For 9 months, the mentee and the mentor are in a very personal relationship built on mutual trust. The mentees are living under difficult conditions, their problems are complex, therefore a much time and many actors are need to work together to change their situation.
The mentor is the one who helps them find their way to the path of change, who helps them to define their own life goals, who questions their current lifestyle and leads with the example of his/her own experience and own life challenges.
BAGázs’s mentor programme is based on the motivation of the people living in a settlement. We work with mentees who participate in one of our development programmes. Aim of the debt management-related mentoring is to change the lifestyle, and to learn how to save and invest money instead of spending it and creating debts, whilst mentors supporting job search work so that their mentees can integrate into their workplaces and stay employed, to be able to tackle challenges, to develop and to progress.
Mentors with similar paths and age are working in the programme as volunteers. Mentors with similar paths are people who are or were living in similar conditions as his/her mentee but can set an example to them. Same-age mentors are volunteers coming from a societal background different from that of the mentee, he/she supports them with experience and shows them a whole new world. Mentors are trained in a mixed system together with Roma people from Dány and Bag, so that they can start learning from each other from the very beginning of the programme, and that they can immediately develop a horizontal coordinate partnership. Later, mentor-mentee pairs are formed based on mutual sympathy, and mentoring starts under the supervision of BAGázs’s colleagues.
It’s good because I can go out, I can talk to people, because at home there are only chores. I like that you can say any problem and look for a solution. At first I did not want a mentor, but then my opinion changed because of the conversations. Somehow later I was not ashamed to talk to other people.