Moving on! Mentoring under Construction | 2021

Mentoring under Construction | Image: Andreea Buzec
Mentoring under Construction | Image: Andreea Buzec

Mentoring under Construction is a community for mentoring practitioners within the European Solidarity Corps programme. Mentoring under Construction aims at identifying, adapting and implementing good practices on mentoring within the European Solidarity Corps programme. It is also a process to build and develop this community. After launching in 2020, the community moved on with it’s activities online.

Previous activities of Mentoring under Construction can be found here: Spotlight ON! Mentoring under Construction

M entoring under Construction (MuC) is all about building a strong, sustainable community around mentoring within the European Solidarity Corps programme.

This community is open for everyone who is interested in raising the quality in mentoring within European Solidarity Corps programme (and beyond): mentors, including those, who just embark into this journey and those, who mentor other mentors, project managers/organisers developing and implementing volunteering projects, coordinators of volunteers, facilitators of learning, authors and trainers creating tools and resources about mentoring, and last, but not least, members of National Agencies and SALTO Resource Centres.

Mentoring under Construction aims at:

  • building a common understanding of key concepts around the role of a mentor (role, responsibilities, competences) as well as how to develop and implement mentoring programmes within volunteering organisations,
  • developing personal and professional competence to keep up with the emerging challenges in the field of mentoring,
  • sharing knowledge, resources and good practices,
  • building a vibrant network of people engaged in mentoring, ready to support one another, learn and develop.

Mentoring under Construction – a vibrant, resourceful community of mentoring practitioners (mentors, project coordinators and managers, trainers, authors, researchers) that support each other in identifying, adapting and implementing good practices in their daily work.

Mentoring under Construction | How it all began…

The idea for Mentoring under Construction goes back to 2019 when Romina Matei (European Solidarity Corps Resource Centre) and Andrei Popescu (Romanian National Agency for European Solidarity Corps) first envisioned a European community around mentoring in the European Solidarity Corps Programme. Soon, Andreea Buzec joined to help develop a concept for community development.

The project was meant to start off with a networking event in 2020. Like many other events in the field of European Youth Work Mentoring under Construction was first planned as a residential event, then postponed, and later cancelled due to the uncertain situation of Covid-19.

Finally, in November-December 2020, Mentoring under Construction came to live with a series of online events. Andreea Buzec and Michael Kimmig transformed the residential into a four online events. This brought the MuC Cmmunity on its way (Check out the activities here: Spotlight ON! Mentoring under Construction). 

In 2021, the team was enlarged: Andrei Dobre joined as a community organiser and several representatives of National Agencies (Mateja Crnekovic, Croatian NA, Edouard Porttefaix, French NA and Oli Atlason, Icelandic NA) got on board.

We continued staying online with a one-day intense workshop, MeetUPs before we tried another  attempt to go residential. Let’s see below, how this worked out… 😉

Mentoring under Construction | Online events in 2021

MuC Roadmap | Image: Adreea Buzec

Objectives 2021 and achievements

Our objectives for 2021

  • Sharing experience on challenges and good practice examples of mentoring in European Solidarity Corps,
  • Exploring and understanding the needs of mentors and organisations and mapping resources for mentoring,
  • Boost learning and development in terms of mentorship,
  • Create an enabling environment to fill in the gaps between theory, practice and adaptive resources for local challenges on the short and medium term.

Thanks to our growing community we were able to accomplish various things:

  • In April we had a one day intensive workshop on mental health and resilience,
  • During our 4 MeetUPs between May and July we touched on different topics: Setting up a structure for mentoring in volunteering organisations, Capacity building of mentors, Recruitment and motivation of mentors and Healthy relationships between mentors and volunteers. Those events were co-created with members of our Community (Thanks to Corina, Rosa, Nunzio and Carlos!!!),
  • In October (facing another Covid-strike), we turned our residential event into a hybrid workshop. Irena … and Agnieszka … introduced and work with us on mentoring experience with coaching tools,
  • In our November and December MeetUPs we worked on facilitating learning and learned about listening, asking questions and supporting the reflection of learning.
  • And finally, we recorded 3 podcasts.

One-day Intensive Online Workshop, 17.05.2021

The 1-day workshop was dedicated to:

  • Connecting with professionals in the field of mentoring
  • Tackling mental health and resilience as challenges in the field of mentoring
  • Sharing good practices and relevant resources
  • Identifying further steps for working and supporting each other

The Intense Day Workshop was a good way to kick off the second part of the Mentoring under Construction process. It allowed tackling an important topic as well as attracting new participants to the community.

The discussion showed that mental health is one of the main, if not the main burning topic – not only for mentoring within the European Solidarity Corps programme. The pandemic time increased mental health problems. The exchange and discussion showed also a huge need for more knowledge and qualification in this field.

Mentoring under Construction. MeetUPs, May-July 2021

MuC MeetUPs 2021 | Images: Andreea Buzec

The four MeetUPs were a space to share, explore and discuss questions and good practise related to mentoring. The online events were prepared together with a guest. Our topics focussed on:

  • How to set up a structure for mentoring in volunteering organisations (With Carlos Reis)
  • Capacity building of mentors (with Nunzio Soricaro)
  • How to recruit and motivate mentors (with Corina Pintea)
  • How to build healthy relationships between mentors and volunteers (with Rosa Iglesias Sotillos)

The MeetUPs proved themselves as a great way to keep a small, but steady group of community members engaged. The topics chosen were directed to both mentors and co-ordinators/project managers in organisations. The MeetUPs gave community members also the possibility to co-facilitate a session together with the MuC-Team.

The topics also showed the Mentoring covers a wide range of content, from more mentor-related content (e.g. self-care) over organisational development (e.g. establishing a mentoring structure, recruitment and retainment of mentors) to qualification of mentors (e.g. mentoring trainings).

Mentoring under Construction | Let’s face it! Online, 27th October 2021

MuC Let’s face it! Online | Image: Andreea Buzec

Yes, Covid-19 striked again. Two days before the event the Romanian government decided that no residential conferences, seminars, meetings can be organised and held. At that time, all team members and 3 participants were already in Bucharest, one participant in Paris and one in Budapest. All other participants could be informed so that they were able to cancel their travel.

In this situation the team decided on holding a one-day community meeting together with the participants present in Bukarest, using the time for a team meeting (which happened to be our first residential team meeting after 1 1/2 years of cooperating online!) and offering a 4-hour online event for MuC community members.The online event aimed at:

  • reconnect with community members,
  • provide an opportunity to work on the topics “challenges” and “learning” and
  • talk about the next steps in our community building process.

Let’s MeetUP, November/December 2021

The last two MeetUPs of 2021 we dedicated to mentoring competences. The start would make “facilitating learning” which would give community members the opportunity to explore several skills:

  • Facilitating learning (I): listening and asking questions
  • Facilitating learning (II): supporting the reflection of learning

The content and discussions have been document here.

Mentoring under Construction | 2021 in numbers

  • 177 participants on our Email-List,
  • 229 people are part of our Facebook group.
  • 54 participants enrolled for the Intensive Day, and more than 30 people showed up,
  • 29 participants registered for the four MeetUPs between May and July, between 15 and 25 participants took part in each MeetUP,
  • 56 participants applied, 30 were selected and 16 (+4 online) confirmed for Let’s face it! and then, 29 participants registered for Let’s face it Online
  • 17 and 14 participants registered for the last two MeetUPs in November and December

Mentoring under Construction | Podcasts

In Summer, the first vodcast was created on Autogenic Training and launched on Facebook.
Now, at the end of 2021, 3 podcasts are ready to be launched. Although they were initially designed in video format, the podcasts will be launched in audio format starting in January 2022.
Our new home for podcasts is on anchor / spotify.


Thanks for joining and being with us on this journey!

Let’s have a quick view on 2022…

Mentoring under Construction | Let’s face it! 2022

Also in 2022 we are committed to develop Mentoring under Construction! We will continue with MeetUPs and podcasts on mentoring related topics, both from the perspective of mentors and project organisers.

And YES, we are doing it again! “Let’s face it! Residential Event” will happen in March. Confirmed participants will be on board and the call for participants will be re-opened in January!

Save the date: 27.-31.03.2021 Let’s face it! Residential Event, Bukarest

Apply now! Call for participants is re-opened till 13.02.2022

Registration link | SALTO-YOUTH.NET

Mentoring under Construction | Join us!


Mentoring under Construction | SALTO

Mentoring under Construction | suntsolidar

Community Space

MuC Community Group | Facebook


MuC Podcasts | anchor

MuC Event Documentation | Padlet

MuC activities 2020: Spotlight ON! Mentoring under Construction | BlogPost

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