A mentoring programme in the spotlight: Mentor International

A large-scale, national and international mentoring programme with long tradition: Mentor International. Mentor International was established in 1994 in Sweden, with a focus on promoting health and increasing self-esteem among children and young people. In partnership with Swedish corporations and adult volunteers from society, Mentor International manages three key programmes: individual mentoring, career mentoring, and parenting. The goal of their activities is to build relationships between young people and adults and increase motivation at school.
Focus on Mentor International:
Mentor International is the leading international federation of not-for-profit youth development organizations working to prevent drug abuse and to inspire and promote youth to a healthy and productive life. We currently have National Members in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, UK, USA, and a Regional Member in Lebanon serving 22 Arab League countries.
Research shows that youth with mentors are more likely to engage in positive behavior, have increased self-esteem, and set higher education and career goals. We at Mentor International believe the best investment we can make is in young people and our goal is to provide a mentor to every young person who wants one. Through our programmes, we offer young people support and opportunities to increase their self-esteem and build resilience. This empowers them to develop stronger social networks, reflect on their own interests, strengths, and hopes, and view their futures more positively.

About us
H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden established Mentor International in 1994 in collaboration with The World Health Organization. Working with our Members around the world, we make prevention effective and visible by targeting young people and those around them. Our goal is to provide support, best practices, and evidence-based mentoring programmes that offer young people the inspiration, empowerment, and motivation they need to make healthy life choices and view their futures more positively.
Mentor Internationals' work has been recognized by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, the World Health Organization, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe.

2015: Renewed focus on Evidence-based mentoring
In 2015, Mentor International attended the “Children and the Sustainable Development Goals: Giving Every Child a Chance” session at the United Nations where HM The Queen of Sweden was a keynote speaker. We committed to a strategy of creating, delivering, and evaluating youth development programmes that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.5 to strengthen the prevention of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
Furthermore, we deepened our committed to providing and encourage the development of best practices and evidence-based programmes aimed at the promotion of health and well-being for all young people. In 2015, we aligned our focus on three core programs: Individual Mentoring, Career Mentoring, and Parenting Course & Seminars.
Mentor International also subscribed to the National Mentoring Partnership’s 2015 publication Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. The publication “details research-informed and practitioner-approved Standards for creating and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs and consequently, impactful mentoring relationships”[National Mentoring Partnership]. Mentor International was one of the first organization to adopt and adapt the standards to ensure that our programmes reflect the most up-to-date research, practice, and thinking in the mentoring field.
We have created scalable models of these programmes and have developed evidence-based standards and best practices for each. Our goal is to implement and grow these programs with our Members around the world in order to reach even more young people.

To date:
Mentor and our members have now reached millions of children as well as 50,000 teachers, parents, and caregivers. We have developed cooperation and active partnerships with international agencies, governments, other non-government organizations, and with the corporate sector to pursue our mission. Almost 100 Mentor initiatives have aided prevention activities in over 80 countries.
After successfully incubating and developing the web-based service Prevention Hub, we transferred ownership of the website to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) where it will complement their International Standards on Drug Use Prevention.

Plans for the future
Despite our success we see there is much left to be done. We hope to continue to engage global partnerships to support our core programmes in multiple countries. We are also acutely aware that we are witnessing the largest displacement crisis since World War II and youth are significantly affected, accounting for about half of all refugees. We have begun expanding our Individual Mentoring Program to support unaccompanied minors living within National Members’ borders. We recognize the challenges and cultural barriers a refugee youth faces in assimilating into a new culture and strongly believe that having a Mentor can help redress some of the challenges to provide a more positive outlook for the future.

Our Mission:
To empower young people and prevent drug abuse.
Our Values:
* Empower: equipping young people with tools to strengthen self esteem and enable informed decision-making.
* Inspire: providing opportunities that encourage young people to invest in their futures.
* Motivate: offering guidance

More information on Mentor International? Take up contact with:

Amy Mangino (International Development Director)

+46 70 345 97 88

or visit our website: http://www.mentorinternational.org

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