Author: Martina Vaculíková
As we’re often ask to give outsiders a peek into C4C’s mentoring initiative – here’s one to share:
Dan is a boy from the children’s home in Kralupy nad Vltavou. Sebastián Dibusz is a young man, an entrepreneur and coach. He also runs a website for self-development. He’s been a mentor and confidante to Dan for four years now. As Dan wrote to us in a letter: “It’s already been like a whole chapter of my life.”
They don’t meet that often, but regularly. A personal meeting is once a month for half a day, with a few e-mails and phone calls in between. And after four years and counting, they know a lot about each other. They have a lot to tell each other – most importantly, they have become friends. Together they managed Dan’s challenges of growing up, finding orientation in life, accomplish high school graduation and becoming independent outside the children’s home. It was not a relationship between an adult and a child, but between two guys. Sebastián is a very empathetic and professional mentor. He doesn’t push – he motivates. He guides his mentee to find solutions on their own.
In his letter, Dan described his mentor Sebastián as follows: “Every time I asked him or wrote for his opinion on anything, he was able to give me reasonable and humorous advice. So that I could get the picture from my own point of view and that’s how our exchanges went. I figured out a lot by myself, and because of that he helped me discover the joy and pride that I discovered things on my own. He knows how to motivate.”
They meet wherever and whenever they want to: in a teahouse, McDonalds, KFC or for a walk in the city center. Sebastian helps Dan to orientate himself in the jungle of daily problems he’s confronted with and needs to solve. Topics range from financial literacy, temporary jobs, admissions, conflict resolutions to finding independence after leaving the children’s home. A mentor is someone who safely oversees all of this for them and gently nudges them toward solutions.
And in the limited time they have together, they’ve learned to make every minute count. Dan wrote in one of his letters: “I just went through the history of our old messages, and I can’t believe how much I’ve evolved in those four years. Even in just four hours during the afternoon, a lot can be experienced and done.”
What better proof that the C4C mentoring program is important, as Dan’s claim that he himself has developed an appetite for passing on lessons learned: “It’s a challenge, but doable. I spent six years in the Kralupy children’s home and I would like nothing more than to be someone’s mentor one day – like an older friend for somebody. That’s how I see it now.”