GenDerations Mentoring in Indian Schools

PEER MENTOR TRAININGS, soon in a school near you!

Click here for downloadable PDF Summary Of Scientific Evaluation (University of Pune)
Click here for downloadable PDF Resource Document
“It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken adults.”
-- Frederick Douglass

GenDerations programs are designed to address many of the major problems that trouble modern societies around the world by applying the art of mentoring. Broadly speaking, GenDerations’ programs empower men and women, girls and boys, to achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and their role as members of society.

Especially in a world where scientists predict that 70% of those employed in the year 2050 will do jobs which are not even invented yet, our future depends on broadening our vision of education.

“My experience with the GenDerations program was full of new learnings. I feel that emotional literacy is going to be the most important skill for the future (and present), and Stefan is among the best teachers in the field!”

--Urmila Samson, mother of 3 children, organizer of the Principal’s roundtable and volunteer with GenDerations Mentoring on 2 pilot programs in Pune, India

Multi-national corporations have reflected for years that because of the lack of emotional literacy higher management positions are often out of reach for people from Asia; this syndrome is often referred to as the “bamboo ceiling”. For any entrepreneurial endeavors emotional awareness is equally important.

GenDerations offers

  • internationally acknowledged certificates of community service hours in a field of emotional maturing and inner stability.
  • a 4 year curriculum of fostering emotional intelligence.
  • evaluations from Switzerland and the US stating the benefits for mentors and mentees alike.

Scientific evaluations in the US and Switzerland confirm: GenDerations’ programs successfully bridge generational and gender differences while building of values around community, communication and collaboration.

GenDerations, the Organization

GenDerations Mentoring International is a registered non-profit organization based in Switzerland, Germany and the USA with additional partner organizations in Southern Africa; now we are operating in India too with GenDerations Founder Stefan Hermann residing in Pune. First pilots have been conducted successfully at DPS RK Puram in Delhi and Kaveri’s Kalamadi Schools in Pune. The programs employed by GenDerations are designed to guide young boys and girls in their transition from adolescence to adulthood.

GenDerations uses well-trained volunteer mentors to guide young people in acquiring a secure sense of identity, a mature orientation toward their lives, and the ability to recognize and articulate their feelings in resolving their own personal and interpersonal conflicts. GenDerations is an umbrella organization for four separate programs: Boys to Men, Girls to Women and the respective mentor enhancement programs Man to Men, and Woman to Women.

The program is loosely designed after BoysToMen (BTM) Mentoring founded in 1997 in San Diego, USA. The original chapter in San Diego is not only still existing with both founders actively involved, but it is thriving by running programs in 20+ local schools. As GenDerations we are drawing on 30 years of practical experience in the field of youth mentoring.

GenDerations is politically independent, non-sectarian, culturally inclusive and financially transparent.

GenDerations Mission/Vision for India

Our mission in India is:

every child in India has access to a mentor circle AND every child is a mentor. On a macro-level we aspire to create vibrant communities where men and women show up for boys and girls, fulfilling their natural role as mentors. We provide youth mentoring programs for boys and girls, age 9 through 17 plus the respective mentor enhancement programs for adults under the premise: every boy and every girl on this planet deserves to have a mentor and is required to be a mentor.

Our global vision:

mentoring is established in all countries around the planet as an integral part of the educational system. Mentoring is reintroduced and culturally integrated as a societal practice.

Who We Are

We are incorporated as a 501c3 charitable organization in New Delhi/India, Bern/ Switzerland, Munich/Germany and Santa Barbara/USA. In South Africa our work is carried out by partner organizations.

Our founder Stefan Hermann (born 1959 in Germany) is a social entrepreneur living in Santa Barbara/California and Pune/India. He is a guest docent at the University for Social Pedagogy in Lausanne/ Switzerland. Before his social engagement he was a top 100 world-ranked pro tennis player, a successful businessman, published author with his book “FUTURING”, and business coach for multi-national companies.

Stefan started numerous successful BoysToMen and GenDerations chapters around the world. During the past 12 years Stefan has toured in India for personal advancement, often multiple times per year. For many years his wife, world-renowned yoga teacher Siddhi has been on the faculty of the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh. He is a grandfather to Sidney (16, himself very involved with GenDerations), Lina (5), Finja (10 months) and Joshua (7 months) as well as a parent to 6 adult children.

We are unique in that our focus is on establishing a sustainable mentoring practice, enhanced by an initiatory experience for youth to intentionally mark their transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. Our initial training weekend “The Owl” is for 9-12 year olds.

In our gender specific adventure weekends (ROPA) for kids age 12-17, through carefully crafted activities, we introduce the youth to positive traits of manhood and womanhood: connection to feelings, accountability, responsibility, respect, integrity, and service to a cause greater than self. We bring out the connection between the head and the heart, what we call "truth-telling".

Our funding is generated from a broad base of sources. Mentor and youth trainings, fundraising through government and foundation grants, parents and institutions like schools as well as private donors. One of our core principles is: no one gets declined from participation for financial reasons.

Goals and Objectives of the program

  • Link youth to a community-based group mentoring program. Inspire youth to make constructive life choices through positive adult role- modeling and positive peer associations.
  • Build the self-esteem, self-awareness, and personal accountability of the participants.
  • Improve overall student scholastic, personal and relationships performance.

We intend participation in this program to help youth develop their general social skills, improve their ability and willingness to work with peers, enhance their self- esteem, improve their ability to manage anger and conflict, improve academic performance, lower their frequency of absenteeism, and demonstrate an understanding of accountability and consequences for their personal decisions.

Youth-related Programs of GenDerations

Parent Introduction Workshop:

shows parents in an experimental way the value of the GenDerations work and encourages them to have their child participate. The workshop will provide information on the relevance of the program and the benefits in a highly competitive educational environment.

Adult Mentor Training:

takes adults of all ages, parents, grandparents, counselors, principals, corporate employees with CSR programs and other stakeholders through a re-introduction to their own teenage years. It powerfully prepares adults to the concept of “holding space” for kids in a non-judgmental way and to meet teenagers eye-to-eye.

Peer Mentor Training:

prepares senior students for group mentoring sessions with junior students. A certificate of participation is granted upon completion of the training. The nature of the training is interactive, experiential, physical, engaging, informative, empowering, reflective and fun.

Group Mentoring (Truth-telling Circles):

creating circles of trained adult mentors, peer mentors and junior students to offer support for successes, challenges, and questions about life.

The Owl Weekend:

packed with fun, games, adventure, mystery, and stories “the Owl” thrills youth to engage in self-reflection and being appreciated for speaking “my truth” and “just being me”. Through a series of exciting and challenging processes, boys and girls learn for themselves lessons that will serve them for a lifetime. Whether a kid is confident on his/her path or struggling, (s)he will find the GenDerations approach opens new opportunities.

For 7-12 year olds:

The "Owl Weekend" is for the age range of 6th graders. At the threshold of these children entering into their teenage years this weekend offers a unique opportunity of bonding and sharing along with meaningful play. The program has been conducted in South Africa and Ticino/Europe (see pictures along with moving testimonials on those pages of this web site) Mothers and fathers as well as their children expressed amazement about the depth of relationships which they were able to build for themselves and witness in others.

For 11th graders:

World-renowned DPS RK Puram school in Delhi has already taking advantage of our innovative program. Ex-principal Dr. Sanai is a big supporter of the approach of GenDerations to provide students with experiential learning opportunities beyond their many academic pursuits. Please check this short video and also don’t miss Founder Stefan Herman's short appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show also viewable below

GenDerations Mentoring Int'l provides mentoring services to youth in two distinct groups — 11th graders, who get trained as peer mentors and 6th graders, who are being mentored by the older kids. As an expansion to what was BoysToMen Mentoring for 18 years, GenDerations has been successfully established in the US, South Africa and parts of Europe.

The tuition ranges from INR 4800 to INR 12000 for the different modules of the Peer Mentor Training, a certicication weekend course. We have prepared a video for parents:

We are confident that participants increase their chances to find a good college and improve their employability thereafter due to what the training content offers. Many employers today are quite disenchanted about the skills kids acquire based on their school career’s focus on academics. Just on Sept. 16, 2015 The Economic Times daily reports: “Modi Govt Plans to Make Soft Skills Part of Technical Syllabus.” Your current 11th graders will not be able to benefit from this initiative, because it will take time to implement. GenDerations can help. While we support academic development, our program trains 11th graders to connect with the 6th graders at their school to develop some of the “soft skills” employers are looking for to qualify future top management.

During the Peer Mentor Training the older ones will be challenged throughout a weekend of highly interactive, hands-on, and experiential activities to fostering awareness and maturity.

The future peer mentors are being told “this program might be for you, if you aspire to being a role model:

  • Someone who leads by example, honest, already a good communicator by listening well, empathizing, asking questions, and giving constructive feedback.
  • Sincere in your interest in the power and transformational growth of yourself and others.
  • A learner to “hold space” and improve on patience.
  • A sound time manager, reliable and thriving on respect (self-respect and respect for others).

About the Peer Mentor Training

Peer education enables youth to effectively deal with problems that affect them. Through self-reflective as well as cooperative activities taking place in a safe and inclusive environment, youngsters feel valued for who they really are. Our scientifically evaluated, proven and internationally acclaimed model is based on group mentoring rather than one-on-one activities: “the art of being the village, … again!”

Where will our youth learn to become healthy mature men and women? The developmental status of youth in the Western World is alarming: over 40% are raised by single mothers, staggering numbers of suicides with 5 times as many teenage boys committing suicide compared to girls, and 1 out of 3 students experiencing physical and/or emotional violence at school before graduating from High School. Urban India unfortunately is following in the footsteps of the West. There are many indicators that young boys and girls grow up in a state of unprecedented crisis on all socio-economic levels...and it’s only getting worse.

GenDerations Mentoring Intl provides mentoring services to youth 9-17 years of age in two distinct groups. As an expansion to what was BoysToMen for 18 years, GenDerations has been successfully established in the US, South Africa and parts of Europe. in 2015 we launched the program in India by employing a peer-to-peer approach, involving 15-17 year old girls and boys as support and guidance for 9-12 year olds. The older ones getting trained to become the mentors will be challenged throughout a weekend of highly interactive, hands-on, and experiential activities to fostering awareness and maturity.

Peer education enables youth to effectively deal with problems that affect them. Through self-reflective as well as cooperative activities taking place in a safe and inclusive environment, youngsters feel valued for who they really are. They act as role models and peer mentors to younger kids; “role models” are not to be misunderstood as young people who think they are perfect; the kids are waiting to meet real people with real life challenges, willing to share those, where appropriate. Our proven and internationally acclaimed model is based on group mentoring rather than one-on-one activities: the art of being the village, … again!”

What Peer Mentors Don’t Do

  • relate to younger kids as broken.
  • rescue their mentees through dis-empowering interventions
  • give advice, tutor academically, or solve problems for their mentees
  • project their own experiences and stories on the younger kids

The training is led by STEFAN HERMANN. Stefan is a social entrepreneur from the US, who founded GenDerations Mentoring Intl. based on over 10 years of experience in men’s and youth work. He has supported well over 3000 boys and men in their steps towards more mature masculinity. Stefan started BoysToMen in Santa Barbara, California, where he resides and took it to German speaking Europe as well as Johannesburg, South Africa and many places in the US. He’s considered a master facilitator. Before his social engagement he was a top 100 world-ranked pro tennis player, a successful businessman, published author with his book “future design”, and business coach for multi-national companies. Stefan is married to spiritual teacher Siddhi. They are grandparents to Sidney (15), Lina (4) and Finja (1) as well as parents to 6 adult children. Seen above with adopted Indian son Rajendar in Rishikesh.

More and more research suggests that today's young people value collaborative and experiential approaches; very little sitting around and being instructed; lots of action and fierce challenge; as a matter of fact, not everyone might be ready for such a program. This is why prior to the training weekend there will be a selection day where Stefan and his team will introduce youngsters to the program and evaluate their readiness. If selected, youngsters will go through the weekend training to prepare them for their mentor role in Delhi schools. Once every forthnight mentors will meet their mentees in group sessions in their buddytype, supportive and encouraging approach. The younger kids might be feeling isolated, anxious, being bullied or simply dealing with being 9- 12 years old.

“Everyone deserves to have a mentor circle” is one of the principles of GenDerations Mentoring.

Success Stories

Testimonials by graduates of the recent GenDerations peer mentor training weekend at DPS RK Puram:

Video & Gallery