Nukanti Foundation

FOSTERING COMMUNITIES THROUGH YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Welcome to Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program!

Introduction

We believe that education is the key to youth empowerment. Unfortunately, students from deprived communities are often at risk of dropping out of school due to limited financial resources, little support in the family, and other external factors such as exposure to violence, drugs and alcohol in their environment. This is why we decided to create this unique program which offers both sponsorship and mentoring to children and youth from urban slums and rural areas in Colombia, with the aim to advance their education and provide psychosocial support.

Before proceeding to the profile section please read our FAQs below in order to get a better idea of the concept behind the program, your responsibilities as a sponsor/mentor, Nukanti's responsibilities as administrator of the program, and the responsibilities of the supported children and families. If you decide to take part in the program, you will be asked to sign a consent form stating that you have read and understood the conditions, an example of which is provided below.

For further information and expression of interest please email us at supportachild@nukantifoundation.org.

FAQs

Q: What is the objective of Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program?
The objective of the Child Mentoring Program is to support a child in need through a monthly financial contribution that covers the child’s educational costs (books, notebooks, uniform, school shoes, etc.), as well as provide support and encouragement to the child by being in touch, preferably on a regular basis, via emails, letters, skype, or other forms of communication, depending on the availability of the mentor and the Nukanti staff.

The children who are selected to benefit from the mentoring program all come from disadvantaged backgrounds and many have suffered from the consequences of forced displacement due to ongoing armed conflict, thus worsening their poverty level and vulnerability. Many of them have only one parent and/or live with many siblings. Due to all these circumstances, they do not always receive a lot of individual attention and encouragement. Knowing that they have a mentor somewhere in the world who cares and supports them is very meaningful to them and can generate a tremendous positive impact. As a mentor, you can play a vital role in a child’s life, by not only offering the gift of education through financial support but also by being an encouraging friend. Depending on the availability and desire of the mentor, he/she can help a child increase their self-confidence and establish future goals, be a positive role model or simply be someone who talks to them – about their dreams, worries and achievements.

Q: Will the child have any other mentors? 
No, the program is structured in a way so each child has only one mentor. This model is based on building a personal connection between the child and his/her mentor. 

Q: What is the minimum time commitment we expect from a mentor?
We hope that mentors could commit to a minimum of two years – and hope that in many cases, mentors will be able to support the children until they have graduated from high school. 

The reason for the above is twofold. Firstly, one of the key objectives of the program is to providesupport and encouragement to the child, which can be better achieved once a personal relationship is developed between the child and the mentor, which is a process that takes time. Secondly, many of the children participating in the program have had and continue to deal with constant changes in their lives (forced displacement, family members passing away or a parent abandoning the family). Nukanti therefore feels that it is important to provide the child with a minimum amount of continuity and hopes that the mentors can be part of the child’s life for various years. 

However, while Nukanti hopes that mentors will be able to mentor and financially support the child for a longer period, we understand that personal circumstances may change and mentors can therefore discontinue the program at any time. 

Q: What are the role and responsibilities of the mentor?

  • Support the child with a financial monthly contribution
  • Be a role model, mentor and a friend to the child
  • Maintain contact with the child, encourage and support him/her through any form of correspondence. The frequency of the communication will depend on the availability of the mentor but we hope that this could be at least 4 times a year.
  • Depending on the availability and desire of the mentor, we encourage the mentor to also support the child in setting goals for school, reward/discuss good performance at school, as well as support and praise their positive behaviors and interactions in the family, school and community.
  • Read carefully these FAQs to fully understand the design and envisioned impact of the mentoring program
  • Read carefully and agree to comply with Nukanti’s Code of Conduct for staff, mentors and others in contact with children.
Nohora, community leader and coordinator of Nukanti's Weaving Cazucá project, provides support to the children and families sponsored through the Child Mentoring Program

Nohora, community leader and coordinator of Nukanti's Weaving Cazucá project, provides support to the children and families sponsored through the Child Mentoring Program


Q: What are the role and responsibilities of Nukanti?
Nukanti will administer the donations through our local staff, who have in-depth knowledge of the communities and the situation of the children. Our staff will explain to the family and the child to be included in the mentoring program their responsibilities in the process. We will also purchase all school supplies and provide them to the child, as well as support the communication between the children and the mentors.

In addition, our staff will visit the supported child's family at least once a month in order to make sure that the donated materials are properly used and to oversee the progress of the child. In case that the child has problems at school, which may threaten his or her participation in the program, the Nukanti staff will organize a meeting with the teacher, child and family in order to identify what kind of additional support the child needs in order to overcome these problems. Furthermore, they will provide guidance and support to the child for the community activities that they are expected to take part in.

Q: What will the monthly donation of 30 USD be used for?
The monthly donations of 30 USD will be used to buy school supplies for the child such as school books, notebooks, pencils, uniforms, school shoes, etc.  Additionally, some 15% will be used to cover administrative costs, such as staff time, bank transfer fees, internet, telephone & transport directly related to the mentoring program.

While the majority of your donation will be used to cover education-related costs for the child, the family will not receive the donations in cash. In order to ensure that each child participating in the program receives the necessary supplies, and families are not tempted to use the money for other emergencies, a Nukanti representative will purchase all items listed in the budget and provide them to the child. The mentor will receive a picture of the child with all supplies (books, uniform, shoes, etc.).

Q: What are the responsibilities of the children/families participating in the program?
Nukanti aims for the selected children in the mentoring program to fully understand the opportunity they are granted to receive the financial support, encouragement and friendship of a personal mentor. Before children are admitted in the program, the local Nukanti staff will hold a meeting with the family and the child to discuss what their roles and responsibilities would entail:

  • Attend school regularly and commit to not having any unexcused absences
  • Turn in all homework in due time
  • Ideally, the child should not fail any classes or subjects. If a failing grade is obtained, the Nukanti staff will organize a meeting with the teacher, child and family to identify what kind of additional support the child needs in order to succeed during the following semester
  • Treat the received school supplies and clothing with respect and care. We want the children to understand that neither Nukanti nor the Mentor can afford to replace any supplies that are lost or damaged
  • Participate in two “giving back to the community” activities per year. This is an event where all participating children perform a positive act for their community. The program is based on children’s design and implementation and supported by the local Nukanti staff. This could include cleaning the football pitch, support elderly in the community, paint a community building, organize activities for younger children, organize a mother’s day event, or any way children wish to contribute to their neighborhood
  • Participate in all Nukanti activities in the community that are suitable for their age

As the mentoring program is only for children attending school, Nukanti will need to cease supporting a child in the unlikely event that the child drops out or has more than a certain number of unexcused absences.

An important condition for being part of Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program is to attend school regularly.

An important condition for being part of Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program is to attend school regularly.

Q: Can I visit the child I am supporting or send small gifts?
Yes, if you have the opportunity to travel to Colombia, we encourage a personal contact between the mentor and the child. If you would like to visit the child, you can contact Nukanti directly and we will help you organize your visit, give you a brief on the community and security situation, and introduce you personally to the child and the family. Please understand that you cannot visit the child unless you have informed Nukanti.

You may also send gifts to the child, and should you wish to do so, we encourage you to offer something that the whole family can make use of (e.g. a board or card game). The reason for this recommendation is that often only one or a maximum of two children per family receive the support of a mentor, while usually there are more siblings. Therefore, in order to strengthen the relationships between them, we suggest that any gifts sent by the mentor benefit all children in the family and encourage them to play together.  

Q: In which countries do you work?
The program is currently only being implemented in Colombia. 

Q: Are my contributions to Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program, including my sponsorship and gifts, tax-deductible?
Yes. All contributions from the mentors are tax-deductible in the United States and in the UK.

Q: What are the steps to become a mentor in Nukanti's Child Mentoring Program?
Everyone who is interested in mentoring a child can find brief profiles of all children currently included in the program on our website. The mentor can choose which child he/she wants to support and can contact Nukanti for any questions or help in doing so.

All inquiries must be sent to supportachild@nukantifoundation.org. Nukanti will get back to you within two weeks after the inquiry was received.

Once the mentor has been approved and matched with a child, Nukanti will provide him/her with more detailed information about the child. All future mentors will be asked to read and sign this consent form in order to be able to take part in the program.

Q: What donation options does Nukanti offer?
Mentors can make their donation every month by choosing our option for automatic monthly payment. However, in order to reduce administrative costs and facilitate the process of buying and providing the necessary supplies to the children, we recommend the option of transferring the accumulated monthly donations once or twice a year. If the donation is being made from Colombia, you can use our local bank account. Mentors who choose to make their donations once or twice a year, as well as those who donate locally in Colombia will get a small discount to reflect the reduced administrative costs.

It is important that before making a donation mentors send an email to supportachild@nukantifoundation.org to state the name of the child they want to support so that Nukanti can make sure that each child receives the personal support from his/her mentor.

Mentors are encouraged to act as role models for the children.

Mentors are encouraged to act as role models for the children.