RIAINetwork aims to provide mentors and role models to children and young African-Irish people. The mentorship program will incorporate online sessions, virtual activities, and on-site support from our mentors to our mentees. RIAlNetwork aims to tap into the knowledge, skills, and experiences of older African-Irish people to provide the younger generation with holistic support. This process will include collaborations among our mentors, mentees, and parents.
At RIAINetwork, we believe that every child needs and deserves a role model. Various learning objectives of our mentees will be explored before a match gets established accordingly. All of our mentors will be Garda-vetted and undergo a mentorship training program.
Description of Practice: Culture is understood broadly to include the values, norms, and practices of a given group that are learned, shared and transmitted across generations (Kreuter et al., 2003). Mentorship for cultural pride and understanding is, however, distinguished from mentoring in general due to its specific focus on strengthening respect and value of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Individualized support is designed to be responsive to information gathered in an assessment of the needs of the mentee. Support is provided either before or at any point after the start of the mentoring relationship.
Mentorship of this type may be focused on one or more of the following
- Increasing awareness about culture and the important components of culture.
- Increasing mentees’ awareness of their own cultural background, values, and assumptions and how these may influence their perceptions of the world.
- Increasing mentees’ knowledge of African-Irish cultural backgrounds with mentors understanding the needs of young people, including the potential assets of the home, school, and the community environments of the mentees.
- Mentors will apply their cultural knowledge in their relationships with mentees as well as others who are important in mentees’ lives. These individuals may include parents, teachers, and friends.
- The frequency, duration, and format of the mentorship can also vary. For example, mentoring may be delivered in a group format or individually and either in-person or online.
Mentors will use their knowledge and experience to help society be sensitive and responsive to the needs of young individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.