Newsletter From Iceland
You can download a newsletter from our friends in Iceland as a word document here.
The Nightingale project in Iceland
In Iceland the project is titled “Mentorverkefnið vinátta” (e. Mentoring Project Friendship) and is managed in accordance with the ideology of the Nightingale. It originated in Malmö, Sweden and arrived here in 2001. For the first three years it was run as a developmental project but every year since then it has become a part of the curriculum of the University of Iceland, the University of Reykjavík and 5 to 8 junior colleges, including three junior colleges located in rural areas.
The project’s edification differs in line with the educational level of the mentors. Junior college students focus on the time spent with “their” child and in the end hand in a diary where they give an account of each occasion/meeting. Whilst the University students must hand in a diary for every meeting with “their” child, are required to read the Handbook of Youth Mentoring (edited by DuBois & Karcher) and turn in an assignment at the end of the semester. In addition the project manager and the mentors sign a contract wherein both parties agree to a certain code of conduct. When applying for mentorship, candidates must include at least two references. For students at the junior college level participation in the project equals a full course at the senior year but the University students earn 6 ECTS credits and an additional 20,000 Icelandic Krónur.
Mentors take an introductory program at the beginning of the semester, one for junior college students and one for the University students. Regular events are held throughout the semester. On the first day of the project mentors and the children along with their parents meet up and are introduced to each other. Furthermore the participants go to the theater, have a night of Bingo in January, take a guided tour through a museum and have one, final celebration at the end of the project.
The project has aimed at cooperating with local authorities when organizing the abovementioned events which has for example resulted in free admission to museums, swimming pools and skiing areas.
The number of mentors range from around 70-80 individuals and females form a vast majority. In most cases parents apply for their children´s participation but in some cases teachers or employees within the schools recommend a child´s participation. The majority of child participants are of foreign descent or come from single parent households, are somehow socially challenged or come from a large group of siblings. Parents sign a contract wherein they commit themselves to help form and maintain the relationship between child and mentor.
The project has been run by Velferðarsjóður barna á Íslandi (e. Icelandic Children Welfare found) since its beginning here in Iceland.
Halldóra og Björk
Bingo-evening in January 2014:
Meeting for the first time (October 2013)