On Monday, Feb 13, the British High Commission hosted a reception to present certificates to the participants of the Chevening Mentoring Scheme for budding journalists from across Pakistan.
The mentorship program, which was launched in 2022, is designed to provide capacity-building opportunities to young female and male journalists by engaging senior journalists from the flagship Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme Fellowship (SAJP) to act as mentors.
As part of the program, four experienced journalists (two male and two female) developed bespoke training modules, selected young journalists, and then shared their knowledge and experience with their mentees in one-on-one leadership sessions and group discussions.
“I was delighted to host such inspiring Chevening mentors and mentees at the High Commission. The Chevening mentorship program for journalists is a fantastic addition to our internationally renowned scholarship program. It promotes inclusion and unlocks talent, which will inevitably lead to a more diverse media landscape in Pakistan,” Zoe Ware, Acting Deputy High Commissioner, at the British High Commission Islamabad, said.
Chevening scholarships are a cornerstone of the UK’s public diplomacy efforts in Pakistan which is an important member of the Commonwealth community. The British High Commission is actively encouraging more women to apply for Chevening scholarships. This focus has resulted in the female intake of Chevening scholars rising to around 60% of the 2021 intake from 6% in 2013.
The Chevening South Asia Journalism Fellowship (SAJP) is aimed at mid-career journalists from South Asian countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The fellowship is hosted by the University of Westminster and funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.
The SAJP fellowship offers full program fees, living expenses for the duration of the fellowship, and a return economy flight to the UK. To be eligible for a Chevening SAJP Fellowship, applicants must have at least seven years of work experience prior to applying and a postgraduate-level qualification at the time of application. Applicants should be mid-career journalists working in Pakistan’s political or economic sectors and have a good working knowledge of English (which may be assessed by a qualified English language assessor).
In 2022, the Chevening team launched a Chevening Mentoring Scheme to provide capacity-building opportunities to young journalists by engaging Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme Fellowship SAJP journalists as Mentors. The project was designed for entry-level journalists with leadership potential, to enhance skills, knowledge, and work performance. A total of 4 journalists – including two female journalists – participated as mentors, identified their mentees,s and developed a capacity-building plan for them.
Adnan Amir, a journalist with Nikkie Asia and 2018 Chevening SAJP Fellow, noted that: “Mentoring journalists from Baluchistan under the Chevening Mentoring program was an incredibly fulfilling experience for me. The program provided me with an opportunity to mentor young journalists, who can now go on to play their part in covering important stories affecting the people of Baluchistan”.
Over the last two years, the British High Commission has also offered mentorship programs for lawyers and entrepreneurs under which Chevening alumni mentored 10 mentees which included eight women and two men. The participants developed skills in a wide range of areas from entrepreneurship to law and communications which prepares them to become thought leaders and drive positive change in their chosen fields.