Mowgli Alumni Spotlight: Sulaima Ramadan

Sulaima Ramadan
Suleiman Ramadan
Sulaima Ramadan — Founder Puppets 4 Kids, Palestine

Entrepreneur name: Sulaima Ramadan

Company: Puppets 4 Kids – Yes Theatre

Country: Palestine

Mowgli Mentoring Program: THE NEXT SOCIETY Regional Mentoring Program

Describe your Mowgli Mentoring journey and the impact it’s had in your professional and personal development over the past 12 months

My Mowgli Mentoring journey with Mustafa Ali was a unique one. Being associated with a young like-minded guy was for me opportunity to develop my communication skills, expand my viewpoints, and consider new ways of approaching situations. It was also a springboard to develop my ability to motivate and encourage others especially after evaluating the experience as a mutual or two-way mentoring relationship.

Why mentoring?

When I decided to join the program, I did not know a lot about mentoring and mentorship. For me it was a new experience that I was keen to go through, this is how I usually perceive new shots. A couple of months later, and when I started to figure out what it entailed, I discovered that mentorship is something that goes far beyond training, coaching and consulting, and yet includes all of them and way deeper concepts.

Now I know that having that mentor/friend there, close to you personally and professionally, is all the support needed.

What is the most important goal that you have worked towards with your mentor?

The mentorship journey helped me explore our current standing in “Puppets for Kids”, where we want to go, and how we might get there. New perspectives about scaling up the enterprise beyond Palestine particularly in Africa is among the very important goals we are now pointing energies towards.

Among the very important goals that we succeeded in achieving is turning this mentorship into a friendship.

What are some of the key successes you have experienced since the Mowgli Mentoring program?

Over the last year, our work had achieved many successes. We’ve created new job opportunities for more 4 people, expanded the work to cover the whole area of the West Bank, have a month-long artistic residency and capacity building for my team outside Palestine in addition to numerous personal successes, locally and internationally.

Among other events, I participated in “Getting By”, a workshop at Cambridge University in partnership with Restless Development. A month later, I was invited to take place at the “European Union (EU) Med means Business” conference at the EU premises in Brussels. In addition, I am currently engaged in a yearlong training program in cooperation with The French Institute and CFI. I have also been invited to talk about the work and achievements of “Puppets for Kids” at Convergences in June 2020, in Tunisia.

Would you say that mentoring has had any effect on the above successes?

For sure it had. Mentorship for me is a relationship that has it’s positive radiating effect on all personal and professional aspects even if this was not meant or not obviously tracked.

What impact has mentoring had outside your professional life?

The experience had very positive effects on me as a person. For the different communities I am part of, I have always been known to be “The morale raiser”. Luckily, though this experience, I had the chance to have my morale raised and feel the importance of what I do towards other people, and continue doing it.

Lastly, as an entrepreneur/innovator, what do you feel is the role mentoring within the ecosystem in the MENA region?

Mentoring should take a more prominent position within the MENA. To date, I feel mentorship is not yet recognized to the level it should be, due to lack of knowledge on how important it is. As the ecosystem in the MENA region is still “under-construction” and a lot is needed to have a strong and encouraging one, we need to promote mentorship on a wider scale to truly support the ecosystems beneficiaries.