Saturday, June 02, 2018

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)

I picked up a book called Mentoring: The key to a fairer world from the Alice Springs library. It describes the story of AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) founded by Jack Manning Bancroft in 2005.

Conceptually, it is a simple model which makes sense. Team up university students and others who want to make a difference as mentors with aboriginal students in schools, many of whom are feeling that school is not much use to them.

It worked! AIME has grown to mentor 15,000 students in Australia and further expanded into mentoring in Uganda, South Africa and Canada.

The book consists of personal stories from those who made AIME work, 17 different authors. The message is that mentoring done right can turn around someone to believe in their own worth and ability to succeed. Everyone needs support, someone who believes in them. That is what AIME delivers.

I don't think I fully understand it yet. Why this program has worked where so many others have failed. There are reasons given in the book for success and perhaps I should summarise those. Still reading and thinking ...

Watch this video and you'll get some idea of the concept and why it has worked, from quietly spoken, inspirational citizens ... : Classroom interview (27 minutes)

From the video at 7 minutes, Glen Isemonger:
"The beauty of AIME is in its simplicity. It's about relationships and building one on one ... showing that you are valued and if you know that you are valued, that you are appreciated, that you are not judged, then the mantle of negativity that often shrouds kids just falls away. And we just watch these kids bloom. It's a place for them to be themselves and explore their identity and people really encourage them on that journey ... it's a learning curve for all of our mentors and all of our mentees"

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