Successful youth mentoring has many positive outcomes:
- Improved academic achievement and increased opportunity for employment;
- Reduced levels of anger and alienation;
- Reduction in substance abuse;
- Improved social, educational and occupational functioning at later stages of development;
- Improved positive mental health, happiness and life satisfaction; and
- Improved self-esteem and quality of relationships with figures of authority, peers, parents and other adults.
The Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Youth Mentoring Programme fills the gap between children’s homes and independent living through a one-to-one, person-centred, strengths-based mentoring programme. The TIL programme started as a pilot project that ran for three years, from 2010-2012, which helped to finetune and improve the model.
Today the programme is expanding to serve youth in multiple children’s homes in the Cape Town metropolitan area, with the goal to cover all children’s homes by 2018. The mentors are volunteers who give an hour of their time each week for a year. Our mentors are business people, lecturers, bankers and housewives. A number of them are parents and many of them are not. Their work helps these young people avoid problem and high-risk behaviour and reintegrate into the community. Each mentor offers advice and guidance with employment opportunities, education and skills training, housing and personal development, but most importantly they are there to provide friendship.
The 8 Programme Stages:
- Monitoring and support
- Post-Programme Support
SA-YES works in partnership with local, national and international organisations. We are providing the TIL programme to the youth in the following children’s homes:
The Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Youth Mentoring Programme participants are young men and women who have spent part (or all) of their lives in children’s homes. These young people, who were removed from their families by the courts to ensure their safety, are supported by government funding until the age of 18. Unfortunately these government resources are severely constrained, and without support the young people are often disengaged from the children’s homes ill-equipped for independent living and subsequently fall into a life of drugs and crime.
The TIL mentoring programme is designed to support them by offering guidance, providing positive role modelling and linking them to resources that will assist them with this difficult transition to responsible, independent living.
In 2013 we established the SA-YES Ambassadors Group. Led by one of our former mentees, this group is made up of former and current programme participants. It provides peer support to our programme graduates and life-skills workshops for our current programme. This is proving to be incredibly successful.
Once the exam results are available we will be able to provide our outcomes for 2013.