Sharing lessons learnt – Final project meeting in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

IMG_7766

Mentoring programme developers and coordinators, mentor trainers and mentors came together in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on 21-22 May 2015 for the final project meeting. The full project team had not met for over a year, since the February 2014 meeting in Palermo, as smaller group conferences were organized in September 2014 in Grimstad and Vilnius, and in February 2015 in Schwerin and Zagreb.

The agenda of the Cluj-Napoca meeting was predominantly allocated to the eight teams sharing their project experiences: lessons learnt in the field of mentor recruitment, mentoring programme development, mentors’ training and coaching, mentors’ and mentees’ progress, and the plans for the future that the partner organizations and institutions have made.

We watched home-made videos including testimonials mostly from mentors – their reflections on what went well, what they learnt, and how being a mentor has changed them. Many said that they would like to be mentors in future programmes as well.

IMG_7626

The draft of the publication Guidelines for mentors and mentoring programme coordinators was carefully reviewed by the participants and improvements were suggested.

IMG_7741IMG_7764

The project management team including the coordinators of each partner organization had a meeting to discuss next steps in the project implementation and issues connected to the final reporting.

I learnt to listen to the child, to what he thinks and how he describes his situation, you know. – D., mentor, MDC

It was a beautiful experience, full of surprises. – G., mentor, CILSDGC

IMG_7650

Advertisements

A Grundtvig partners meeting was held in Zagreb

The penultimate meeting of the project partners’ „Learning to be good mentor“ was divided in two separate meetings in order to maintain successful and deeper discussion of mentoring programs. Both meetings were held on 5 and 6 February 2015. One meeting that was held in Zagreb, Croatia with the participation of partners from Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Croatia and the other was in Schwerin, Germany with the participation of partners from Italy, Lithuania and Romania.

At the meetings were presented partners’ mentoring programs that included carried out activities, the feedback of participants, used tools of monitoring and evaluation. All partners gave feedback on the implemented programs on the basis of obtained information in order to review programs.
Also, the criteria was defined for the preparation of Mentoring program guidelines that was created in the next period of the project. The guidelines are a joint document of partners that will serve all interested stakeholders in the future implementation of mentoring programs in partner countries.
As part of the Zagreb meeting, partners had the opportunity to visit the Elementary school Matko Laginja whose children participated in Forum’s mentoring program. School pedagogue, Mrs. Jelena Bičanić intorduced the partners to the structure and operation of the school. Also, during the meeting the partners had the opportunity to meet and talk with mentors who participated in the program as well as with external expert Gordan Šimunković, which was also a trainer and supervisor of the mentoring program.
The final meeting of partners was held in May 2015 in Romania. The project was implemented within the Lifelong Learning Programme, the Grundtvig program.

4th Partner Meeting in Germany

The LeGMe partner organizations from Germany (DKSB), Italy (CESIE), Lithuania (MDC) and Romania (CILSDGC) met in Schwerin (Germany) on February 5-6, 2015. This fourth partner meeting provided the opportunity to discuss the ongoing mentoring activities, and to meet the key-players: mentors, mentors’ coaches and mentoring programme coordinators from the four countries.
After a welcome and presentation of the agenda by Carsten Spies (the coordinator of the hosting organization), each partner had the opportunity to share their learning from the implementation of their respective mentor training/coaching programme: positive aspects, challenges, experiences related to the use of the monitoring & evaluation tools used, etc. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session, and the presenters also received constructive feedback. After the coffee break (a very important informal moment for the participants to get to know each other better), we were divided in national groups and then in two groups (Romanian with Lithuanians, Italians with Germans) to discuss improvements we may want to make to our respective mentor training/ coaching programmes, and effective practices we may want to share from our mentor training. The outcomes of this session fed into the working meeting of the project coordinators and mentors’ coaches in the afternoon; here we agreed on the structure of the Guidebook for mentors and mentoring programme coordinators presented by Ariana Vacaretu, the general project coordinator from CILSDGC. Meanwhile, in three other training rooms, the mentors met in mixed country groups to share their mentoring experiences.
The second day was mostly dedicated to visits. First, we visited the State Parliament Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Schwerin Castle, where we met with a deputy of the Parliament to talk about volunteering at local level and to present the LeGMe project. Next, we crossed Lake Schwerin to get to an island where we met the people in charge of the “Jugendfirma INSEL DER CHANCEN”, a youth company working with people with limited opportunities. Once back on mainland, we gathered at the DKSB office to conclude the meeting with planning next steps and evaluation of the experience.
Many thanks to Carsten and team for this enriching experience.

See you all in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

 

Third partners meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Partners meeting, Vilnius, Lithuania

10th and 11th of September 2014.


Third partners meeting within the project Learning to be a Good Mentor, has been divided into two separate meetings. This was done in order to make more successful in depth discussion about the mentoring process. One meeting took place in Grimstad, Norway from 3th to 6th of September 2014 and participants were partner organizations from Romania, Slovakia and Norway.
Second meeting took place in Vilnius, Lithuania from 10th to 11th of September 2014. Participants were partner organizations from Italy, Germany, Croatia and Lithuania.
During the meeting each partner presented activities that have been done in the last six month period of the project. Activities include: mentor and mentée recruitment models, process of mentors and mentées selection and selection criteria, ways of “paring” mentors and mentées as well as developing monitoring and evaluation tools for evaluating implementation and results of each partner’s mentoring programme.
Also, partners were discussing about the monitoring and evaluation system of the mentoring programme – common document which was prepared by Croatian partner. During discussions, partners agreed how to improve joint document, and what changes are still needed to be made throughout the document in order to be able to complete it.
The next partners meeting will be again divided into two separate meetings that will take place in Germany and Croatia in the Fabruary 2015.

5.

What a wonderful world…

I have never dreamed about being a mentor. I thought I am not patient enough, and I am not good at working with small children.

But my auntie told me, that I should try it, because I am a writer and I could be a great idol for our little mentees. She thought, I can support their reading and show them, that it is still IN to read and to write.

So, I said YES, I can be a mentor, and I have never regretted my decision. J

I have an opportunity to spend my free time with our lovely little mentees and I can try how it is to be like a mum, too.

And of course, I could travel to Norway for two days for having a meeting with great people from Norway and Romania.

I have never been in Norway before. I just saw some photos from my friend who lives there and I wished to visit such an amazing country in the future.

And then, my dream definitely comes true!

It was unique opportunity to be at the meeting, where were a people from Slovakia, Norway, and Romania.

I could improve my English skills during the speaking, I could share my opinions connected with being a mentor a I could listen views of other members.

For me, the best part of our program was time spend with Norwegian mentor and time spend with Norwegian mentees. It was a big motivation for me to be still better and better mentor.

I listened a lot from Norwegian mentors, about their work and about their activities, which they do with their mentees. It was great to listen to each other and to share our experiences together. It is more effective to see and to talk about it in the reality, not just to read about it on the Internet, or watch a video about mentoring system.

As far as the mentees are concerned, I really like Norwegian idea, to choose the refugees for mentees. It is a great way how to integrate them into the society in the country. I was really pleased to meet Norwegian mentees and to talk with them about this program for them. I could see, how happy they are for being a part of our program. And mainly, how grateful they are for a chance to live in such safe country, where they do not have to be afraid of about their life.

During the time spend at the meetings I found out, that it does not matter the age of mentors. I saw a video from Switzerland and there were mentors who were retired people. It was a surprise for me to see how nice it was for little mentees to spend time with their old mentors and to learn baking, for example. I always thought, that mentors should be just young people, who are full of energy, but after watching a video I realised that also retired person can be active, helpful and attractive for children, too.

It was a great chance for me to be in Norway. I liked our meeting which started with a singing the truthful songs about our wonderful word. I will never forget friendly people we made there. The foreign people who visit Slovakia always say about us, that Slovakian people are really hospitable, but I think, Norwegian are more than we are. So, we should learn from them.

And of course, big thanks to our hosts for ordering such a beautiful weather. It was indescribable for me to see the Sun again after two weeks! J

See you soon, my dear friends from Norway and Romania, I hope                    Ivana Furjelová

 

German Delegation Visiting the Project Partner in Grimstad/Norway

From June 14th to 17th of 2014 a four-person delegation of the German Child Protection League, state association Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, stayed at the Norwegian project partner for an information visit.

The Norwegian head of the project Arve Konnestad and his colleagues had a very comprehensive and interesting schedule prepared for the visit. To begin with the group from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern took part in an official meeting of young mentees with migratory background and their future mentors in Grimstad. That offered to the German visitors the opportunity to get to know the various agents and participants of the norwegian mentoring program and to have a debate with them.

The next day the delegation met at the Norwegian partner institution “Kvalifiseringstjenesten Grimstad commune”. It is a governmental qualification and integration institute for foreigners of any nationality, which emigrate to Norway or are taken in as refugees. For certain young or underage participants of the qualification program temporary partnerships are arranged within the scope of the mentoring project.

After the head of the institute Hilde Weidemann had given an introductory talk about the institutes approach to its work at large, the agents of the refugee departments of Grimstad, a representative of the job management and the social services department as well as the responsible staff member for children day care followed with introductions on their work. Subsequently the German representatives visited a daycare facility for children and had a debate with the staff members of the Kvalifiseringstjenesten about the situation of day care in Norway.

The exchange program ended with a visit at the Norwegian child protection organisation “Stine Sofies stiftelse” in Grimstad. This organisation was founded by Ada Sofie Austegard 14 years ago, after her little daughter became the victim of violent crime. “Stine Sofies stiftelse” is by now one of the most well-known Norwegian child protection organizations and possesses a broad spectrum of preventive offers for parents and educators.

Project meeting in Cluj-Napoca

As the Monitoring & Evaluation system of the local mentors coaching programmes is a very important instrument for achieving a good quality management of the programme we decided to organise an extra short trilateral meeting in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on the 21 – 22 June 2014. During this meeting representatives of FFE (HR), CILSDGC (RO) and MDC (LT) worked together for drafting the M&E system of the mentors’ coaching programmes by considering the drafts created by the partner organisations. The draft of the M&E system of the mentors’ coaching programmes developed during the June 2014 extra meeting will be discussed in September 2014 in the 2 parallel meetings.