2024 News

Walking Alongside Youth Through Mentoring

Wednesday, 3 July 2024

For many years, Ilker Deli has shown unwavering commitment to the young people of Dareton. As manager of the Dareton Youth and Community Centre, each week, he and his team provide a space and activities that help nurture their development and provide a supportive environment. Programs like cooking or gardening help young people improve their self-confidence and life skills. 

However, his commitment goes beyond just programs.

Ilker is also dedicated to walking alongside young people through mentoring. Including "the things we say or how we help kids think about life through different perspectives.” Ilker explained this can happen “with a good yarn. Chatting about life in a very normal way.”

For Ilker, fostering a stronger, more connected community is most important. He also prioritises supporting young people throughout their lives. Not only while they attend the centre but even as they transition into adulthood.

One of Ilker’s dreams is to extend the youth centre’s focus to support young people after they turn eighteen. “Especially during times of unemployment,” he said. This is one of the main challenges in Dareton.

Ilker has also observed that many former young people return to the centre. It might be to support their younger siblings or because they want to visit and catch up. “I also see them out and about around Dareton and stop for a chat,” he shared.

Ilker is sowing hope for a better future for the young people he cares for.

Mentoring is a long-term investment in someone’s life. As such, the results aren’t always seen immediately. Ilker says he doesn’t always see the fruit of his mentoring, but he is hopeful it is making a difference. “[I’m] sowing the seeds in young people's lives and hoping for the best,” he said.

Your support of Indigenous Ministries Australia can help people like Ilker walk alongside and mentor young Indigenous people. You can support IMA through our website or in prayer. For more information on how would can be involved, contact Nick Wight, IMA Coordinator, at nick@gmp.org.au

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