‘In the context of an increasingly formalised, professional and target driven culture in education, child welfare and youth policy, mentoring is able to offer a complementary but different experience of a relationship to young people at the critical period of their transition to adulthood, young people who also often lack consistent support by their families. Or, as one young person put it, ‘having someone for me’. (Clayden and Stein, 2005).
The youth mentoring model recognises that children and young people derive support from informal social ties they perceive to be authentic, confidential and meaningful and aims to provide such relationships in the context of formal programmes.
The Global Youth Mentoring Network (GYMN) aims to facilitate the sharing of research and practice in relation to youth mentoring, with a particular emphasis on sharing knowledge among mentoring organisations and researchers outside of the USA, where research and practice remains fragmented. The network consists of dedicated partners who are actively involved in youth mentoring research or practice.
In line with the aims of the UNESCO Chairs Network on Children, Youth and Community, the Global Network on Youth Mentoring is guided by the following objectives.
1. To facilitate networking and relationship building between mentoring organisations and researchers at international level, with a particular focus on countries where mentoring is less well established.
2. To create mechanisms for the sharing of research findings, models and approaches in relation to youth mentoring.
3. To facilitate the emergence of collaborative actions in the areas of mentoring research, theory and practice.