Moscow hosted the three-day’s Mentor All-Russian Forum. One of the discussion platforms was dedicated to mentoring as a form of socio-pedagogical support. Anna Kuznetsova, Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation, presented her speech at the event. 

In her speech, she stressed the huge role of mentoring in children’s lives, especially in lives of orphans, children without parental care, and adolescents in socially vulnerable situations. According to her, it is extremely difficult for children from children's homes to find their path in adult life. Most often, those who manage to find mentors cope with this task, as mentors support their students at a vulnerable moment, act non-indifferently, and teach them right values. 


“The uniqueness of mentoring is that it is a goal and a method at the same time. On the one hand, it is a goal for mentors who see their vocation in carrying out a certain mission. On the other hand, it is a method for students that allows them finding themselves, overcoming challenges, and sometimes just helps them survive”, said Anna Kuznetsova. 


As stated by the speaker, nowadays there are documents containing information about qualities and skills necessary for mentors and describing what assistance mentors can provide. From her point of view, this field sometimes requires taking some steps from standards and algorithms. Our humanity, sincere feelings, and actions are more important in these moments. Every case in mentoring is unique and needs special approach. 


The speaker also shared about the basic directions of work of Child Rights Ombudsperson institution and projects to support them. The all-Russian Council of Fathers is a recently established organisation aimed at solving complex issues related to the well-being of the family and children. Today, fathers from all over the country go to children’s homes, communicate with boys and girls who have fallen into a difficult life situation, and provide them with all-round support and assistance


Another direction of work of Child Rights Ombudsperson institution concerns the organisation of an effective accompaniment of graduates of children's social institutions. According to the speaker, today various models of socialization of schoolchildren and graduates of organisations for orphans are being implemented in Russia’s regions, which include individual accompaniment by mentors. Special guidebooks for graduates of orphanages have been created to inform children where to go for help in a particular situation and provide them with useful instructions and recommendations. However, Anna Kuznetsova believes that only a person who serves as a mentor to those children can make this information really useful and teach them. 


The speaker informed the listeners about a new project called ‘YoungArmy Mentoring’ aimed at raising patriotism, responsibility, creativity, and self-dependence in orphans, children without parental care, and troubled adolescents. The project will contribute to their personal growth and self-fulfilment. 

At the end of her speech, Anna Kuznetsova encouraged all those present not to forget about talented children who need assistance. Mentors must see the talent of children on time. It is mentors task to help develop talent and realise children’s potential. In the speaker’s opinion, this is the main mentoring mission. 

Viktoria Yezhova, Artem Palenov, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov