“Mentoring USA/Italia” – NPO was founded in 1998, after an experimental phase of its method conducted by the CNR.
Under its President, Sergio Cuomo, the Association operates throughout the national territory and Matilda Raffa Cuomo, wife of Mario Cuomo, former Governor of the State of New York, is its founder and honorary president.
The Association’s mission is expressed through its own educational Programs based on the one-to-one method created by Matilda Raffa Cuomo which aims to resolve the worrying and widespread phenomena of school drop outs which is the cause of so many social problems such as bullying, babygangs, hooliganism, petty crimes, drug addiction, etc.
An adult volunteer (Mentor) is assigned to an adolescent (Mentee), with the aim of encouraging the development of a harmonious, winning character; the presence of the friend-Mentor is guaranteed for at least two hours per week, in the afternoon, after school.
The one-to-one experience began in the USA in 1986, from the intuition of Matilda Raffa Cuomo, to counter the phenomena of school abandonment. Between 1987 and 1995, “NYSMP” – New York State Mentoring Program – assisted the social re-integration of about 20.000 adolescents.
In the years that followed, it became “Mentoring USA”, in association with H.E.L.P. – the largest urban building organization in the United States – which was founded by Andrew Cuomo, former Minister for Urban Areas and the Family in the Clinton government, and now Governor of the State of New York.
In Italy, the first school to adopt the Mentoring USA/Italia program is the “Osvaldo Conti” in Salerno, in 1996; gradually, the initiative spread throughout the national territory through the synergy with public and private Institutions and the involvement of the community which offer a valuable contribution thanks to the work of volunteers (Mentors) who dedicated their time to the Mentees.
To date about 9000 Students in compulsory school have benefited from Mentoring and indirectly, also their families.
“Mentoring USA/Italia” – NPO is present in many Regions among which: Campania, Lazio, Lombardia, Puglia, Sicilia, Toscana and Veneto.
In Europe, the NPO stresses the participation in the MAITRE and EMPIRE projects. The former was financed as part of the “Leonardo da Vinci” Program, to strengthen the mentoring activities by improving training, techniques and didactic materials. The Partners were: France, England, Italy, Latvia and Spain. The latter is designed to experiment a new mentoring model, the “blended”, to enhance and transmit technical abilities in the work sphere: It was financed by the European Commission and by the new line of the Community Program “Leonardo da Vinci”, with the FIL S.p.A. as its head.
European Mentoring & Befriending Exchange Programme supported by “Lifelong learning Programme Grundtvig” programme and aimed to exchange the best practices among organizations that use mentoring as an educational and training tool in different fields. The project is carried out in partnership with organizations from Germany, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Of international importance is “Youfilmaker” Project funded by Region Campania (Department for Sport, Entertainment and Social Activites) as part of the POR FESR 2007-2013 aimed to promote the number zero of the International Festival of Young People Promotion, which encourages young people to describe their lives, their stories and their relationships thus giving them the opportunity to speak and to share their opinions. Partners: Mentoring USA-ItaliaOnlus (Lead Organization), United Nations Agencies “Alliance of Civilazation” and IOM (International Organization for Migration), the Basilea and Karlsruhe Educational and Social Multimedia Forum/BAKAFORUM, the Spanish organization Orion, the Moroccon Organizations Arej and Darna Theater as well as the cultural organizations IDICOM, GFF, CINEAMA.
The work has already started, the project will end with a international Festival next March 2015.
Mentoring USA/Italia is also active in promoting social and cultural exchanges between Italy and other countries in collaboration with government institutions and bodies of the relative territories.
The Italian American NPO has benefitted from the patronage of a number of Ministries: Foreign Affaires; Culture and the Arts; Education, The University and Research; Italians Overseas; Justice; Equal Opportunities.
The activities carried out also benefit from the collaboration of Consulates and Embassies and other international organisations both in Italy and abroad.
The Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Guiding principle n° 90 dated 01.12.2003 – Ministerial Decree dated 28.07.2008) includes the NPO on the Roll of organisations accredited and qualified for school staff training.
In 2004, the President of the Republic awarded “Mentoring USA/Italia” – NPO a medal for its social mission.
Among witnesses to the initiatives promoted there are the following: Rita Dalla Chiesa and the little Eduardo; mister Carletto Mazzone; the football players Igli Tare and Gigi Di Biagio, from Brescia Football; Pippo Pelo, from “Radio Kiss Kiss” network.
In 2010 Mentoring USA/Italia NPO has also been operative in Spain, in Andalusia, with the Programme of the same name.
This was the strong desire of the Italian president, Sergio Cuomo and the Founder and Honorary president, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, who since the time when she was First Lady of the State of New York had wished to present the Mentoring mission to Queen Sofia of Spain.
In 2011 Mentoring USA Italia becomes active in Morocco and also in South Korea through the initiative of the American structure Mentoring USA.
In November 2010 the WorldForum 2010 dedicated to the well being of children was held in New York. Mentoring USA was host organization at the event and presented its Best Practices as used in Italy to five hundred important representatives.
On that occasion Mentoring USA/Italia – NPO was chosen to organise the Event in Italy in 2012.
In January 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Matilda Cuomo reaffirmed the importance of Mentoring for the healthy growth of the younger generation at the national conference “ Achieving Academic and Social Success: Supporting Youth through Mentoring”, a concept underlined by president Barak Obama during his address to the United Nations (ref: Obama/Biden Plan).
In February 2011 Mentoring USA – Italy NPO and IFCW (International Forum For Child Welfare) together with L’Albero della Vita Foundation (co-host) have started working for the organisation of the World Forum for Child Welfare 2012, which will take place in Naples from 26th to 29th November. The International Forum for Child Welfare – which this year celebrates its 23rd edition – will be attended by more than 500 childhood specialists and representatives from 40 different countries in the World. The global conference is under the High Patronage of the Italian Republic. It is supported by Regione Campania (the local government of the Italian region) with the collaboration of the Curia of Naples and patronage of the Consulate General of the United States in Naples.