The association Mentor Latvia’s main goal is to prevent drug abuse among adolescents and children who are considered to be at risk. The preventive work is based on the idea that a mentor is assigned to each child or adolescent, who helps them in the transition to an independent and healthy life, and that the children and adolescents are allowed to take part in vocational training and practical support.
The project “Mentoring Program for Youth in Latvia” aims to assist and support Latvian youth ages 13 to 18 who lack support from their own homes. This is done by assigning each youth with an individual mentor, who assists with both emotional and practical support. The mentorship and the activities they take part in together aim to help the young people achieve a healthy and wholesome lifestyle and to go from life in an orphanage or youth institution to becoming independent.
The support from H.M. Queen Silvia’s Foundation CATCH has made it possible for 189 young people to participate in the mentoring program during the years 2016-2018.
The mentors have met their respective mentor child at least twice a month and during these meetings have supported them by setting goals for the future, giving practical advice, increasing their self-esteem and working towards an improved communication ability.
The project has also included regular events aimed at giving young people the tools needed for an independent life. The focus has been on career choices, communication, teamwork, individual goals and planning your private economy. In 2016 and 2017, 19 such events were held and in 2018, 24 events are planned.
Courses and support groups for the mentors have also been conducted where the mentors have received support and advice from Mentor Latvia’s own staff. In 2017, courses were also organized in the work with children who had undergone traumatic experiences. Similar courses are planned for 2018.
The support from H.M. Queen Silvia’s Foundation CATCH has also enabled the following PR and marketing activities:
A film about the mentor program and a short film for potential mentor youth.
A new brochure with information about the mentor program.
The update of the website for Mentor Latvia.
All of the above activities have contributed to an increased knowledge of Mentor Latvia and attracted further support for the mentor program.