Why the Halo Digital Mentoring Program?   Information for Mentors.

Halo gives hope and inspiration to young adults in Haiti with educational funding assistance and guidance from you in strengthening their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  All of our students are in the last couple years of secondary education, in a university program or are hoping to attend a university. Many of them are "over-aged".  This means they are 2-5 years older than they should be for their school grade level because they have not been economically able to attend school in their past. Some are in their 20's and still in high school.
 
The mentoring program is not asking you for financial support for these students, only to email them a couple times a month.  Because of their difficult financial situations you may be asked for some financial assistance or help in some kind of "emergency". We strongly encourage you to say, "No". Serious illnesses, deaths and day to day life struggles are the norm. If at some time in the future you feel motivated to help out in a specific way for a specific student or Halo program you can do so.  
 
Your communications with mentees are confidential and will not be monitored by Halo. You have been selected because of your strong Christian faith and principles.  We trust you will follow them. Haiti is plagued with a problem of honesty and integrity across all levels of society.  Rarely does someone offer "help" without expecting something in return.  Unconditional trust and love especially in those who have no family is unknown.  All of our students profess to be good Christians and we believe they are. Our hope is that you can strengthen their faith and demonstrate that God's word crosses all races, cultures, languages and people.
 
We will however ask you to periodically give an update of your activities, problems, or other non confidential observations you may have about the student. Reliability is critical and we ask that you commit to at least a year.  A recurring statement we hear from students after they have contact with one of the 100's mission trip volunteers that come to Haiti and befriend them is, "they come, are friendly and promise to keep in contact then we never hear from them again".  We receive 3-5 phone calls from these "kids" every day who just want someone to talk to.  Their only wish is to have a meaningful relationship with someone who will listen to them and encourage them.
 
One of Halo's goals is to teach English and Spanish.  Another purpose is to teach them how to use written communications clearly and effectively in our world today.  Yes, they all speak fair to good English, but few of them read frequently, and writing and spelling skills are lacking. Books are expensive and difficult to find.  Even in their native language of Kreyòl, their writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling skills are poor.  It is not unusual to get a two page letter that consists of one single sentence - no punctuation, no capitalization, no paragraphs, and replete with misspellings. Don't be reluctant to tell them you are there to help them to improve their writing skills.
 
You can call them on the telephone, but that is discouraged initially, and DON'T give out your sell number unless you are willing to receive lots of text messages and calls.  Emails are the best way communication form for many reasons.  Face Book is by far the most popular medium with all the students. But this also can be problematic because you may receive more messages and friend requests than you want.  Even so, you can learn a lot about your student by looking at their Face Book page.  Proceed cautiously.
 
When you establish a level of friendship and trust, you can "open the floodgates" and communicate in any and all ways you like.  It is our sincere desire that this is what will happen between you and your mentee. You can have an incredible impact on their life. When the time comes that you do want to make a telephone call, you can use a system known as Rebtel, which is a fraction of the cost of most US cell phone carriers.  They can be found on the internet.
 
There is much more that could be discussed but this is a starting point.  If you have any questions or problems, you can contact us at:  nowisourtime@halolearning.com.