The Peer Mentoring Project also provides abundant opportunity for leadership for volunteer mentors. They pose as role models for the mentees who have been referred to the project as being ‘at risk’ of disengaging from their communities. Mentors have been highly successful in building relationships with mentees where the needs of the mentee have been the focus of the relationship. The act of mentoring itself is a leadership opportunity and involvement in the project promotes and facilitates this.
Additionally, mentors who feel they are not ‘natural’ leaders, have the support of fellow mentors who are more comfortable in this role. To further develop leadership skills, self esteem and confidence, trainings are provided which may create employment opportunities in the future. For example, five participants in the past program have now found jobs and leadership roles in their communities as a result of the skills they acquired from peer mentoring. In fact one of them works with the program as of now.
Matching Mentors and Mentees
The matching of mentors with mentees can be both a simple and complex task. Again, here the quality of matches will be based on the relationship which was developed with families and the young people themselves. There are no criteria for matching, beyond an attempt to put mentors and mentees who have the same gender and language backgrounds together. However, this is not necessarily essential and matches should be based more on Coordinators discretion or the particular requirements of families or the participants themselves. Hence, it is essential for Coordinators to have a good understanding of the personality and strengths of mentors and mentees well. Again, this emphasises the need for extensive consultation and the development of trusting relationships with participants, their families and communities.
Working hours from Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, except Public holidays