The idea is simple. Brothers in Arms facilitates the formation of real relationships between volunteers and young people where they are deeply needed. These relationships build over time as each member safely grows to know each other. They express continuity through everyday shared experiences, and a closeness is formed as they observe one another and come to wisely trust the others values. We call these ‘mentoring relationships’, and they are intended to become exactly that once the young person has chosen them to be.

The Māori concept of tuakana-teina sums us up pretty well. An older or more expert tuakana (brother, sister or cousin) helps and guides a younger or less expert teina (originally a younger sibling or cousin of the same gender). In a learning environment that recognises the value of both parties, the tuakana–teina roles may be reversed at any time.

All our mentors commit to meeting a young person one-on-one, once a week, for at least one year.