What is the Mutual Mentoring Programme?
We need to realize that the best way to support people who are retiring or retired is to enable them to share skills, make new connections, and stay active, both physically and mentally. This is the purpose of the Mutual Mentoring program.

What is the Mutual Mentoring Programme?

MMP will be implemented in the partner countries. The mutual mentorship will be implemented by matching youngsters with the elderly. The matched pairs will develop long term relationships and learn from each other. The CSII platform, as well as other means of online communication, will be used between the matched pairs. Each participating generation will be able to teach some skills that maybe are not so common amongst another one. The program can be explained as a tool for facilitating new relationships and diversifying the skill set.

To participate in MMP you should be:

Friendly – try to get to know each other as a friend
Patient – it can take time to develop a relationship
Open – be open to new ideas, guidance and feedback as it is essential for a valuable connection
Empathetic – try to understand and accept different perspectives to help you develop a friendship
Encouraging – to give positive reinforcement when your partner is doing something right or to help out when things don’t go according to plan.
Supportive – create a nice learning environment so that partner wouldn’t be afraid to ask questions
Honest – providing feedback in order for partner to feel understood and to feel improvement through the whole process
Cooperative – be willing to help and assist each other when a problem arises
Accessible – be available to meet your partner at least once a week for a few months to feel a progress.

Benefits of Mutual Mentoring

As mentioned before, Mutual Mentorship gives a variety of benefits to its participants.  They will be given the opportunity to learn not only new technical skills (using gadgets, doing crafts), but also to improve their interpersonal ones, such as empathy and solidarity. This process creates meaningful relationships and concludes with satisfaction for both young and elderly – both youth’s social responsibility and senior’s sense of belonging are envisaged to increase.
The youth grew up with technology and can easily use all the new gadgets and programs. They can share their knowledge about it with senior citizens for whom new technologies are not that common and could be really helpful in this fast-changing world. Youngsters have experience in using apps, social media, different online communication and working platforms. They could explain to older generations how to use computers, phones, social media accounts such as Facebook or Instagram, how to install and use apps that could be useful for food delivery or ordering a taxi, and how to use platforms for creativity, such as music or visual creation. This would improve the skills of seniors and give a better understanding of what is driving today’s world.
Seniors are not the only ones benefiting from this mutual relationship. They can also share their knowledge, experience and skills with youth, even if it is not that popular today, it is still interesting and valuable. These skills can range from history lessons to handmade crafts. Sometimes what we don’t even think about can be very interesting. Crafts can include sewing or netting clothes, cooking some delicious traditional (or not) dishes, growing and taking care of plants and doing some woodwork. These are not the only things that seniors can share, the possibilities are endless.
It seems clear that mutual mentoring brings mutual benefits. Presented with the opportunity, mutual mentoring relationship between youth and seniors has the potential to increase the ability to communicate, build and foster relationships, and create a culture of learning. Through mutual mentoring, participants can learn to understand and respect differences between them, and open up to new ideas and ways of living. It encourages knowledge transfer and development of skills that could be useful in day to day activities or even career opportunities. Furthermore, the wellbeing of both parties is improved. Youth can experience what social responsibility is, feel the satisfaction of helping others, and gain skills that can be useful in the future. With regards to seniors, their sense of belonging is boosted, they feel more socially involved in the community and are updated with new inventions of this fast-changing world.
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