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Mentoring peer to peer


The goal of the project “Mentoring peer to peer” was to contribute to the development of good life skills necessary for adolescents and was participated by 20 youngsters from 3 orphanages from Constanta, aged between 15 and 17. It’s about the life skill motivation which is based on 4 determinant factors: a healthy lifestyle (sport activities, health diet, awareness of the risks of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs consumption, easily substituted in the life of these teenagers, due to their vulnerability), a positive self-image (a correct self-evaluation), social relationships of good quality and building up a pro-social set of values in order to determine the forming of the motives for actions, interests, convictions, ideals for which these teenagers should fight.

Life skills are those “skills, abilities, competences, features and qualities, attitudes and behaviours that are necessary for each person in order to lead a quality and satisfying life, to develop themselves, to maintain normal relationships, to achieve their goals during a certain stage of life and to cope with the difficulties encountered”. Among the most important life skills we can cite: daily life skills, money management skills, personal care skills, social development skills, work and study skills.

The development process of a life skills involves 4 stages during which the disciple needs a support person to assist them and to guide them. In the first stage, the disciple learns through imitation from the support person the behaviours, attitudes which compose the necessary life skill. The learning environment is safe and emotionally secured by the presence of the support person; in the second stage, the youngster is encouraged to assume certain roles and tasks, still accompanied by the support person, whereupon, in the third stage, is asked to apply what he/she has learned in the spontaneous situations, in the presence of the support person. In the end, he/she will apply the skill in real life situations, in the absence of the person who had accompanied him/her until that moment. This support person can be easily transposed in the image of a mentor, who becomes a behavioural and emotional point of reference in the development of life skills specific to each age.

When a parent figure is absent, the youngsters develop an almost permanent tendency to avoid things, to be unable to find motives, interests, convictions / necessary values in order to act, to initiate and perform daily or leisure activities, choosing one of two extremes, either passivity or aggressiveness towards others or themselves. In this context, the “life motivation” skill becomes a necessity for the socio-professional integration of the youngster in the process of understanding and resizing of their own life history, of developing of a new perspective on things and of an assertive attitude in the relationships with persons close to them. In this process, each of the 20 youngsters selected from 2 orphanages was accompanied by a mentor volunteer in order to develop their own motives, personal interests, values, important resources of life motivation, as well as the creativity and the skill to express emotionally, which will help to further improve the quality of their lives.

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