C

Lernpaten
Saarland

2018

Children with difficult familial relationships should experience success through support which is both fun and understanding. They will also feel supported in their personal development in order to help them achieve success in obtaining qualifications.

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Donation level

58% target achieved
3.202 €
donated so far for this project. Of which 1.776 € through donations, 1.426 € from Foundation capital.
5.500 €
donation target
29 Donations
donated so far for this project.
44 Days
remaining

Project name

Lernpaten

Location

Saarland

Project partner

The Joint Federal State Commission PRO EHRENAMT e.V. (founded on June 5th 1997) and the charity Bürgerengagement Saar (founded on April 20th 2010) developed the concept of Saar mentoring together.
  Project partner's website

Project partner's aim

The aim is to reduce the number of young people in the Saarland who do not have their initial qualifications through medium to long-term mentoring with the help of the Saar mentors. In addition, the aim is to support the cognitive, emotional and social development of young people and as a result improve their educational opportunities.

Aim of the BeA Foundation

A portion of the running project costs, in particular for:

  • Training measures (around year 8)
  • Supervision
  • Games and learning materials for the children

Donation period

1st January – 31st December 2018

The Concept Works

In 2015 the initiators of the project, the charity Bürgerengagement Saar and the Joint Federal State Commission PRO EHRENAMT, went public with their concept SAAR mentors. Children and young people without access to education and from disadvantaged backgrounds or difficult situations would get support from volunteer mentors in order to support their cognitive, emotional and social skills in order to increase their chances of getting an education. The mentors are located in all Saarland districts. They meet in monthly discussion groups and receive training and support where required. There is a strong feeling of community amongst the Saarland mentors. For 2018, they are aiming for 200 additional mentors.

The concept has become a success story. In the recent past there have been positive responses from not only the now 100 mentors, but also from the children, teachers and parents. In particular, the 76 schools that have been involved up until this point have spoken explicitly about the success of this support function.

A visit to the High School for Technology and Economics Saarland gives a precise indication of the success so far, which showed signs of their first results last year. Prof. Dr. Dieter Filsinger said, “Firstly, we were very happy about the high participation rate for the survey. Two central aspects were important for us: firstly, the effectiveness of the mentors and secondly the positive development for the children who would be mentored. The support for the first has been very high, the position on the personal development of the children also tends to be rated positively (60 percent agreement). Nearly all of those asked viewed the program as clearly advantageous to the children and strongly desire that the project continues (85.7% full agreement).”

Huge dedication - huge success

The mentors directly contribute to helping children and young people from difficult backgrounds obtain successful school qualifications. In a 1:1 relationship the children and young people are supported in their personal development. “Making children strong” is the motto. To have 100 mentors successfully support 100 disadvantaged children achieve school qualifications is a clearly significant contribution to the approach to young people and their education in our country. Our aim is that by the end of 2018 around 200 mentors will be in operation.

Nine certification courses with challenging topics have already been carried out. This preparation is necessary for what proves to be a challenging task. Being a mentor shouldn’t be viewed as after school tutoring or lunch time supervision. It goes much deeper than that – it’s about the personal development of children and sharing successful experiences with them. Learning methods, leading conversations, dealing with difficult children, the basics of developmental psychology, legal requirements for children’s welfare and conditions at school (among others) are important topics for these seminars.

Help to learn - Give a brighter future

For these reasons, LAG-President Hans Joachim Müller is very satisfied after two formative years: “For us, the fundamental targeted concept with a preparatory qualification has paid dividends. We are thankful that so many schools are participating. Our main focus is on giving the children intensive supervision, but also on supporting the mentors. In the meantime we have become a brilliant team of one hundred mentors.”

Where should the journey take us?

The charity „Bürgerengagement Saar“ and the federal state commission PRO EHRENAMT have given themselves sustainable goals. By the end of 2018, they would like 200 mentors to be active in the Saarland, to have all Saarland districts covered and to improve the fundamental structure of the initial qualifications and the quality of continuous education for the mentors. Supervision meetings are planned for the network groups as questions and problems on the ground are inevitable and will need an appropriate response.

Sustainability is required

The initiators of the Saar Mentors are convinced that people in the Saarland can benefit from the LERNPATEN SAAR initiative in multiple ways. On the one hand the individual children benefit from it, on the other hand the activities of the mentors have a preventative effect. Children who have a successful school career are less likely to require support from youth workers.

It should not be forgotten that through mentoring, citizens of our state are being offered a challenging volunteering activity. The scientific results of the htw teaching evaluation clearly prove the approach and concept of the LERNPATEN SAAR to be successful. Not only has the performance of the children who have been mentored improved, through this project their social behaviour in class is strengthened and a positive, life-affirming atmosphere is built for the mentored children.

Pictures of the project