Mentor had a remarkable year 2019. Not only did we celebrate our 25th anniversary of youth development, but we were joined by many different forces of good – including new staff talent and philanthropic supporters!
After a rigorous recruitment process, Sara Revell Ford, previously of the Red Cross, was appointed Secretary General of both Mentor International and Mentor Sweden. We also ushered in Romero Britto as our global goodwill ambassador to spread his optimistic view of the world across our international network.
Other notable highlights included:
Mentor International launched a pilot project in three countries together with TUI Care Foundation. The program, called Youth Academy, is a series of life skills workshops that help increase protective factors and enhance youth resilience.
Mentor Arabia created the Youth Mentoring Platform, a special joint initiative with the American University in Beirut (AUB) to help maximise students’ potential. The platform provides a space for youth to discuss their challenges, as well as explore possible opportunities and solutions with mentors.
Mentor Germany held a youth summit focused on the social responsibility of society to strengthen young people and their direct environment. Participants included students, parents, teachers, as well as our founder HMQ Silvia. Experts within the youth field offered coaching and training workshops.
Mentor Latvia continued its work with risk groups including children from orphanages, youth homes, boarding schools and foster families. They organised educational events, team building workshops and matched 40 mentors with youth in its individual mentoring program during 2019.
Mentor Sweden hosted a panel of experts at the annual political gathering at Almedalen to discuss how to become strong role models and inspire the next generation (Gen Z) into the labor market. They also ran their first parent “mentoring” program with Somalian mothers matched with Swedish mothers to exchange and inspire positive parenting skills.
Mentor USA‘s peer-to-peer program was highly evaluated by its partner George Washington University. The soon-to-be published evaluation showed increased protective effects and reduced drug use intentions among youth exposed to the program in their schools. The results indicated an even stronger program effect compared to the previous evaluation.
As we look towards 2020, we do so with hope and a promise for all of us to do lots more goodwill toward youth in the new year!