From the Coordinadora de Mentoria Social, the 2020 European Mentoring Summit co-organizers, a Spanish platform that promotes quality mentoring in the field of social action and, therefore, the development of trust bonds between people, we have been thinking about the impact that COVID-19 can have on the programs and we have put together a list of suggestions to help mentoring programs adjust to the social distancing context.
This document is a support tool, rather than a guide to be strictly followed, which we make available not only to social mentoring programs but also to any project that assists people in vulnerable situations. Thus, the indications that we give here are to be adapted to the different realities, objectives and profiles of the targeted people.
In addition to the obligations and recommendations that the different governments are encouraging, we believe that mentoring programs can contribute to improving the situation by developing a highly valuable task of emotional support and assistance, especially for the most vulnerable people.
Since our routines have changed and our movements’ activity has been restricted, it is easy for some people to feel overwhelmed and to tend to isolate themselves, thus intensifying their vulnerability. That is why now, more than ever, we need support networks, safety spaces and comforting relationships.
In this regard, mentoring programs take on a more than relevant meaning in the present time: only if we feel connected will we be able to face this situation with the willpower, patience and state of mind that it requires.
Consequently, circumstances lead us to incorporate a claim in this very introduction: Internet access as a first-order right for all people. In order to maintain mentoring relationships during social distancing, access to communications becomes a crucial element that will determine the quality and impact of our support. Hence our appeal to public administrations, as well as to large companies in the telecommunications sector, to do everything in their power to guarantee this access, especially for the most vulnerable populations.
From the Coordinadora, we want to help maintain the support network and ensure that the most vulnerable people can continue to count on the spaces of trust provided by the relationships with their mentors.
Thus, we are at your disposal for whatever need and, above all, we encourage you to adapt your projects to ensure that ties are maintained, even if remotely.
ENGLISH: Download the document here
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This document has been drafted by the different organizations that are part of the Coordinadora de Mentoria Social to support all those mentoring and assistance projects that encounter difficulties in maintaining active relations during the exceptional situation created by the expansion of COVID-19.
We encourage organizations worldwide to make a list of resources for projects and mentors that fit their needs and their context. From our side, we have created a list (in Spanish) of specific resources, and you can find it on our website.
We put ourselves at the disposal of all those organizations and people who need our support: email@example.com