Want to become a sponsor
As a support figure, you will:
- Build a relationship of trust with the young person,
- Be available for the child, listen to them, and watch over their well-being,
- Keep up individual, personal contact with the young person,
- Recognise that the UMR has a say in their own life, and possesses personal resources and skills,
- Encourage the personal growth and social integration of the young migrant,
- Give advice and guidance if the young person asks for it.
Any young migrant under 18, boy or girl, who is staying in Switzerland and looking for support.
By setting “an extra place at your table” or giving some of your time when the opportunity arises, you will be...
... offering your support and a listening ear to a young person who needs someone to talk to
... improving the well-being of the minor by giving them attention and spending time together
... facilitating the social integration of a young person who is stranded in Switzerland without their parents
... encouraging the young person in building their own future
... a point of reference, someone they can turn to and count on, and that they can call when they need to, like a friend would do.
... keeping an eye on how the young person is coming along during your mentorship.
ISS or a partner organisation will provide support and regular follow-up during the first few months.
Volunteers will benefit from:
- awareness-raising sessions to prepare them for their role as a mentor,
- regular support,
- meetings with other mentors to share their experiences.
Awareness sessions will also cover topics like:
- Asylum and the situation of UMRs in Switzerland
- Thoughts, discussions and questions on the role of a mentor
- Communication and inter-cultural experience
The mentor and the young person in question will decide on this together, depending on the activities that they would like to share, and what each of them likes and would want to do. For example, it could be fun or manual activities, help with homework, cultural outings, sport, sharing a hobby, talking about various topics, etc.
Mentorship is for anyone who wants to offer help, support and guidance to a young person. No particular expertise is required before registering, as all mentors will receive awareness training on topics such as asylum in Switzerland, the situation of unaccompanied minors in Switzerland, etc.
This does not in any way imply financial sponsoring of the young people. The mentorship we are talking about here, is simply being present and sharing time and activities with a young person.
If you have any questions, problems or doubts as a mentor, you can contact the ISS support team of or their identified partner in the canton who will be available if you need them. Sessions in the form of discussion groups will be held every three months where mentors can share their experiences. The support team will also organise inter-canton events from time to time where mentors and young people can get together and have a unique opportunity to meet, talk and share their experiences.
Being a mentor will enable you to build a unique relationship with a young unaccompanied minor and give you the opportunity to express your solidarity. These young people, who find themselves without family and cultural references, would like to get to know new people who can support them and listen to them, outside of their foster home. You can help to facilitate their social integration in Switzerland, encourage their personal growth and transmit your personal experiences. You will be able to share interests, leisure activities and special moments together. In short, a closeness that will help them grow and develop in better conditions, and in turn, you will enjoy the company of a young person which will be very enriching on a cultural and human level.
You want to be sponsors
Any person aged 25 or over who lives in Switzerland, has a clean criminal record, and wishes to spend time with you over the next 9 months or more.
Having a mentor can give you:
- support and a listening ear from someone who wants to help you over a long period of time
- the chance to build up a trusting relationship and do things together
- a way of learning more about the culture of the country where you are staying.
direct contact with a coordinator who can answer all your questions Feel free to contact them whenever you need!
get-togethers where you can talk about your mentorship and meet other young people and mentors who are experiencing the same things as you
You and your mentor will decide together what kind of activities you would like to do. For example sport, help with school homework, exploring the town where you live, sharing or preparing a meal together, talking about your hobbies and interests, etc.
Having a mentor will enable you to spend time with someone who lives in Switzerland and who would like to get to know you and share special moments with you. This person will be there to offer you support and guide you in your daily life in Switzerland. The times that you spend together will be enjoyable for you but also for your mentor, because you will be giving them a lot too, like telling them about your country, your culture, etc.!