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Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin

by PaSch at NachbarschaftsEtage at Fabrik Osloer Strasse e.V.
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin
Finding + supporting mentors for pupils in Berlin

Dear donors,

Looking back, we have to say that the last months were once again eventful. In February PaSch hosted another workshop that was concerned with the evaluation of mentoring from the children’s point of view. It was a follow up event of the workshops we hosted in December of last year. In the course of this workshop we presented the prototyped evaluation tools and gathered further propositions of the young mentees. Lately, at the beginning of April, we finished this series of workshops with a last event that we made a “farewell” workshop. The final evaluation tools – a diary and a questionnaire – were handed over to the mentees, we discussed the handling of the questionnaire. On top of that, we went for some ice cream to show our appreciation for the children’s work. We are proud that we conceptualized, created and finalized these tools that were awaited by the whole network of Berlin mentoring programs.

In the meantime, PaSch members had some more great experiences. 14 mentors and mentees went to an indoor climbing area in March and everyone was excited to go their finally. Some of them planned to do so for a long time, but could never make it. Therefor the general mood was happy and frisky. The coach who gave us instructions did a great job with the mixed group of children and adults. The children had fun, enjoyed the sporty activity and were proud of their skills. One boy didn’t dare to climb at the beginning but in the end he didn’t want to stop anymore. We all left tired but with a big sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Since the beginning of the year PaSch had interviewed 10 people who wished to become a mentor. By the end of March 5 eligible people were still interested and were invited for an initiatory qualification seminar. Communication, intercultural living and resilience were the main topics and the group was participating actively and with big interest. Unfortunately two participants were facing changes in the meantime and given their current situation they lack the time to mentor a child within the PaSch project. But one of the other participants already met her future mentee. They spend almost two hours together and both left smiling. This week they meet again and next week they are going to conclude their mentorship.

Moreover, a few mentors felt the need to re-adjust their mentoring relationships. Two felt the burden of responsibility too heavy on their shoulders and the PaSch manager provided them strategies to talk this problem through with the mentee’s parents. After having spoken with the parents, they feel at ease and more optimistic again, as the expectations are clarified now. Another mentor suspects her mentee to be at risk for addiction to her smartphone. The mentee’s parents and the mentor reached out for help and the PaSch manager forwarded them to a consultation center, where they can get advice and help for free.

Nonetheless with spring coming PaSch reaches out and has good news to tell. We are happy to report that “Berliner Morgenpost” one of Berlin’s big newspapers interviewed a mentor and her mentee. This mentoring relationship exists for more than 9 years and their main focus has always been on school and extra lessons. That payed out. The boy will finish school this summer and he already obtained a training position at federal police. “Berliner Morgenpost” wants to honor the mentor’s engagement and the mentees success. Therefor they devote a long article with a big picture to their successful mentoring. Mentor, mentee and PaSch alike are very proud of this and can’t await the paper to be printed.

Considering all these evolvements and the prospects related to them, we are looking forward to the upcoming weeks. Next week we’ll finish the new information brochure that will help us to acquire children and adults for PaSch project. The week afterwards PaSch will participate in the central Berlin volunteering fair. By the end of May Berlin celebrates the “Day of neighborhood” and so does PaSch. In the context of an event we’ll create a booth and offer upcycling activities to present PaSch to the neighborhood. Just a few days after that, PaSch mentors and mentees will go on their next fieldtrip. In the context of “Langer Tag der Stadtnatur” - a Berlin initiative for nature - we’ll do a rally in “Volksgarten Pankow Blankenfelde” a big park. Everyone’s already looking forward to that.

To sum it up: It was and will be lively and that’s how we want it to be. There is nothing left to say but: Thank you for your support!

PaSch wishes a happy new year to the GlobalGiving team. We hope that 2019 brings good luck and a lot of success to you.

December was an exciting and joyful month for PaSch. Right on the first weekend of the December we hosted two workshops in collaboration with another mentorship project. We hosted mentors and mentees from several projects and made them evaluate their mentoring situation. We presented evaluation tools we developed for this purpose, the “mentoring dairy” and the “mentoring feedback-poster”. The main focus of the workshops was their feedback upon these instruments and in a playful way the mentees gave their opinion and suggested improvements. The workshops offered interesting insights that helped us to further develop the evaluation tools. They will be retested in two follow-up workshops this year.

Afterwards the atmosphere turned more and more festive at PaSch. On 7th of December we invited all neighbors, friends and also mentors, mentees and their families for our annual winter get together around a bonfire with music, stories and hot drinks. Though it was quite cold, PaSch mentors, their mentees and friends enjoyed the nice atmosphere with us for quite some time. The next highlight followed shortly after: On the 9th of December the PaSch tandems attended the show of “Blue Man Group”. As a group of 30 people we watched the show that experiments with colors, drum music and humorous sketches. The mentors and mentees had a lot of fun and the children reported the experience proudly to their families and friends.

Before Viola went to maternal leave by the end of December, she handed over the coordination of PaSch to the new colleague Diana. Together the two colleagues received a new volunteer who wants to become a mentor. Diana got to know the PaSch process of evaluating a volunteer’s motivation and skills and had the chance to insights into Viola’s interview routines. The two colleagues ended 2018 with a farewell for a tandem who has been meeting for almost 1,5 years. The mentor’s job got more time-consuming and she became pregnant. Therefor she cannot find the time anymore to maintain the mentoring relationship. Mentor and mentee expressed their gratitude for one another, they exchanged on their favorite activities and agreed upon bowling being the best. The mentee’s mother was very happy with the course of the mentoring relation and wants to continue the process. The boy himself also wishes for a new mentor.

At PaSch the new year started slowly, as the new colleague needed to adjust. Nevertheless PaSch received several requests from potential mentors, so that we could conduct four initial interviews in January. All the applicants showed their suitability and declared their interested in becoming a PaSch mentor. We are very happy to gain new participants for the project and want to offer an initiatory training for them in March. In collaboration with another mentorship project we’ll train the volunteers on intercultural encounters and the concept of resilience. On a long term we want to widen the focus of this initiatory workshop, therefor Diana attended an advanced training on diversity on January the 26th. Two experts, who are familiar with the academic debates and practical issues alike, presented the newest concepts and methods to illustrate the dynamics of diversity for mentors.

This week is an eventful week at PaSch again: On Friday all mentors are invited for a party; we’ll have dinner, enjoy music and a little theatre show with them. It’s a way to express our gratitude for their commitment and to appreciate their ongoing engagement. The day after, on Saturday the next workshop of the evaluation project takes place. Mentors and mentees from PaSch and other mentoring projects will come together to reevaluate the further development of the evaluation tools, they already rated in December of last year.

On top of that PaSch approaches its next trip, which will lead us to an indoor climbing area on the first weekend of March. Already the children show big interest and excitement, although it’s still a few weeks ahead. I I’m sure I will let you know more about all of this in my next report.

PaSch thanks you for another year of support. The GlobalGiving donations enable us to offer various activities, to accompany our mentees and mentors professionally, and to enrich their mentoring relationship with extraordinary experiences. The donations contribute to the success of our project and makes young pupils in Berlin evolve educationally and personally! Thank you!

Winter get together
Winter get together
visit at the stadium - 10.000  m run of men
visit at the stadium - 10.000 m run of men

Summer is over, but we were able to enjoy the perfect weather in Berlin with at least two nice PaSch activities and we are sure that a lot of mentees had a nice time swimming or eating ice-cream to cool down during summer.
Like mentioned in our last report, we visited the European Athletics Championship on 7th of August, which was an amazing highlight for all of us. They donated PaSch, as project of a social and nonprofit organization, free entry tickets and we had great seats in the Olympic Stadium to watch all kind of different disciplines at this evening session (like hammer Throw, decathlon, long and short distance running over 100, 400 and 10.000 meters etc.).

The mentees as well as the mentors had a really nice time and we stayed until the final run over 100m of men was over and got back late with hundreds of people from the Stadium. Luckily it was summer break, so the kids were allowed to stay up late. We were all happy to have the possibility to see the Athletics Championship live at the stadium. Some of the kids did really catch fire and watched further sessions on TV the following days and asked, if we could go again. Some mentees did get an autograph of a polish hammer thrower, who won silver and they were pretty proud. Thanks to your donations, we were also able to invite the mentees and mentors for a cold drink, which was really helpful to have nice refreshment sitting there on one of the hottest days in Berlin with 35 degrees Celsius.

On 7th and 8th of September the so called Volunteer Days Berlin took place and also our community center offered a lot of activities where neighbors and interested people could support not only our community center but also some other projects nearby. On Friday neighbors and some companies gathered here to support us with some little and some bigger projects like building raised planting beds, paint tables and benches for the kindergarten, develop and write slogans on banners for a democratic and open community or join the RepairCafé and learn how to fix an old electronic device. We were overwhelmed by the number of people joining the activities and could say thank you with a diverse buffet at the end of the afternoon.
The next day, on Saturday, we offered a recycling and waste workshop in our community center and invited our mentor and mentee couples but also neighbors. We met at 12h close by and started the day with cleaning our district - or at least a part of it at the small river “Panke” - where we found lots of waste close to playgrounds, in bushes and next to benches - where you are supposed to relax and enjoy nature. We separated “good waste” from “bad waste”, so we already started to imagine what we can build in the following workshop. We found all kinds of waste people throw away, for example a DVD- player, a damaged mobile phone or electronic cables, bottles, lots of cigarette ends or crown caps… We were wondering and sad, why people throw away so many things into nature and don’t realize how they damage nature and themselves with their actions… When we returned to our community center, we offered a small buffet to thank our supporters and to strengthen ourselves before the workshop started. We had to clean the “good” waste we gathered and then learned about what waste and recycling is all about and even what you can do with waste – for example sculptures and other useful stuff. They created diverse and useful things like a savings box or instruments and had fun to recreate things with waste. We all had a lot of fun and presented the sculptures for about 2 months in our community center.

In October, we offered another workshop for mentors again in cooperation with another mentoring project. Unfortunately, we could just train 2 new mentors for PaSch, because some of the interested volunteers did either not respond anymore or their life somehow changed and they told us that they are not able to take that responsibility anymore because of changes in job or family matters.
But one of the new mentors already met her mentee twice and next week, we sign the contract. The girl is the little sister of the mentee, we mentioned in our last report. She is really happy to be part of PaSch now, too. Another match of a new mentor/mentee couple worked out as well, they already signed their contract a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, we also had to end some matches again and there are different reasons why. We talked to all of our matches and some being in the project for some years already, figured out that it doesn’t work out so well anymore. The mentees, already being teenagers, develop new/ other interests and want to spend their time with peers rather than with their mentors (especially when the mentees are boys and the mentors are women). In our project we also focus on elementary school kids as the target group, so our offers for mentors and mentees are specialized for the younger ones and the teenagers cannot identify with the support so much anymore. But we always try to tell them that they can keep in touch with less frequency also outside of our project and “just” to be friends and meet, whenever they want to – that’s how the mentees feel no pressure but they know that there is a trusted person (their mentor) they can contact, when they need them.

I also want to inform you, that our next reports will be written by a new colleague, because starting in January I will take a break and return in 2020 after a parental leave. I want to thank all of you for your support, which helped us to keep up the work for our mentors and mentees. I wish you all the best.

We say thank you for your donation and your support and wish you a nice autumn and wintertime!

Cleaning the "good" waste
Cleaning the "good" waste
mentee presenting sculptures - here savings box
mentee presenting sculptures - here savings box
Workshop for new mentors
Workshop for new mentors
new mentor and mentee couple
new mentor and mentee couple
festival for the neighborhood
festival for the neighborhood

Dear donors,

like mentioned in our last report, on 25th of May the annual festival for the neighborhood took place again, which is organized in community centers all over Europe. We spent a nice afternoon with neighbors, supporters and friends with music, food and shows from groups practicing in our community center.

Since we had numerous interviews with interested volunteers, we were able to offer another workshop for them in the end of June. Unfortunately, not all of the interested volunteers were able to make it due to illness or work, but four of them participated in our workshop. In July summer break started for our school kids in Berlin, what means that a lot of new mentees as well as mentors are on holidays. But we still try to match some of the mentors and mentees that stay in Berlin for summer and will continue when school starts again in the end of August.

We already talked about farewells of mentees and mentors in our last report. In July unfortunately another mentor told us, he has to end his involvement in the program because he moves to Italy for at least one year to continue his studies abroad. This mentor/mentee match signed their contract in February 2016 and the mentee, a boy, is almost 14 years old. So, we arranged a little farewell here and talked about the reason why we have to end it, what they experienced together and what they think were the highlights. The mentee answered that everything they did was great. He and his mother were really thankful for the time the mentor spent with him. We looked at the documents of 2016 and remembered that they made a drawing instead of writing down what they want to do together (as you can see on the picture). Looking at the picture, they realized, that they actually did almost all the things they agreed on and, of course, even more. But there was one thing they didn’t do so far – a barbecue together. Since we always suggest also having a more personal farewell together as a last meeting, they decided to do a barbecue in a few weeks.
The mentee is not interested in a new mentor because he is now old enough and also shares every free time with friends. But we asked if his little sister is interested, since she already mentioned sometimes she would love to have a mentor as well. So we try to find a mentor for his little sister.

One highlight for all the kids that stay in Berlin during summer break will be the trip to an evening session of the European Athletics Championship. This year the European Athletics Championship takes place in Berlin between the 7th and 12th of August. We, as the project PaSch, asked the organization if it was possible to get some free tickets for our mentees and mentors, so especially the mentees would be able to get the opportunity to visit a special sport event like that - and also be able to visit the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Luckily, they agreed and offered us free tickets. So, we are happy that around 20 (!) mentees and mentors are able to visit the European Athletics Championship together on 7th of August - though it is summertime and a lot of the mentees are on vacation. We will definitely report the next time about our joint trip to the European Athletics Championship.

What will be next?

We are looking forward to offer another workshop for mentors and match some more new mentor/mentee couples.

We are excited to offer a recycling and waste workshop in our community center during the Berlin volunteer days in September and will definitely invite our matches to first help clean our district and then, during the workshop, learn about what waste and recycling is all about and even what you can do with waste – sculptures and other useful stuff.

We say thank you for your donation and your support and a great summertime for everyone!

performance of kids at the festival
performance of kids at the festival
drawing of mentee and mentor
drawing of mentee and mentor
warm up in the tent
warm up in the tent

Dear donors,

We want to let you know what happened in our project since our last report in February. We told you about a workshop we offered for new volunteers. So, when the volunteers absolved their training, we start to match and we were able to bring together some mentees with their new mentors. One moving story about a new mentorship is of a mentee that I know since 2013. He already had a mentor for 3 years, starting here when he just turned 8. His family is from Chechnya and his mom was really happy to find out about the project and was very thankful for the mentor sharing time with him, help him with homework and by talking German with him also enhance his German skills. His mom hardly speaks and understands German, so she is not able to support his son. After around 3 years of being in a close mentorship and also having a very good relationship to his mom as well as to his elder sister, the mentor told me she had to end the mentorship because she wasn’t able any more to support her mentee weekly due to her job and personal reasons. We arranged a farewell which was really hard and sad for everyone after 3 years of almost weekly meetings. The family was really thankful for all her support. We talked about their experiences, their highlights, what they achieved and learned from each other and made sure that they keep in touch and see each other once in a while to not lose track. When we told the mentee that he has the possibility to get to know a new mentor, he wanted someone just like his former mentor… So, we waited some months, talked to the mentee if he rather wanted the mentor to be a woman or a man having in mind that he gets older. Since he didn’t care, we found another mentor (woman) after a while. They also got along very well and he was happy to have a mentor again to talk to, go outside and do some sport with etc. But unfortunately we had to close that mentorship after around 9 months due to changes in the mentor’s job. Though it was another break up, our mentee asked himself for a new mentor. So, since he got older again, we all agreed to find a male mentor this time, which was not easy because for about 8 months now there were no male mentors interested in the project. We told him he has to be patient and that we will do our best to find someone appropriate. Our mentee called once in a while to ask, if we already found someone and that he really wishes to have someone again to go outside with, talk to and discuss with… In the end, we were able to contact an “old mentor” who was very interested again and fortunately back in Berlin after some periods abroad. So we were really happy to bring them together and even happier, that they really like each other. After the first meeting, the mentee told me with a big smile on his face, that his new mentor is a really “cool guy”. So they signed their contract and two weeks later, the mentee brought flowers to say thank you and we were pretty touched by that gesture of a 12 year old boy.

One of our highlights in spring was our field trip on 15th of April to the circus called Cabuwazi. For the third time we were able to offer this special event thanks to the donations! This time 8 mentees with their mentors or parents met to get there as a group. Since the circus had to move, we got to know the new location on the Tempelhofer Feld, which used to be a small airport in the city and nowadays is Public Park to do sport, relax, do barbecue etc. And Cabuwazi moved its tents to an area on the former airport close to an accommodation for refugees. They offer a great youth and community work and training for kids living in the accommodation as well as in the neighborhood. We enjoyed the 4 hours’ workshop with two coaches just for us and had an intense and fun time. The kids learned a lot and practiced on the trapeze, on the trampoline, doing artistic tricks with a ladder and they learned how to walk on globes. In the end, the mentees proudly presented a really nice performance to their mentors and parents. We were all thrilled by how talented the mentees were and how fast they improved their skills and developed their own show. It was a very nice afternoon and the kids were really happy, thankful and proud of themselves.

We were also able to offer a coming together for our mentors on 8th of May to share experiences between new mentors and already experienced ones. This time, we were able to sit outside, enjoy the warm weather while sharing stories and experiences. The mentors shared ideas what field trips might be interesting for kids and talked about what kind of input they are interested in. A mentor told us that her mentee is very stubborn and defiant once in a while, which is very difficult sometimes to handle. Another mentor experienced the same in the beginning. Especially in the first months of mentorship a lot of kids in our project test their limits towards their mentors and want to figure out, if the mentee will stay by their side and how far they can go. So, we plan to offer an information evening on that topic and hope to be able to invite a child and adolescent psychotherapist.

What are our next plans?

Well, after we had numerous consultations with interested mentors, we plan another workshop for them. We will also continue to match more mentors and mentees.

We also invited already for the annual festival for the neighborhood which is organized in community centers all over Europe. We are looking forward to spend a nice afternoon on 25th of May with friends, supporters and neighbors with music, food and shows from groups practicing in our community center.

And then, let’s see, what possibilities summertime offers…

We want to say thank you for your donation and your support, so we are able to continue our work and offer new activities for our mentors and mentees! Thank you!

practicing artistic trick with ladders
practicing artistic trick with ladders
mentee walking on a globe
mentee walking on a globe

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Organization Information

PaSch at NachbarschaftsEtage at Fabrik Osloer Strasse e.V.

Location: Berlin - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Viola Hoppe
Berlin, Berlin Germany
$20,056 raised of $27,500 goal
81 donations
$7,444 to go
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