In 2004, World Vision Rwanda (WVR), in collaboration with Tulane University and the Rwanda School of Public Health, implemented a program to provide support through regular visits by an adult mentor to youth living without adult care. After completion of baseline quantitative and qualitative research, WVR implemented the program in two areas of a province in southwestern Rwanda. Over an 18-month period, 156 trained adult mentors visited and supported 441 youth-headed households. The mentor training covered key aspects of child development and skills for addressing key psychosocial issues that were identified through the baseline research. Specifically, the training addressed how to engage the youth household heads in discussion and problem-solving, and how to serve as caring and interested adults. Mentors were also trained in how to interact with youth in other ways, such as playing with younger children, providing fun and recreational activities for older youth, and giving praise and encouragement. As noted in this brief, barriers to community support and negative attitudes about orphans uncovered by the baseline research were also addressed in the training.
Brown, Lisanne, Tonya R. Thurman, Edward Kalisa, Janet C. Rice, Jean de Dieu Bizimana, Neil W. Boris, Leslie M. Snider, and Joseph Ntaganira. 2007. "Supporting volunteer mentors: Insights from a mentorship program for youth-headed households in Rwanda," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council.