Mentoring at Schools
Council of Somali Organisation (CSO) has been running a mentoring project for the last 3 years to support Somali pupils achieve their potential. This Project’s site is Lampton School, Hounslow Borough; and the BBC funds it. We work with parents, teachers and the school leadership to help Somali pupils cope challenges that might come from the school, home and the wider community.
Every term, the Mentoring Project supports more than 12 mentees, helping them understand the importance of education and pass their secondary education (GCSEs). We give them sessions on attendance and punctuality, classroom manners, transition and organisation, friendship and self-esteem. These sessions are meant to raise the children’s attendance, relationships, behaviour and inspiration.
We also run a Parent Coffee Mornings three times a year, helping parents understand and meet school expectations, and create a better home learning environment for their children. This has improved the cooperation between parents and the school, so as the attendance and the behaviour of the majority of the pupils we have been working with.
In addition to that, we run homework club/boaster clubs three times a week to help pupils who might have difficulties in doing their homework. A significant number of our pupils have gaps in their education due to the civil war - and perhaps our nomadic heritage - hence, we run activities to bridge this gap to help pupils to catch up with their peers.
Furthermore, we take out those who make improvements to outside educational trips to instil them the fact that hard work pays. We take them to the playing parks – e.g. Thorpe Park - theatres, museums and other cultural locations around London. This has helped some of our pupils, who might never have an opportunity to visit these cultural places, to visit and enjoy the artefacts or activities of these places.
Last, but not least, the Council of Somali Organisation’s Mentoring Project runs Role model Presentation Events to encourage and inspire the pupils that we work with; they meet graduates/professionals who once were in a similar circumstances but managed to succeeded. Some of the pupils that we work with have never seen or had such role models as they are from challenging neighbourhoods, where gangster or gang members are often the role models. We have been bringing teachers, lawyers, youth workers, politicians, etc., to share their experiences with our pupils, hoping pupils will learn that it is possible to succeed and hard work pays.