Change-Makers Mentoring Program
Veronica recalled how her mother used to tell her that she had tried poisonous substances to abort her. She was unsuccessful. Veronica’s mother got pregnant early and dropped out of vocational school. Veronica's mother is a substance abuser. Veronica was neglected as a child and was placed in an orphanage at the age of seven. By Grade 10, Veronica was dreaming of pursuing higher education to become an artist. However, lack of knowledge and support as well as fear of being on her own was too overwhelming for Veronica. She decided to forgo her dreams and joined her peers in a collective pursuit of cooking as a vocational training: "I am passionate about painting… I know how to cook. But now that everyone wants to pursue cooking… I don’t want to pursue painting on my own… I don’t want to go there alone. I am scared to go to a new place and start anew..." That same year Veronica dropped out of the vocational school. Her whereabouts are unknown.
Neglected and abandoned children living in orphanages lack role models in their lives. Their socialization is typically limited to teachers, caretakers, and peers. Female role models are particularly instrumental for orphanage girls; similarly male role models are crucial for orphanage boys in the absence of caring parents and adults in their lives.
Sublimitas' Change-Makers mentoring program engages successful young professionals who speak Ukrainian to serve as role models and mentors for orphanage youth. Mentors share their advice and insights about life issues, provide support in post-secondary educational preparation and pursuits, guide the youth in their decision-making processes and challenges, and cultivate the youth's necessary life skills (e.g. budgeting, time management, self-advocacy, self-care, academic/study skills, networking, among others) to help the youth succeed in their educational endeavors and adapt in mainstream society after orphanages. The mentoring program provides an opportunity for both mentors and mentees to create positive change in each other's lives.
We identify, recruit, and provide continuous guidance to our mentors. Mentors commit to volunteering 6-8 hours per month of at least one in-person meeting or online/phone communication with their mentee.
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