January 4, 2021
This January, #MentoringMonth calls more Canadians to step up as mentors
As in previous years, January is once again #MentoringMonth across not only Canada but North America as well.
Officials with both MENTOR Canada and the Alberta Mentorship Partnership (AMP) are stressing that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps now more than ever, there is a greater need to recruit more mentors.
And although there are various lockdowns, as well as safety and health regulations in place throughout Canada now, mentors are still being encouraged to come forward as mentoring relationships can easily be provided online.
We always intended to have virtual ways to support anytime, anyplace mentoring,” said Michael Janz, MENTOR Canada’s Director of Communications. “COVID brought that to the forefront and in 2021 we will be rolling out new tools and resources, including a virtual mentoring platform.
#MentoringMonth has four theme weeks, including the I Am A Mentor theme for the first week of January.
Though there was always a substantial need for mentorship programs across the country, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic as an increasing amount of young people are feeling trapped in social isolation.
Those that are losing hope or experiencing aimlessness these days can greatly benefit by simply having a mentor in their lives.
Mentors can provide a variety of things, including support, advice, accountability, reinforcement and constructive role modeling.
This mentoring can prove to be invaluable as countless youth these days are in the midst of monumental changes in their lives, brought on by the pandemic. Youth have had their schooling or employment drastically changed, causing concerns as they try to plan for their futures.
In many cases, mentors can dictate how much of their time they can contribute. An hour here or there simply to provide some guidance or direction or even just to listen to a mentee can make all the difference in a young life.
As for AMP, it was launched in 2008. And this marks the fifth year the organization is participating in #MentoringMonth.
We’re looking at building awareness with organizations, agencies, schools and stakeholders to promote and support mentoring for Indigenous children and youth, Tourangeau said. We’ll also be engaging with stakeholders to develop meaningful connections, networks and resources for them to meet the mentoring needs of Indigenous communities.
Tourangeau is meeting with representatives from Indigenous organizations, Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
Working alongside various groups and individuals is necessary in order to include mentoring practices that meet the cultural, spiritual, mental and physical needs of Indigenous children and youth.