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The importance of mentoring in youth support at European level

photo from the meeting

Somewhere certified, somewhere formalized by a clear methodology, and left somewhere at the level of an informal relationship between mentors and mentees. Whether a mentoring program or action is being implemented in Serbia, Turkey, Italy or another country, it is common for all of them that mentoring, if well-aimed, can produce good results.

In the framework of the VM-pro project: validation of youth mentoring, mentoring has proven to be an excellent mechanism in the field of preventing early school leaving, supporting the inclusion of young people (and vulnerable groups) in the labor market, as well as supporting personal and career development through mentoring. so does the mentor. All this was reason enough for the mentors and mentees who participated in the VM-pro project to come together for a study visit in Iper, Belgium and to exchange their mentoring practices. The three-day study visit to Belgium brought together participants from Italy, Turkey, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Participants had the opportunity to visit several organizations and companies that implement mentoring schemes in different ways, as well as to get acquainted with some of the models for the active inclusion of people with disabilities in the mentoring support world. At Page Company in Popering, they had the opportunity to see live how the complete cycle of manufacturing electronic parts for computers was organized, as well as to hear that people with disabilities employed by this company make a significant contribution to business development. They also visited the largest start-up center in this region of Belgium – “Netwerk”, which provides support to business development for small entrepreneurs and is based on a two-year mentoring program.

The final part of the visit consisted of the workshop “Validation of informal experience from mentoring programs for students / young people with disabilities and their mentors at EU level”. The conference was opened by the project coordinator Dr. Matteo Perchiazzi from the Italian Mentoring School, pointing out that mentoring is present in all social spheres, but that we must take into account the concept, methodology and target group to which mentoring is intended. Apart from him, Karel Van Isacker from the Phoenix KM partner organization presented the tools created within the VM-pro project, while Marina Lukić presented various successful mentoring initiatives in Serbia in front of Belgrade Open School. In the discussion that followed at the end of the conference, the contribution was also made by participants from Serbia – Teachers Zorica Keselj and Mladen Sljivovic, who presented their views on the usefulness and applicability of VM-pro tools even after the formal completion of the project.

The project is being implemented by SIM – SCUOLA ITALIANA DI MENTORING (Italy), in partnership with ASSOCIAZIONE MOSAICO (Italy), MARIE CURIE ASSOCIATION – MCA (Bulgaria), PHOENIXKM BVBA (Belgium), International Association for Vocational Education and Training (Turkey) and Belgrade Open School.

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