Magazine article Forced Migration Review

The Role of Culture in Mentoring

Magazine article Forced Migration Review

The Role of Culture in Mentoring

Article excerpt

Refugee and immigrant children actively try to embrace the American culture, often to escape taunts and feelings of not belonging. However, once they reach home, they are frequently reprimanded by their parents for being too American. Many newcomer families fear that their children will become part of the new society too quickly and forget or dismiss their cultural heritage. Not surprisingly, refugee and immigrant youth feel that nobody can really understand what they are going through as they navigate between different cultures while trying to define their own lives, identities and destinies.

The Go-Betweener Mentoring Program, run by Culture Connect, Inc., matches refugee and immigrant youth with mentors who are first- or second-generation refugees or immigrants from the same (or similar) cultural background, and who speak the same home language. These mentors have themselves faced many of the same obstacles that the young refugee and immigrant youth are encountering. Even more importantly, the adults are living examples to the younger generation that there are ways to successfully bridge two seemingly differing cultures. …

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