The law on mentoring is in force now. However, the detailed mechanism is still being worked out. ‘DODOMU’ team took part in the ‘Be with me’ summit whereNGOs and government institutions worked on the implementation of the law on mentoring.
The meeting was held with the support of the First Lady, Marina Poroshenko, and the President’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, Mykola Kuleba.
Using examples from our students’ lives, YuliaFeschenko, Director of Centre for socialization 15+ ‘DODOMU’ , explained how a mentor works and what the peculiarities of the work with adolescents are.
‘People often think that children are sitting and waiting for a ‘mom’. But teenagers, especially those from families in difficult life circumstances, do not always need a mother. In the past, many of them were beaten by life itself and their own parents. Another part has managed to stay in several new families, which returned them back to the boarding school after a bad experience. They crossed the threshold of adoption and, in this situation, they aren’t looking for a ‘mother’. They are looking for a friend who will support them and act in their interests ‘
– Says YuliaFeschenko.
Some students of our 15+ Center for socialization already have mentors. The teenagers they deal with even get sick less often than others. Our center psychologists say that they are calmer, more motivated and aren’t afraid to make new steps even after unsuccessful attempts, because they know that they have the support of a mentor.
‘While educators areso-called behaviour spotters, mentors are people who help build relationships. When there is a relationship, the correction is easier and a personality is developed harmoniously.’
– Says YuliaFeschenko, the head of 15+ Center for socialization.
During the panel discussions in focus groups on proposals to improve the mechanism of the law, we suggested to give more power to NGOs in implementing mentoring. Specifically, in three areas – informing people about coaching, selection and training of mentors, their support during the process of mentoring.
Mentoring was first implemented in Ukraine in 2009, when the project ‘One Hope’ unfolded. They were the first in Ukraine to begin systematic training of mentors. They also worked out the mechanism of work and selection of such people. They were allowed to come to the child, communicate with him and provide help. However, theirstatus wasn’t legally enshrined. When the law ‘On ensuring organizational and legal conditions for social protection of orphans and children deprived of parental care’ and itspart on coaching are signed, these people will have the official status, formal access to children and more power. Our organization will gain this status as well.
Mentor is an adult who takes care of an orphan or a child whose parents were deprived of rights. This adult friend provides child with non-pecuniarysupport up to his adulthood and afterwards. Mentors are volunteers who are specifically trained for this purpose.