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«Mentorship» project: what happens after the prom?


The orphanages of Donetsk region recently held graduation parties. Among the graduates are participants of "Mentorship" project of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. Children have not only found older mentor friends, but also got the necessary knowledge and skills for living outside the orphanage.

"For more than a year Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has been implementing its "Mentorship" project. We can already talk about the important results that we observe every day. The progress of children in studies has improved, and thanks to the trainings, master classes, excursions to enterprises and mentors' advices, some children have already decided on their future profession", – Natalia Baryshpolska, the Head of "Mentorship" project, says.

Mentors say that thanks to the project they’ve got real friends – children, who need their care and attention. Through sharing their life experience and warmth, mentors helped their young friends to get prepared for an independent life, become more confident, make decisions on their future profession. And they will continue their communication, despite the fact that the active part of the project, which lasted more than a year, is over.

"Thanks to the project of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation I met Nina. I've got a friend. A young one. And very caring. The one you want to give your attention, warmth and your time. It so happened that Nina needs support.  I got instant rapport with her. I am happy to share the knowledge that I have. Despite the fact that today Nina is leaving the orphanage, we will continue our communication. She's dreaming to become a teacher, and I really believe that everything works out and she makes it into the higher educational institution. Anyway, she will need support in the future", – Yuliya Akimova, the Mentor, shared.

Children share their positive impressions about the project. They say that during the short period they had some profound changes in their lives, and now they are thinking about their future living. "Thanks to the project I met my mentor, she's very personable. We became friends, she's helping me to make plans for the future. It's just the beginning of our communication. When I leave the orphanage, we will see each other often, take trips to different towns, go to museums. She's a lot of fun, it's a great pleasure to communicate with her", – Nina, an orphanage girl, shared.

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation made a useful present to orphanage graduates – the whole suitcase of household goods: dishes, bed linen, towels and other essentials. "A casserole, a frying pan, so that we had something to cook in! Towels, bed linen – we really need all that. These are very useful presents. When we leave the orphanage, we have nothing. No dishes, maybe just some bed linen. But nothing for cooking, which is so necessary. Thanks for that!", – Nina said.

Over the project implementation period there were 11 trainings taken by 107 potential mentors. The total number of the formed mentor-mentee couples was 43. Mentors helped children to determine their path of life, to choose a profession and gain useful skills. "We can say that children become more confident, positive and open to the world. Some kids from "Mentorship" project have already chosen their future profession.  Many of them decided on the place of further study – they started preparing and pulling up the subjects they have to take exams in. There are children who were avoidant, but now they opened up. These are positive results that some psychologists cannot achieve over the years", – Dmytro Zubtsov, the coordinator of "Mentorship" project, shared.

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation continues to monitor the situation in couples and provide counselling support to children and their mentors, as well as social services. "We understand that we cannot replace their parents, but becoming good friends and providing support to orphaned children is one of the main goals of the Foundation. We will keep in touch with the children and mentors, for this matter we create a secure communication platform in Facebook", – Natalia Baryshpolska, the Head of "Say No to Orphanhood!" program, emphasized.