LifeXchange

West Coast Youh-at-Risk


Background

The West Coast Department of Social Development (DSD) reached out to LifeXchange for assistance in terms of mentoring after hearing about our efforts in the Cape Town area. This project in particular will see 100 youth-at-risk identified, assessed, referred and tracked for a year through various support streams in order to address their individual needs and effect sustainable change in their lives to promote healthy development of their character and competence.

Mission

To assist the DSD West Coast in rolling out a mentoring process as part of their integrated families work. This includes designing the process with them and other key role players in the project, training a project co-ordinator and assisting with various elements of the mentoring process, including recruitment, training and matching of mentors and mentees.

Who are the mentees?

Youth aged between 14-20 in the West Coast area, who have dropped out of school and identified as being in active risk.

Who are the mentors?

LifeXchange will be looking for at least 20 stable and committed adults who are willing to volunteer an hour of their time to get to know a mentee and provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and instruction in their lives.

What is the nature of the mentoring sessions?

Under their own initiative, mentors and mentees will meet face-to-face for 80 sessions. Each contact session is at least one hour and occurs once a week. The duration of the mentoring relationships should last between 18-24 months. In addition, LifeXchange provides ongoing support throughout the mentoring journey for both parties involved.

Benefits for Mentees

The project will build resilience in the students, increase their educational competence, social skills, life skills and general self-efficacy in order to complete the programme.

Benefits for Mentors

The project will provide social workers with the satisfaction of making a significant impact by going outside the call of duty. It will enhance their social work by enabling them to experience personal growth through becoming a role model to their mentee and strengthening their own resilience.