Diaspora Mentoring for local aid actors


What is it?

The Mentoring programme is to provide learning opportunities to local organisations in selected countries and diaspora organisations through matching them with mentors from the diaspora. Through knowledge-sharing, peer-to-peer support and guidance, provided by the mentors, diaspora or local organisations will be able to improve their skills and competencies in a certain area, reach their objectives, and better deliver their aid for the benefice of the affected communities.

The thinking behind the mentoring initiative is that individuals and organisations in the diaspora have a variety of skills, knowledge and expertise, which could be used to support humanitarian organisations working in their country of origin.

For example the diaspora and local aid actors can get support in Finance, HR, Procurement, Fundraising, Proposal development, Report writing, Advocacy, Communication.

The DEMAC mentoring initiative seeks to use this potential by bringing together humanitarian diaspora and local organisations looking for advice on technical or substantial issue with a suitable diaspora mentor. DEMAC thereby acts as a platform for matching offers and needs. Whether the mentorship implies advice via skype, mentorship placements or other forms of support, they all need to be agreed on by the mentors and mentees themselves.

Example: Ali, of Somali origin, has been the CEO of a successful medium size enterprise in Yorkshire. He has a background in finance and business. He became mentor for ‘Help Somali’, a small local organisation in Somalia with little experience in dealing with financial issues. He advises the new controller of ‘Help Somali’ via skype from time to time.

Why should I become a mentor for a humanitarian diaspora or local organisation?

There are many reasons to become a mentor. Perhaps you witness the humanitarian crisis in your country of origin and don’t know how to help? Perhaps you work for a professional diaspora organisation that has lot of experience to offer for smaller grassroots organisation inside the country? The mentorship initiative is an easy way to support humanitarian efforts in your country of origin, get to know interesting initiatives and organisations and deepen your knowledge on the situation on the ground.

To know more about the role of the mentor

Why should I get a Mentor from the diaspora?

Working on humanitarian response is challenging on many levels: from working in painful environments to having to deal with difficult donor requirements. Trainings are often expensive and challenges and questions often only emerge once the training concepts and methods are being applied. With the mentoring you will benefit from a free and an informal transmission of knowledge during a sustained period of time. A mentor from the diaspora will know your country, speak the same language, and will better understand the context and challenges you are facing. The mentor will be someone with a certain area of expertise you can informally and regularly reach out to when you need specific or general advice, support or simply want to learn from other experiences.

To know more about the support you can get as a mentee

Who can participate?

We are currently focusing on organisations and diaspora from Syria, Nigeria , Sierra Leone and Somalia.


Diaspora organisations or local organisations working on humanitarian assistance in one of the focus countries (Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone) and their neighboring countries and looking for specific advice, exchange about challenges, peer-to-peer support or learning from other experiences.


Individuals, companies, NGOs or networks in the diaspora with a specific skills set or know how that can benefit humanitarian local organisations as well as diaspora organisations with experience, knowhow and skills to share.

Will I be enrolled in a program?

No, the mentoring relationship is an informal one and the mentor and mentees themselves will decide the terms and conditions. We encourage building a supportive relationship, rather than providing one-off advice. DEMAC will do the matchmaking and facilitate the first contact. However, we can neither guarantee that everyone registered will get a mentor nor that the relationship turns out to be beneficial.