest views. It was a pleasure to see the mothers and daughter work together to build on their relationship.
My biggest challenge was taking time out of my schedule which involves working at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and being a hands on mother to 3 children. My son has additional needs and I have appointments every week at different hospitals, so finding the time to juggle all this was one of the biggest challenges I faced.
What do you do when you are not volunteering?
I am currently working in Banking at HMRC.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
Yes I would definitely recommend Mosaic to others as it is a very rewarding experience. To see the students face light up when they see me and call me the ‘fun’ teacher who has increased their confidence and to hear the mothers call me an inspiration just makes being a Mosaic Volunteer so much more worthwhile.
What makes a good Mentor?
Being a good mentor involves having time, patience, a sense of humour, confidence and being creative enough to make each session enjoyable.
Would you like to be a mentor like Farah? We are recruiting more mentors across the UK and we would love to hear from you. Find out more about how you can get involved.