We have already spoken on other occasions about the international project Re-Generations, in which we have been involved in implementing mentoring projects for ARSIS (Greece) and Defense for Children (Italy) over the past two years. This month we co-organized a virtual meeting of agents involved in mentoring and accompanying young people –both those under guardianship and after their independence– and with people who support our projects, such as technical and political representatives from the public administration, funders and other social entities.
The event began with the presentation of the Re-Generations project and the entities involved. A study of the impact of mentoring on young people was also presented: Òscar Prieto (University of Girona) explained about the collaboration between the university and Punt de Referencia in the Applying Mentoring study, which measured the impact of mentoring in the Referents project. Prieto’s study showed that the self-esteem, resilience and hope for a better future improved the mental health of the Punt de Referencia youth. Also the mentored youth showed an improvement in their educational aspirations three times greater than young people who had no mentoring. Based on the data collected, the hypothesis is that the potential for improvement of unaccompanied youth is due to the fact that the Referents’ project intervention incorporates a socio-educational accompaniment into an intense mentoring relationship.
In the second part we learned of the experience of the Italian and Greek participants, who explained the reality of migrant youth in their countries. From Catalonia, we offered various experiences from both the public and private sectors:
From the Catalan government (Generalitat) there were two presentations: Ester Cabanes, director of the Directorate General of Child and Adolescent Care presented the Generalitat’s strategic plan for receiving unaccompanied migrant youth; and Cesc Poch, presented his viewpoint as Director General of the Catalan Youth Agency.
In addition, we were able to share the work of the Barcelona City Council in receiving young people, as presented by Ana Lemkow, of the city’s Directorate of Citizenship Rights (Area of Social Rights, Global Justice, Feminism and LGTBI).
There was a presentation by Fundació de Nous Cims (New Peaks Foundation), one of Punt de Referencia’s funders, in which the speaker explained the reason behind the Zing scholarship program for young people who want to continue their studies, as well as the Foundation’s support and commitment to mentoring.
To close the day a debate was held among the persons and institutions of all three countries. The Catalan agents spoke of their support for young people, the sustainability of mentoring projects and political advocacy.