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Catholic Charities Corporation Administrative Offices:

7911 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102

(216) 334-2900

Migration & Refugee Services Mentoring Program

Posted April 04, 2024

Mentoring allows someone to share their knowledge and skills with someone who is looking into a certain field or topic.

While most may think of a mentor as someone in the workplace, there are other ways mentoring can occur.

Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) has a mentoring program for individuals and families who are refugees starting a new life in America.

“The mentoring program is an opportunity for us [MRS] to match a community volunteer, who’s been trained, with a newly arrived refugee family to help them assimilate to life in the United States…” Volunteer Coordinator, Ann Danuloff said.

MRS asks for a three to six-month commitment of mentors to visit their mentee(s) at least once a week for an hour.

“The meetings can vary… but they typically take place in the refugee’s home, and they last about an hour, although they can be longer duration, and they can be more than once a week,” Ann said.

Not only does meeting at the refugee’s home allow privacy, but it also allows the family or individual to be honest with the mentor about things that they might be struggling with or have questions about.

During the three to six months of mentoring, the mentor and mentee(s) are able to share pieces of themselves and their families that can lead to a strong connection with each other.

“They’re sharing bits of their culture, their religion, and they become extensions of each other’s families,” Ann said, “So it’s really an exchange of ideas and love between the mentor and the refugee family.”

One mentor had two individuals from Sudan who had been through some very difficult circumstances.

During these meetings, he was able to see how they were doing and how he could help.

“The typical meeting with them was at their apartment… to try and understand and see how they were doing or in what manner I could try and give them some assistance.” Mentor, Rick McDonald said.

Mentoring refugees has been extremely rewarding for Rick and has given him satisfaction knowing he has been able to help individuals.

“It can be very rewarding in the sense that you’re helping these individuals who really come to this country with nothing and it’s a sense of satisfaction,” Rick said.

Interested in learning more about the MRS Mentoring program? Click the button below or call (216) 939-3737.

MRS Mentoring Program

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Part of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

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