YM Residential Brother & Sisters Mentor Ticket April 2020

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Kibblestone Scout Campsite

Kibblestone Road

Oulton

ST15 8UJ

United Kingdom

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Application for Brothers & Sisters to mentor at the Young Muslims Residential April 2020

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**Please note that the residential has been cancelled due to the risks presented by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Please feel free to continue registering your interest if you'd like to apply to mentor at the re-scheduled residential insha Allah**

Assalamu Alaikum, Dear Brothers and Sisters.

We thank you for your interest in applying to become a mentor at the residential which is scheduled to take place from the 10th of April 2020, insha Allah. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the ISB and YM family. It is a tremendous opportunity for which you are applying. The experience is challenging but hugely uplifting. It is an opportunity for self development spiritual, mental and physical) but also aiding the development of others. For over 30 years, ISB has been instrumental and pioneering in developing the importance of volunteering. Many of our past members now hold positions of considerable responsibility and authority and most if not all consider the work done through YM as fundamental in their overall development.

You will appreciate that we do have to select our mentors carefully. We need to take a number of factors into consideration, which may include, experience and our specific needs for any event. For all applicants, we will contact you to let you know if you have been selected for the residential on this occasion or not, insha Allah.

We would like to make you aware that we will be holding a training session around 2 weeks before the residential which all mentors must attend, as it will include safeguarding training as well as a briefing about the residential's activities, insha Allah. It is vitally important to understand that the residential will have a very packed programme, and your involvement will be heavy throughout, insha Allah.

Before applying, please have a read through our code of conduct for mentors, which we hope will give you an idea as to what will be expected of you, insha Allah.

In The Name of Allah (swt), The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Code of Conduct for Mentors involved in activities with the Young Muslims UK

Dear Servant of Allah swt, before reading the code of conduct, please reflect upon the following verses from the Quran and the Hadiths which follow:

Say, "O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honour whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. [1]

Shaddad ibn Aws reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah has prescribed excellence in everything. If you have to kill, kill in the best manner. If you have to slaughter, slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife, so his animal is spared of suffering.”

[2]

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” [3]

It is vitally important to know that if we are given any authority, it is from Allah swt, and we must carry out the duty with Ihsan (perfection), regardless of how mediocre the task may seem to be. The youngsters entrusted to us, must be guided, cared for and loved as we would do if they were our own. It is a great responsibility. A single word of action can bring them closer to Allah swt, or push them away – this is the gravity of this trust. With this as our foundation for mentoring, please abide by the following code of conduct, insha Allah.

1) DBS - Safeguarding is paramount to our programme. All lead mentors must be over the age of 18 and have a valid DBS check in place. Mentors who do not have a DBS check in place are able to mentor, but must have a DBS checked mentor with them when leading any activities with the youngsters. For clarity, a person is classed as an adult once they reach the age of 18.

2) Safeguarding concerns - ANY Safeguarding concerns must be reported to the programme leader in the first instance unless the concern is about the programme leader. In this instance, you must discuss the concern with the deputy leader who will take the appropriate action. Wherever there is even a slight cause for concern, your duty is to report it immediately. Our policy is to log all Safeguarding Concerns, whether any action following an investigation was taken or not. The safety and wellbeing of our youngsters is fundamental in our Deen. Anything which compromises the safety of our youngsters will be taken extremely seriously. We do not want to be an organisation which harmed even one soul’s childhood, insha Allah. As a mentor, in the eyes of the mentee, you are the ambassador of Islam, and any misdemeanour could harm the mentee’s faith in this Deen, Subhanallah.

3) Safeguarding concerns made by mentees – if a mentee begins to talk about a personal situation which has happened in their lives (e.g. abuse by a family member), please do not ask questions, and listen for as long as the mentee would like to talk. Since most mentors are not trained to ask questions in these types of sensitive areas, please do not pry into the situation further. Once the mentee is finished, thank the mentee, and inform them that it is your duty to let the safeguarding lead know. The safeguarding lead will then make the appropriate decisions, insha Allah.

4) Sleeping arrangements - For residentials and sleep-overs (such as Qiyam-Ul-Layls), accommodation for males and females must be fully separate. Mentors must not sleep in the same room as mentees, even if the accommodation is a large hall. Mentors must sleep in separate rooms at all times, without exception. This does make it more difficult to manage the youngsters when they may be talking or running around after hours, and hence routine checks must be made to ensure the mentees abide by the given instructions.

5) Exchanging contact details and photography - It is not appropriate for mentors to note mentees personal phone numbers for individual conversations, or to connect with them on social media platforms. Please also ensure that images are not taken of mentees using personal phones or cameras. We aim to provide our own cameras for programmes such as residentials.

6) Self Protection - Mentors must be mindful of the fact that interaction with young people can leave a person vulnerable to suspicion and accusation. Please always ensure that you are never alone with a mentee in any circumstance.

7) Islamic ethos - As we are an Islamic organisation, our programmes are centred around Tarbiyyah. Hence, programmes must begin and end in the Name of Allah swt, and programmes should be developed around Salah times. Observing basic Islamic etiquette is of prime importance to the organisation, and if this is not upheld, it can lead to confusion in the minds of the young mentees. If Salahs are not prayed by the mentors (with the exception of those who have valid reasons not to pray), the mentees will consider it ok to miss prayers. Always ensure that you keep your word, no matter how difficult that may be – Trust is not something which can be bought, Subhanallah!

8) It’s okay to say “I don’t know” – Mentees have amazing minds, and will ask the most difficult Islamic questions! Most of our mentors are not scholars, and if it’s not a simple question, please don’t try to make up an answer. Sometimes, Islamic issues are complex, and using our own life experiences, and what we may define as logic, may not fall in line with revelation. In these instances, please let the mentee know that you are unsure, and let them know that you will try to find the answer for them by consulting the relevant sources/people, insha Allah.

9) Being mindful of differences - Mentors must be aware that the Mentees will be from different backgrounds. Some may be religious, and some may not. Some may come from a “Sufi” background and others may be from “Deobandi” or “Salafi” backgrounds. It is vitally important not to impose your personal opinions on individuals in this vast Deen. Please be careful with your choice of words with youngsters who are new to the Deen, and know that the foundational years of Islam were more concerned with Tawhid and Imaan, rather than the importance of the Beard and Hijaab. Youngsters should learn about the Mercy of Allah swt, and know that His Mercy prevails over His Wrath.

10) Remaining professional - Mentoring can become difficult at times, and regardless of the situation, mentors must remain professional at all times, use appropriate language and ensure that they do not lose control if things get personal. Our character rubs off on impressionable youngsters, and we must always attempt to display the best of character around the Mentees. Patience is fundamental in our Deen, and hence we aim to teach this trait to our mentees, insha Allah. We would respectfully ask that Mentors should follow any reasonable instructions given by the programme in-charge(s).

11) Mindfulness, empathy & compassion - When mentoring, always remember how you felt when you were that age in order to direct the mentee. This is especially important should the need to discipline arise. There was a time when we were all youngsters and needed mentoring!

12) Participation - As a mentor, you must ensure that you and all of your mentees attend every session that you are supposed to attend. The programmes are usually very crammed due to the short length of the events, and all sessions are mandatory.

13) Non-disclosure of sensitive data - Mentors must not hand out room access codes to mentees unless there is an absolute emergency. If a mentee has left something in a particular room which requires an access code, the mentor must accompany the mentee (with others if need be), and input the access code. Occasionally, it may be necessary to protect the wifi passwords during some programmes too.

14) Same gender mentors – We aim to have at least one male and one female mentor in each group. On longer programmes, it can be necessary for younger male or female mentors to have access to a male or female “head mentor”. On occasions where this is necessary, you will be notified as to who the head mentors are.

15) Gender specific concerns - If a mentee of the opposite gender to you has a personal issue, please direct them to the mentor of that gender. Always think about what is appropriate, and how you would feel if your child was in that position.

16) Gender opportunities - Our programmes aim to develop a sense of respect between male and female mentees. We aim to help youngsters navigate through the mixed messages that our main society as well as Muslims give them. Our aim is to teach them a balanced approach without compromising their Deen, and for this we ensure that our male and female mentees have equal opportunities and access for all events. For talks and discussions where a main speaker or stage is present, our aim should be to ensure that the male and female mentees are able to see and hear the speaker(s) as clearly as each other. Hence, there should be a side for the male mentees to sit and a side for the female mentees to sit, so that they can each see the speaker. It is important to ensure that the female attendees are not put at the back of the room/hall, or in an entirely separate room.

There should be no physical barrier separating the two genders as this can also confuse mentees into thinking that they are in a different world to normal society when at our events. Our interpretation of the mixing between the genders as an organisation is that mixing can take place in a controlled environment where appropriate. The teams/groups should be made up of male and female mentees, with male and female mentors. Activities where physical contact between team members is required, should be split so that the male members and female members can carry out their activities without feeling uneasy. During meal times, our normal procedure is to have separate areas for males and females to sit and eat.

As an organisation, we encourage communication between the genders when performing tasks and organising. ISB has always promoted ‘age appropriate’ communication between men and women. We understand that attendees may come from widely differing religious viewpoints. We need to be mindful of these, especially within YM events as the attendees are young and impressionable. We would request that during YM events, mentors should be reflective of the ethos of the event. This may mean, communication between genders is limited and ideally work or event related. If there are any queries or questions, mentors should follow the instructions of the YM lead for any event

Our aim is to develop a sense of dignity and morality within the young people, insha Allah. It can be difficult to explain these concepts to young people, as their minds are so pure. We aim to show them the correct balance through setting a good example.

Islamic teachings recommend the following three parameters:

1. Male and female interaction should not be physical

2. Male and female interaction should not be flirtatious

3. Male and female interaction should not be in isolation or in a private space

There are levels of responsibilities that we find in the Quran and Sunnah to help us achieve these parameters:

a. Personal responsibilities, i.e. dressing modestly (for males and females) and if our eyes or mind stray, we should lower our gaze.

b. Parents or carers responsibilities, i.e. guaranteeing a safe space for learning and practicing the parameters of the faith and enjoying a non-abusive interaction between each other

c. Collective or social responsibilities, i.e the society creates acceptable and non- acceptable behaviour between the genders based on the moral and ethical framework in Islam.

17) Reimbursement – Our mentors are not paid for their work, as our mentees do not pay fees to be mentored. Our primary aim is to educate our mentees and help them to learn more about our Deen, with the hope that the work that we do will continue to benefit us when we leave this temporary life, insha Allah. We do not usually pay for transport to our programmes, but if you are suffering any hardship, please let the programme lead know, insha Allah. For reasonable costs incurred during the programmes, such as buying activity materials etc, please hold on to your receipts and submit them to the treasurer for reimbursement. Please remember that the costs you incur can also count as Zakah and Sadaqah, since this is a da’wah organisation, insha Allah.

18) Disciplinary procedure – Potential mentors should be aware that due to seriousness of their responsibility in supervising young people. a significant or persistent breach of our code of conduct may result in a disciplinary process. This will follow the procedure laid down in the disciplinary policy and could result in formal warnings or if there are sufficient concerns, ejection from the event.

19) Support – we will endeavour to offer at least one named Senior Support person for younger mentors (those aged 18-25) who they can approach if they have any concerns and who will be available to act as a liaison with the event leaders. [Added]

[1] The Holy Quran 3:26

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1955

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829

[4] The Holy Quran 17:32

We truly thank you for your desire to help young Muslims come closer to their Deen, insha Allah!

Wasalaam,

The Young Muslims UK Residential Team

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Kibblestone Scout Campsite

Kibblestone Road

Oulton

ST15 8UJ

United Kingdom

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