|Mentoring Meet and Match – An advocacy event|
European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring organized in collaboration with our advocacy committee, national and regional partners a Mentoring Meet & Match, an online event on 13th April 2021. It is the third time that such an event takes place, connecting mentoring organizations, NGOs, universities, businesses, policy- and decision makers from all over Europe.
As Hamza Nawaz, our student intern said in his speech during the event; “If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together. I see mentoring as a collective approach, to aim for better community. It also takes into account for that individual who could do a lot for a community, but for some reason faces barriers that build resistance, and mentoring can play a crucial role in shaping that individual thought process.” The Mentoring Meet & Match was about bringing together the European mentoring community, to create a space for sharing, networking and taking steps towards future collaborations.
The 2021 edition of the Mentoring Meet & Match was different from the previous ones in 2019 and 2017. This year the event went online which made it more accessible to attendees from around the globe. But we did miss the beautiful city of Brussels where it was originally planned to be held. This event was aimed at connecting the mentoring community to European and National policy and decision makers. This year, it was joined by representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as mentoring leaders and national delegates. A total of 12 speakers were present, sharing their knowledge, vision and best practices in panel discussions, thematic sessions and presentations.
We had mentoring leaders and national delegates coming from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Ms. Ute Volz from Eleven presented a summary of findings of the effectiveness and impacts of mentoring in Germany. Ms. Tessy Ojo from the Diana Award provided enlightened us on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mentoring in the UK. Ms. Lejla Sehic Relic from the European Voluntary Center discussed the changing role of volunteering in Europe. Mr. Thibaut Guilluy, high commissioner for employment and Business Engagement at the Ministry of Labour in France explained the need for mentoring in France to address several social issues. He was joined by Ms. Eunice Mangado from AFEV France shared the steps leading to the establishment of the Collectif Mentoring and its national mentoring campaign. Ms. Mar Camacho from the Educational Department of Catalonia presented and action taken to incorporate social mentoring into the system which would ultimately lead to educational success. Dr. Giovanni Aresi from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy, described the effects of mentoring on different levels; the individual level, the interpersonal level and the organizational level. Also present was Ms. Julie Bodson from Duo for a Job gave tips on how to effectively advocate.
Besides them, we also had speakers from the European Parliament and the European Commission. Ms.Katarina Ivankovic Knežević from the European Commission presented the European Pillar of Social Rights and the key commission initiatives. Furthermore, the latest findings from mapping the field of mentoring in Europe were also presented. Ms. Ilana Cicurel from the European Parliament joined in a panel discussion with Mr. Victor Negrescu about the transformation and changing perspective of education in Europe and the importance of mentoring. Also from the European Commission was Mr. Vincent Catot presenting the new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion of 2021-2027 of the European Commission and its link to mentoring.
And what else? Breakout rooms during the meetings as well as networking sessions allowed event attendees in meeting mentoring professionals, practitioners, policy and decision makers and friends of mentoring in an online space promoting open conversation.