“My mentor has been a huge help to me”- Guide to running a mentoring programme
Integration is all about inclusion: social, political, economic as well as cultural. Through a local mentoring programme, immigrants were helped to face any obstacles they might come across in realising their participation in society. At the same time, the mentors gained an enriching insight in another culture and a migration experience. This guide provides support and practical tips for organisations who wish to undertake a similar programme in their communities.
Through the mentoring programme that the Immigrant Council of
Ireland has run from 2008 onwards, immigrants were paired with
well-established residents. These residents have fulfilled several
types of needs that the immigrants had in order to be able to
participate in the Irish society: some wished to improve their
English language skills, others wished for more generic support and
The mentors, who volunteered to support migrants, helped to smooth the way for their mentees. Although participation is voluntary, this guide proposes several structures, questions and things to keep in mind to ensure a successful mentoring period.
In this regard, three issues are specifically elaborated upon:
- The role of the mentor and mentee;
- Boundaries and expectations;
- First meetings.
The coalition should be based on a clear motivation and attainable and pre-defined goals in order to prevent disappointments among participants. It is also important that both are able to spend at least 5 hours a month on their relation, over the course of six months. The guide draws attention to specific issues and provides guidelines as to what issues should be discussed and made clear towards each other. It also proposes a framework for the first meeting, as this meeting will establish the tone of the whole relationship.
Positive results for all involved
This Irish project has resulted in positive outcomes for both
the mentors and mentees involved in the project. The project
enabled immigrants to fit in more quickly and gain a new sense of
belonging. The mentors for their part felt to have learned more
about other cultures, and the impact an international or even
intercontinental migration has on an individual.
Questions can be directed to:
Telephone: +353 1 674 0202
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