Fundacio Privada Gentis
“Root yourself” is a mentoring project located in the rural region of Terres de l’Ebre (Spain) focused on promoting social inclusion of disadvantaged youngsters aged 16-24 years old by using sport and cultural resources as main axis for improving learning and competences. The project will create a network of key community supporters and materials contributing to promote inclusive practices, the de-stigmatization of vulnerable youngsters whilst improving coexistence and social cohesion.
In 10 municipalities of the Terres de l’Ebre region (South of Catalonia, Spain)
Our project will be located in 10 municipalities of a rural region called Terres de l’Ebre characterized by a low population density, scarce services and poor communication. There is a high rate of youngsters at risk of social exclusion including a high number of non-accompanied migrant minors. 60% of the population over the age of 16 has no secondary education and cannot access jobs due to lack of skills and professional networks. There is a strong need to identify and connect available resources with concrete needs and competences of youngsters in order to improve their employability. Through mentoring, sport and cultural agents can contribute to develop new competences and facilitate links to the community, being both key aspects to improve employability and social cohesion.
Our project uses social mentorship as a core element. Experienced persons from the community provide their free time to accompany and support young people through participation in sports and cultural activities. The project will involve as mentors citizens with specific expertise in the field of sports (athletes) and culture (artists) and count with the support and active involvement of local sportive and cultural entities in collaboration with the public administration and other key agents. In this way, mentors and entities will facilitate the introduction and involvement in the community of young people. An inclusive and social responsible community is a way to democracy through allowing equal opportunities, a sense of place in society and active citizenship to all persons.
1) youngsters at risk of social exclusion, aged 16-24 that are engaged in the Adult Training center “Lo Pont” managed by Gentis. Lo Pont focusses on the return to the educational system or on labor insertion and the improvement of transversal and emotional competences of youngsters who have experienced early school dropout. Many have difficult family contexts, special education needs (20%), intellectual disabilities (20%) or lack literacy skills (non-accompanied migrants 30%).
2) mentors –volunteers who are autochthonous or rooted in the territory over 30 years old, with social skills and empathy
3) local sportive and cultural entities in collaboration with the public administration
4) Lo Pont tutors supporting the youngsters and mentors throughout the mentoring processes.
1.PREPARATION: setting a mentoring team, selection of a minimum of 50 youngsters to be mentees, selection of mentors, identification of key competences to be transferred.
2.TRAINING of mentors (with input from key social and cultural agents) in the different municipalities
3.DEVELOPMENT OF SUPPORTING MATERIAL: Development of a methodological guide in collaboration with sport and cultural agents (3 collaborative workshops) to support them in the development of inclusive processes via mentoring.
4.IMPLEMENTATION and MONITORING: of 8 month mentoring processes with the selected 50 mentors and mentees
5.EVALUATION of mentoring processes
6.DISSEMINATION AND COMMUNICATION: Regional Conference for 100 participants
Results: 1) Minimum of 50 mentoring processes 2) Development and dissemination of Methodological guidelines 3) Dissemination Conference (100 participants) 4) creation of a new network of socially responsible cultural and sport entities.
Impact: On the youngsters: improvement of competences, professional networks and community outreach. Increase of employability opportunities. De-stigmatization through normalization of cultural and sport activities and their visibility.
On the entities: increase of knowledge, capacity and implementation of inclusion and social responsibility processes.
On the community: Establishment of a new, active and lasting network of reference in the social and mentoring field in a region in need of social boosting. Improved coexistence and social cohesion.
Mentorship can be defined as a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.
The Root me project will contribute by using the mentoring approach to rise awareness on the importance for the community to interact between different social groups and contribute to their development. This is fundamental to a well-functioning, inclusive society. In this regard Democracy can be strengthened by community members engaging as an active part of society.
The mission of the Gentis is to achieve social inclusion of groups at risk, through improved skills, emotional and social development.
The Adult Training Centre Lo Pont- where the project will be based – bases it learning and traing strategies throuhg a youth-centred approach. This implies that everything that affects the life of the young person has an impact in his/ her learning. In other words, learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom and the community is part of his/her learning. For learning to take place, learning spaces must be designed and the community must be guided and supported in its development. Gentis, as an active actor in the development of youngster’s skills, works with a wide range of organizations to generate and make these spaces available.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs: for implementing mentoring processes (finding youngsters and mentors, mentors training, matching, monitoring 8 months mentoring processes, evaluation), developing the Inclusion Methodological guide (co-creation workshops, elaboration, translation), establishment of the network, dissemination (conference) =37.000 €
Communication and dissemination= 1300€
Graphic web cost= 200€
Booking of conference room= 300 €
Catering and refreshments: 500€
We would like to gather feedback on practical implementation of mentoring initiatives (what works, what does not) to complement our knowledge in this field and innovative ways to reach out and involve the community in social initiatives.