Many countries have no established culture of volunteerism.
Or they may have been influenced by a negative NGO culture that creates dependency and undermines the motivation to help others without incentives.
In that context it can be hard to imagine how to mobilize young people to mentor at risk kids, without using money.
Fear not! There are lots of ways to challenge, mobilize and inspire people without using financial incentives, which can undermine the movement by introducing mixed motives.
Here are 10 proven ways to inspire and mobilize that have worked well for us:
Stories are a powerful way of connecting with people at different levels. These may include testimonies of orphans or children at risk who have been blessed by their mentors, or the stories of mentors who have been blessed by participating in the movement.
2. Role modeling.
You can not lead where you have not been and you cannot teach what you have not seen. Do it yourself and then encourage others to do likewise.
3. Positive peer influence.
Harness the power of friendships by encouraging the mentors to work in groups and gather their friends into the movement.
What the eye doesn't see the heart cannot grieve over. Show young people the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in their nation through the use of video and multimedia.
An anointed sermon on God's heart for the poor, as well as suggestions about practical ways to serve, can move young people to action.
Encourage your young people to write songs about God's heart for the poor and orphans and distribute these on CD or online. Music moves the heart in a way statistics and information cannot.
7. Newsletter or Facebook.
Send out an inspirational newsletter several times a year containing testimonies, activities to complete with mentees, news and other interesting articles. This can also be accomplished through Facebook if people have internet access.
T-shirts, certificates and other small items will give a sense of identity and achievement.
Follow up groups of volunteers on a regular basis providing encouragement and advice face to face.
10. Events.Training workshops and camps for Alongsiders and the children they mentor bring them together and inspire for the season ahead.