“Mentoring for Girls and Young women” Volunteering Center of Constanta CENTRAS Constanta ROUMANIA
OUR APPROACH ABOUT MENTORING Mentoring is based on the idea that young people are supported by caring, concerned adults, they are more likely to overcome difficulties and achieve their goals. Mentoring programmes can be a positive tool to enhance the development of young people. A DEFINITION OF THE MENTOR/ MENTEE RELATIONSHIP:“ Mentoring is a structured, trusting and sustained relationship between a young person and an adult, in which the adult provides the young person with support, guidance and assistance.”
A MENTOR IS SOMEONE WHO: Listens and attends to what Mentee is saying Guides Mentees to examine options and consequences (there are 4 communication skills used by us) Supports Mentees to set goals and stick to them Is involved in a structured helping relationship with a mentee Help the mentee to solve his problems
Stages of a mentoring relationship Stage 1 The mentor and the mentee become acquainted and informally clarify their common interests, shared values, and future goals and dreams. In this stage, there may be a lack of communication, or difficulty in communicating. Mentees may be reluctant to trust mentors, and may attempt to manipulate them. Stage 2 The mentor and mentee communicate initial expectations and agree upon some common procedures and expectations as a starting point. In the less likely event that the two individuals may not be compatible, the pair is able to part on a friendly basis. In stage 2, there will be more listening, sharing, and confiding in one another. Values will be compared, and personal concerns will be expressed.
Stage 3 The mentor and the mentee begin to accomplish the actual purposes of mentoring. Gradually, needs become fulfilled, objectives are met, and intrinsic growth takes place. New challenges are presented and achieved. Stage 3 is the stage of acceptance, but it is also a stage of change, where a mentee is more likely to exercise self-discipline. Stage 4 The mentor and the mentee close their mentoring association and redefine their relationship. Follow-up is conducted.
PROGRAMME: “Support the development of youth and children’s life skills” PROJECT NAME: “I know what I can, now I can try” Duration of the project: 1 August- 31 December 20071. Summary of the project: The general aim of the project: to develop the auto valorisation (to identify their own value) life skills of 15 children, aged between 12 and 17 years, from 3 orphanages from Constanta. Auto valorisation life skill consist in the identification, recognition of personal resources, in order to develop their self confidence, to improve their self esteem.
In this project, the roles of the mentor are:- teach young people how to relate well to all kinds of peopleand help young people strengthen their communication skills.- help improve a young persons self-esteem. - provide support for young person trying new behaviors .- help young people set goals and start taking steps to realizethem.- help the young people with homework and improve theiracademic skills. “All mentors have the same goal in common: to support young people to realise their goals, to develop decision making skills and reach their full potential.”
The context, the problem identified: Children from orphanages are affected by a severe affective privation, a lack of possibilities to have long relationships with an adult, relationship in which the child may identify himself with an image, a model. This all lead to an introvert or a depressive behaviour, abandoning hope of gaining affection or someone’s sympathy, having in mind the idea that they are worthless, they don’t deserve the attention of the ones around them or better things in life. Long lasting institutionalization creates a feeling of dependence, an insufficient known of the skills, a wrong auto evaluation/ valorisation, most times with subapreciation tendencies.
The project consists in a personal development programme with a 3 parts structure:1. Group Counselling sessions for developing self-conscience and self- confidence (important elements of auto valorisation), using modern techniques (active listening, reflection of emotions, reflection of the content from the client speech, types of questions in a good interview) and problem solving methods that will be applied in solving situations from their own lives.2. A training regarding social/ forum theatre techniques that valorise each one’s personality in order to develop their resources, their potential. During the project each child will be helped in developing his abilities by a mentor volunteer.3. Individual working/ counselling sessions between mentor volunteers and abandoned children in order to valorise their free time. In all 3 stages we used 15 mentors volunteers who were trained in mentoring techniques, methods and skills, in order to support the abandoned children in a personal relationship (one to one).
WHY IS THE SOCIAL THEATRE UN INOVATIVE METHOD ? “The Oppressed Theatre is a system of Games and special Techniques developed as a method by Augusto Boal, meant to develop among the oppressed citizens the theatre`s language, which is an essential language. This form of theatre was created for being practiced by, about and for the oppressed, helping them against oppressions and for transforming the society which generates this oppressions. The word “oppression” is used for describing the state in which the person who has lost the right of expressing his will, he is reduced at the condition of a passive listener of a monologue. The method allows that the target group itself (discriminated persons or volunteers that work with discriminated persons) will be actively implicated in solving its own problems of discrimination and intolerance of the community.
Social Theatre is a form of participative theatre, which encourages the democratic forms of interaction among the participants and has the goal of changing attitudes, “the key of change”. Social Theatre was not conceived as a function, but as a form of communication and language which analyses and discusses problems of the oppression and power manifestation, explores group solutions of these problems, is a language accessible for all of the parts implicated in the process. Social Theatre is a form of interactive theatre , which starts from a discriminative situation, implicating the audience public in its solution. They may stop the play in any moment the desire, offering solutions for the discriminative one to fight against or for the persons around to react for protecting him. The audience can never act against the element that incites the discrimination, they can not replace on scene the oppressed.
In Constanta we used forum theatre in many project, like:- November 2006 – February 2007: there had been 14 representations of forum theatre in schools and high schools from Constanta, with the theme “the discrimination of persons with disabilities in schools”.- There are apparent teenagers’ forms of discrimination in schools (press articles, people tales), disabled persons being perceived as limited persons, with no value, without equal chances of development and participation in communities and the efforts made for these persons are useless.
- March – June 2007: there took place 11representations of forum theatre with the theme “familyviolence in rural environment” taking place in schoolsand high schools from Constanta`s rural environment.Family violence is a phenomenon with vast proportionsin the last 5 years, at national level and ruralenvironment from Constanta, due to the low level ofeducation, of poverty and unemployment , the lack ofpromoted and respected models and values in theaffected communities.
The most important conclusion from the solutions proposed by teachers and students: 80% of the publics interventions proposed a change at a verbal level, as a concept, an idea and less in the behavior or attitude . The general tendance was to teach the oppressor what he has to do, to speak a lot about ethics, without doing something themselves to determine the opressor to change . This has confirmed one more time the need of these programs of personal development in schools putting the accent on the life skills development.
Youth in action project Mentoring peer to peer 01 November 2008- 05 December 2009 The proposed project under the “1.2 action - Youth Initiatives”, is a local initiative that will be implemented during 13 months period of time. The project aims to support young people from 3 orphanages from Constanta (aged 15 to 17) in order to develop a positive motivation for life. It is expected that the youngsters will get involved in the social and professional life. Four main factors of motivation for life will be tooken into account: strong values, healthy life style, positive image on themselves (based on appropriate self-evaluation), good qualitaty of the social relationship. These motivation factors will be achieved through the following objectives and activities: O1: At least 20 youngsters from orphanages achieve correct self – evaluation tools. Activities: training provided by a coach to 20 mentor/ volunteers, Councelling sessions for the selected youngsters, training Forum Theatre of the selected youngsters, 10 contests (forum theatre) in 10 schools. The experiential method will be used in all activities.
O2. At least 20 youngsters from orphanages will achieve a socialization model based on the peer relationship menthor volunteer - youngster. Activities: Peer mentoring activities, supervision activities provided by two experts to volunteers – mentors, evaluation session of both, the volunteer mentor and youngster, based on an individual activity diary. O3: The project results, products and methods (mentoring, experiential counselling, forum theatre), are transfered to at least 25 youth organizations. Activities: editing posters and flyers, and the “Mentoring guide peer to peer”, information dissemination on the web site, producing sweatshirt s/ t-shirts on the theme of the project, a dissemination seminar. Valorisation and follow-up: At least 50 de representatives (at least 25 organisations, will be trained in order to improve their mentoring and councelling skils. A network of young menthors will be initiated in order to develop and promote social policies for youngsters from orphanages. The project will promote the european values like: active participation, equality of chances, freedom of opinion, non-discrimination.
The most important questions of mentors during their mentoring relationships were:1. Why do we respond to some messages and not others?2. Why we are open to some people and not others?3. Why are we comfortable in some situations and not others?
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