Increasing participation in Dutch mentoring program
21 December 2016
Our mentoring program, aimed at supporting young offenders to positively reintegrate into society after their release from prison, has also gone through major developments in the past year. The program coordinator, Rivelino Rigters, has been very busy; with more than 50 intakes with volunteer mentors, 25 new mentees, several trainings and at least 17 successful matchings between mentors and mentees. We can proudly say that we have taken the Dutch post-release program to the next level.
There are many different ways in which a volunteer mentor can help their young mentee, depending on their needs. We are very happy to work with a diverse group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer mentors who all bring different qualities. For example, one will have a background in sports, while the other mentor will focus more on helping his mentee in finding education or a job. Some of our workshop facilitators from the pre-release program have also started volunteering for us as mentors, making use of their specific creative discipline. This has led to some very valuable trajectories, such as one mentor helping a mentee prepare for a presentation he had to give to members or the prison staff and his own family. Together with his mentor, he made a video presentation which he was able to discuss afterwards with his family. Helping him to prepare for this important moment has helped restore his self-confidence and led to beautiful results and a positive experience for everyone involved.