EMIL continues to grow

Trägerverein Unikate is looking for volunteers again - EMIL is now also available in Bramsche


Osnabrück, August 18, 2017


Whether EMIL has also helped her get ahead? Anna Boller doesn't have to think before she answers: "I learned a lot about organization. I now understand better what a child wants. I've become more spontaneous and more independent," lists the young woman who mentors a little girl at EMIL. The partnership actually ends after one year, but the two continue to participate in EMIL after the twelve months. Such friendships often develop during the "Volunteer Mentoring Project for Individual Learning" run by the Unikate association. EMIL supports the development of children between the ages of three and six. A mentor accompanies a child for a year under the motto "You and me, time for me. Now the organizers of EMIL are looking for new volunteers for this task in Osnabrück - and in Bramsche, where the project is now also offered, which started in fall 2012. "Anyone interested can join from the age of 18, and there are no upper limits," says Stephanie Koopmann from the Unikate board. She launched EMIL five years ago. While the mentors support the children in becoming more self-confident and independent, EMIL offers the adult companions support and regular space for exchange. "EMIL is a very special mentoring project for kindergarten children. This is because the one-to-one accompaniment provides them with particularly individual support," says Michael Prior, the managing director of the Friedel & Bohnenkamp Foundation, which has financially supported EMIL from the very beginning. The Herz-Jesu-Kita has also been involved from the very beginning. Sabine Buch, director of the Herz-Jesu-Kita, knows after around 20 children accompanied by EMIL: "They gain self-confidence and discover their self-efficacy." This is very noticeable in the daycare center's daily routine, she says, when previously shy children suddenly say what they want or position themselves more clearly in the children's groups. "They discover abilities about themselves that they are proud of and tell the other children about," adds Buch, who also receives positive feedback from parents. The EMIL tandems go in search of such skills and interests together. "The children are nominated by the daycare center teachers to participate in 'EMIL,'" says Stephanie Koopmann. They then meet once a week, initially at the daycare center, to build trust and get to know each other. Parents are also involved. Later, the range of activities expands and the tandems go on a journey of discovery - for example, to the museum, the forest, the swimming pool or the fire department. All of these activities are geared to the child's interests. The journeys of discovery are determined by his or her questions. In this way, the child can open up, quench its thirst for knowledge, and learn how to find out things for itself. The mentors work on a voluntary basis, they receive pocket money to finance the activities with the children. Unikate accompanies the volunteers closely: the mentors are prepared for their task in workshops. In addition, they can discuss the issues that arise in the interaction of the tandems at regular meetings. The mentors take part in seminars on everyday language and movement promotion. They also keep a diary in which they record all activities and experiences with the child. Parents are also involved so that they are always up to date on their child's development. Anna Boller enjoys her time at EMIL, which has also brought her a big step forward in her education: The young woman is a future educator and is in her second year of training at the Franz von Assisi School. But people without such a professional background can also get involved with EMIL as mentors. For more information, contact Stephanie Koopmann by e-mail: info@unikate-os.de