The Connect Mentor program develops and maintains long-term relationships through matching Mentor volunteers with asylum seekers for regular one-on-one social contact and mentoring in order to combat loneliness, social isolation, depression and improve and encourage independent relationships and connectedness in asylum seekers.
Through sharing activities such as a walk in the park, attending free public events, playing soccer, going for a coffee etc mentors provide companionship, assist asylum seekers in the development of a better cultural understanding and consequently with their effective adjustment into the community.
Furthermore, mentors help to improve English and social skills. They help to make a positive change in someone’s life by assisting them to achieve their potential, discover their strengths, and set and achieve their individual goals. A mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, and introduces new ideas and perspectives.
The Orientation project aims to support asylum seekers with a level of knowledge and cultural understanding that will assist their orientation and settlement in Australia, thus positively impacting on their adjustment, well-being and integration into the Australian community.
The Orientation Project:
- provides information (including group information sessions) around a range of areas from understanding Australian laws to information about ethnic community groups
- Links asylum seekers with relevant groups, services and organizations in the community, for example, places of worship and community health centres
- Conducts tours of Melbourne City and local area. This includes city landmarks, public transport, hospitals, unis, library, tax office, medicare, banks and other asylum organisations, as well as regional libraries, gyms, health centres, neighbourhood houses etc.
- Learns about the skills, talents, interests and hobbies of asylum seekers in order to facilitate opportunities to connect to the community.