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Become a mentor – change two lives2 min read

Jul 6, 2022 2 min

Become a mentor – change two lives2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A mentoring organisation is in dire need of more people to be mentors for children with a parent in jail or under a community sentence. Thousands of New Zealand children suffer grief, trauma, stigma and financial stress because of their parent’s situation and Pillars/Ka Pou Whakapou  is a charity that provides vital support to those children via their mentoring programme.


Whatever your path in life, you may have time to be a mentor. Currently their mentors include university students, doctors, lawyers, teachers, service men and women, business owners, semi-retired people or people from other organisations and agencies.


Mentors are carefully matched with families and support children aged five to 17, with a fortnightly commitment for at least a year, supporting them in a tailored and strengths-based mentoring programme. Visits focus on having fun, creating positive memories and teaching children life skills through experiences in a safe and supportive environment. such as using public transport. Activities are shaped around things the mentor and young person like to do already, and include everything from rugby or mountain biking to learning to sew and build a vegetable patch.

“Mentors become an ‘askable adult’ and adventure seeker for these young people,” says Corrina Thompson, senior mentoring coordinator/whānau kai-āwhina at Pillars.

“It’s about walking alongside a young person and what you get back when you see them succeed and their sense of self-worth and self-confidence grow and transform, is really powerful, and life-changing.vMentors help them navigate a pathway to get where they want to go and in a perfect world, we want to establish relationships that go far beyond the one year minimum,” she says.

Potential mentors go through a rigorous process with an information evening, reference checks, police vetting and a comprehensive at-home interview. If they are successful, they get training from Pillars, who are there to support the mentors along the way too.

Monthly information evenings are held at the Pillars office in Manukau.

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