Breaking Walls, Building Bridges: MClub and Singapore Children’s Society foster connections through Mentoring-Befriending Programme.
In an exciting new pilot, we embarked on a journey with Singapore Children’s Society to organise a fun-filled Mentor-Befriender Programme as part of our student-directed Values in Action programme. One Saturday a month over six months, we brought together youths from a wide range of backgrounds through a Befrienders Programme, who offered a range of activities over which they could connect. Guiding them along their befriending journeys was a mentoring network of caring Abangs and Kakaks, young adult members of MClub.
Our goal was to provide a platform for youths from different socio-economic backgrounds and education profiles to interact and learn more about each other’s lives in a safe and judgment-free space. It also provided our young adult members with a platform to hone and develop their mentoring skills and experience.
Each month, our participants got acquainted with each other through various immersive activities. They went on trekking trips through different parts of Singapore to push their personal physical and mental limits, building bonds as they supported and cheered each other on through the challenges they faced.
Activities such as Art Therapy and a Silkscreen Printing Design Workshop also tapped on the participants’ emotional and artistic sides. They picked up not just new skills, but also learned healthy and creative outlets to express their emotions and experiences. At the same time, our Befrienders were taught essential life skills such as goal-setting and journeying through the course of the programme. They were encouraged to dream big when charting their aspirations, and through guidance of their mentors, Befrienders identified the next steps they could take to realise their aspirations.
We hope that through this initiative, youths learn to focus and relate to each other through their underlying similarities and to grow by understanding each other’s strengths, despite coming from different backgrounds. These shared experiences aim to break the stereotypes that youths from different demographics may unconsciously bear. By providing a natural setting for interaction, the programme builds bridges based on friendships, interests and similar visions of the future that they aspire to create.