DISCLAIMER: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The European Mentoring & Befriending Exchange Programme arose from the need for mentoring & befriending coordinators to exchange their knowledge and experience across Europe in order to increase the quality of their work, generate new ideas and find solutions to common problems.

Mentoring & Befriending organisations aim to match volunteers with vulnerable people in a long lasting one-to-one mentoring/befriending relationship. The focus of the present project is on those mentoring and befriending organisations which match adult volunteers with children. Mutual understanding, respect, confidence and voluntariness are key to such a sustainable relationship.

Additional information can be found on the GRUNDTVIG website.

Our Objectives

1. To identify the practical relevance of issue-focused mentoring/befriending which will strengthen the role of education for sustainable development in mentoring/befriending programmes.

2. The different methods of how adult volunteers and children are recruited and matched in the different participating countries will be exchanged.

3. To explore the challenges and opportunities of a national quality award scheme for mentoring/befriending programmes in each participating country.

4. Thecreation of a possible European Quality Award Scheme for mentoring/befriending programmes will be promoted.

5. To explore the existing evaluation tools of mentoring/befriending programmes in order to find the most suitable ones for improving individual services to adult volunteers and to help gain more recognition with from funders, policy-makers and the wider lifelong learning community.

6. To examine the reasons for offering support and supervision to mentors and befrienders and which practical, interpersonal and communication skills are required to assist adult volunteers in their mentoring/befriending experience;

7. to identify the practical relevance of issue-focused mentoring/befriending and will strengthen the role of education for sustainable development in mentoring/befriending programmes;

8. All workshops will be documented and the results will be made available for current and future mentoring/befriending programmes.

Our Activities

Each organisation will create “working groups” according to their own resources, composed of learners, staff members, and other relevant parties involved in this project.

Their opinions will be taken into account in decisions about the overall course of action of the project by the steering group during their meetings. Besides the steering meetings, the working groups meet in each country to plan the tasks of their own organisation and to organise the hosting of the other partners (accommodation, meeting plan and agenda, visits to relevant institutions, etc.). At each mobility, the steering group and the hosting working group will have the possibility to meet, exchange views and, if necessary, re-plan the work of the project and its evaluation, so that continuous monitoring and involvement are guaranteed.

Besides the management issues in mentoring/befriending programmes, the partnership will deal with key pedagogical issues related to training mentors/befrienders. Thus, the project will also promote exchange among trainers from the different organisations in order to share methods, materials, topics, and technologies with the aim of maximizing the collaboration between partners.

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