Mentoring In The Novgorod Region


The project “Mentors: not close, but together” is a short-term mentoring program, the methodology of which has been tested and successfully implemented in the regions of the Russian Federation. The implementation of this project involves the organization of individual interaction of the child with the mentor. The main research question is the study of what is mentoring and how it is implemented, as well as the study of the development of mentoring in other countries, including Russia and the Novgorod region. The main objective of the study is to attract mentors to guide adolescents on the path to choose their profession. It is also important to determine the role of the mentor, his influence on the behaviour and further decisions of the adolescent. The study revealed that mentoring is an important and necessary practice for the whole world. It is necessary to develop and maintain mentoring programs. A mentor should understand that immediately after his appearance, there will not be strong changes in the child’s life, and if any changes happen, they are unlikely to be sustainable. To become a significant adult and authority for your ward, a mentor volunteer requires patience, a willingness to spend his personal time on a child and regularity. The role of the teacher, the mentor is very important, now it is more viewed as part of professional, volunteer activities. Mentoring has a very strong influence on the formation of the personality and the parenting process itself affects the personal experiences of the mentor himself.

Keywords: Adaptation in societycapacity developmentexperiencementoringprogramtutors


Last year, the social program “Mentors: not close, but together” appeared in Russia. Mentoring is a technology of effective social and pedagogical work with children in need of support, including children with disabilities, survivors of trauma, in difficult life situations. Mentoring is an important tool for the development of our society.

The work of the mentor with the wards is aimed at disclosing his strengths, identifying and strengthening positive personal qualities, forming motivation to receive education and professional motivation to receive education and professional implementation, obtaining information about opportunities and areas of development after graduating from organizations for orphans and children left without parental care, debunking orphan stereotypes about the impossibility of their successful implementation in life, as well as raising himself self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership development, the expansion of the horizon of life.

In Russia, the program started on April 1, 2016. The first implementation of the project took place in test mode. Then 10 people took part - 5 mentors and 5 wards (Not close, but together: the ASI project started in Veliky Novgorod, 2017).

Problem Statement

Currently, the project “Mentors: not close, but together” involves more than 40 regions, and the Novgorod region is among them (Likhanova, 2018).

Mentoring is an increasingly popular way of providing guidance and support to young people in need. Launching an effective mentoring program is not easy; it has many nuances and details that can have a big impact on the results of work with young people (Garringer and Jucovy, 2008).

In the Novgorod region, the project was launched on November 14, 2017, 13 teenagers and 13 mentors took part in it. Before the meeting, the mentors spent a whole hour in consultations about the subtleties of communication with teenagers. As mentors, people with some authority were chosen (Not close, but together: the ASI project started in Veliky Novgorod, 2017).

So, among them were the Children's Rights Commissioner Elena Filinkova, the Chairman of the Novgorod Region Elena Pisareva, the Chairman of the Council of Commanders of the Dolina Expedition, Igor Neofitov, the Deputy Head of the Administration of Veliky Novgorod Anatoly Osipov and a veteran of the program “Mentors: Not close, but Together” Novgorod Governor the region of Andrey Nikitin.

The program also involved tutors. A tutor is a specialist who accompanies a pupil or student in the process of individual learning. In the program, tutors helped mentors to find the right approach to the ward and with them to find a way out of crisis situations. Supervisors (specialists from social institutions) worked with adolescents. Selection of pairs "mentor – teenager" was made according to the results of the survey.

For half a year, senior comrades shared their knowledge and experience with schoolchildren, helped them to reveal their strengths, to become more independent, to decide on the choice of profession.

One can safely say that the project took place. Adolescents gained self-confidence, 10 out of 13 people decided on the choice of profession.

So, Andrei Nikitin’s ward Yegor Knizhnitsky decided to enter the M.A.Bonch-Bruyevich St. Petersburg University of Telecommunications. He is interested in IT.

Ekaterina Golubeva (trust of the Chairman of the Novgorod Regional Duma Elena Pisareva) decided to become a lawyer.

Alexei Morozov (the ward of the manager of the regional office of the Pension Fund Alexey Kostyukov) plans to become a cook. The young man plans to enter the Novgorod Trade Technological College (The ward of the Governor of the Novgorod Region decided to study IT technologies, 2018).

On June 26, the second stage of the project “Mentors: not nearby, but together!” started. It will be attended by 20 pairs of "mentor – ward."

11 districts of the Novgorod region are connected to the project “Mentors: not close, but together!” (Likhanova 2018).

Among those who decided to take part in the project are the head of the Okulovsky district Sergey Kuzmin, the head of the Demyansky district Vladimir Eremin, the former commander of the submarine Sergey Karjalainen from the Malovishersky district, the technical director of the Parfinsky plywood factory Andrei Timofeev.

Thus, the further development of such a program will help stabilize the emotional state of the adolescent, his adaptation in society and the realization of personal potential.

Research Questions

The main research question is the study of what is mentoring and how it is implemented, as well as the study of the development of mentoring in other countries, including Russia and the Novgorod region.

Purpose of the Study

The main objective of the study is to attract mentors to guide adolescents on the path to choose their profession. It is also important to determine the role of the mentor, his influence on the behavior and further decisions of the adolescent.

Research Methods

The study applied empirical research methods (observation, comparison, monitoring).

The results of diagnostic studies of mentoring and training mentors in Russia and abroad were the empirical base. Being “successful” in terms of social indicators, it becomes clear that they are investing heavily in personnel training, and various methodologies are being developed. There are requirements for mentors, their selection and training, the sequence of actions in the “mentor-student” training cycle. Prior to the development and design of mentoring systems, scientific sources are pre-studied because these sources substantiate variations in the roles and functions of mentoring, which allow us to differentiate further the approach to training different categories of mentors.


The project “Not close, but together” appeared on the basis of the mentoring program of the Chilean charitable foundation “Belen Educa”, which began in 2008. Adaptation of the Chilean methodology to the Russian realities was carried out by the employees of the Moscow State University and the Interregional Tutor Organization (Not close, but together: the ASI project started in Veliky Novgorod, 2017).

The initiator of this program was the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

On March 14-16, 2018, the Third European Mentoring Summit was held in Berlin. One of the main organizers of the Summit was the Berlin Mentoring Network, which has been existing since 2012 and brings together 36 organizations that implement mentoring programs for children in a complex social context (Mentoring in Europe: German experience, 2018).

Six years ago, the Berlin network of mentoring projects was united, guided by such principles as:

  • Give the opportunity to get mentor support for each child.

  • Give access to high-quality mentoring programs.

  • Help mentoring programs receive sustainable funding.

The head of the Berlin Mentoring Network and the organizer of the 2018 European Mentoring Summit, Florian Amoruso-Stenzel, is co-founder and volunteer to lead the network (Mentoring in Europe: German experience, 2018).

The history of mentoring in Germany is always a change of positions. Sometimes the initiative came from below, sometimes from above. Initially, it all started with the activity of individual specialists who built their programs. And after, from 2008 to 2010, the Federal State Mentoring Program “Growing Together” (Aсtion Zussamen Wachsen) was launched by the Ministry for Family Affairs, Women, Elderly and Youth. Then in major German cities, agencies were established, whose coordinators should find decent mentoring programs and make them visible to the public (Mentoring in Europe: German experience, 2018).

The work was built gradually.

  • The first step. It was necessary to organize the right popularization, PR, to make a pool of documents.

  • The second step. The coordinators “collected the request” from the program managers and its participants, developed trainings and workshops (a format in which there are no teachers, teachers or masters, everyone is equal and everyone teaches each other) in accordance with their professional needs.

  • The third step. The program team organized first local and then federal conferences.

  • The fourth step. Following the launch and construction of a large network of projects, a large amount of materials were published: fundraising, a roadmap guide on launching and managing the program, articles on how to start a program, how to conduct it and how to finish, how to search, attract and train mentors how to conduct work in a transnational context.

As a result, such a state initiative gave impetus to the launch of many mentoring programs in Germany, which are included in a common database. However, at the end of the three-year campaign, financial backing was cut and many local projects were closed. Today, a small team from the federal government is supporting this national campaign: they administer a database in which 900 projects are registered and organize a federal conference every two years “Growing up together” and became the general sponsor of the European Mentoring Summit.

After the “implementation process” of mentoring, several program coordinators appeared in Berlin who knew each other through workshops (Workshops as a way of collaborative learning, n. d.). They then decided that they needed to unite, otherwise all the useful information and experience obtained would be lost. So a certain union was founded, the participants of which gathered together informally. As a result, the Association was founded in 2012 - two years after the first meeting at the end of 2010.

Since this activity was poorly supported with public money, although everyone understood the effectiveness of this practice, an association was created with the slogan “Together we are louder and stronger!” in order to improve the environment in which projects are now located.

There were different approaches. Some meetings were informal in a bar where everyone just got to know each other, talked about their goals - it was a kind of networking. Later groups of people were formed to develop the agenda, special topics, for example, the safety of children in mentoring relationships or assessing the quality of programs. It was a regular job. At first, there were about 4-6 meeting-discussions of the topic, then safety experts, experts on the topic of child abuse, volunteers wanted to join the program were invited. The issues of migrants and refugees were also considered. People interested in solving these problems gathered in a separate working group. Another group was dedicated to PR strategy. Workshops were held every two months, where experts and practitioners solved issues of attracting mentors and teaching them.

Over time, it was decided to hold a conference. At the same time, a large series of workshops devoted to the study of the social effect of mentoring was launched.

When training offers or consultations did not find enough responses, there were no participants. It was necessary to study more deeply the cause of the “fallout” of the participants, to consider their specific requests, to find out what resources they had, whether they were willing to spend time working on the network and record it all in one database.

Regarding the positive experience it is very cool to have a correct, “narrow” topic when participants come for a specific solution. For example, workshops attracting mentors or devoted to the practice of creating pairs and relationships within them are very popular. There are universal topics which can collect representatives of different programs: for example, programs for children, adults, and business. The question of measuring the social effect of mentoring programs could be such kind of topic. But as soon as the question comes up about the specifics, the group will have to be divided into target audiences.

In the association, everything is built on a voluntary basis. There are three people in the position of CEO, two or three producers of workshops, so to speak, and two people who help in administration.

In the CEO the work becomes more than a couple of hours a week, especially when the network grows. One should constantly be in touch, do correspondence, keep track of finances. Only about eight people, one need to calculate the time spent on work constantly. For example, it takes 22 hours a week to work with 15 organizations.

There are also two networks of mentoring in Scotland. They are Friendly Support Network and Scottish Mentoring Network.

In the Scottish mentoring network there are 7 of people the state. They do trainings for coordinators, they have their own system for evaluating the effectiveness of programs, and there are coaches who help to work out the weaknesses of projects. They have conferences, well-established work with government agencies, GR, PR. They support programs not only for children and adolescents, but also for older people, that is, they cover people's need for mentors, from childhood to old age. And these people work for a country with 8 million people.

Germany works with coordinators of each project. The activity and responsibility of the coordinator is a sign of the quality of the program or project. Network members are engaged in mentoring for whole families - these are projects for supporting young families with newborn children (called “Welcome”), projects for supporting migrants and refugees “Step by Step” and “Start together with a friend”. Most programs focus on mentoring children of the ages from 8 to 12. All of these programs are in Berlin.

There has always been a problem in that a good education is available only to middle and above-average social groups. In order to get to university a child needs a whole team: parents, teachers, tutors. This problem strongly touches immigrants and families from, let's say, the working class. These children do not have a community that would help them enrol in a good school and university. Not immediately, but this problem has become noticeable for active education leaders, who have also proposed to solve it with the help of mentoring. Representatives of state services working in the field of education for migrants also discovered that there are many initiatives in the field of mentoring, and accepted this practice as official.

In 2016, when a large number of refugees arrived in Germany, first of all, activists and ordinary residents of the cities began to help them. The state was in a state of shock, and the most rapid assistance was provided to refugees directly by citizens. In this regard, another federal refugee assistance program was developed.

But, the main thing should be noted that the problem of obtaining quality education is not only a problem of migration, there are a large number of local children who do not get access to education, this is a social problem.

In Germany there are not only American, but also own developments on mentoring. There are those that are precisely based on prototypes, there are those that were developed from scratch. There is, of course, one traditional program “Big Brothers, Big Sisters”, but this project left Germany, as one of its founders stated low efficiency with too large financial investments.

There is another program from Israel, which provides for the optimization of the cost of mentors. The program is launched together with universities, and students act as mentors. Students are credited with grades - credits for work as a mentor, but besides this, the youth are interested in the practice itself. The coordinator is an employee of the university, which implements the program within the budget of the organization. The program is called Perach, which means a growing flower, it began in 1974. Its founder, Roni Attar, worked on the project on a volunteer basis for six years and later managed to implement it into the state program. Today, 12% of all students in Israel are involved in a mentoring program, and the state supports mentoring students for their active mentoring activities, paying for their education. According to the technology of the Israeli program, the Nightingale program is currently operating in Holland, Spain and Sweden.

Germany is engaged in active development of the financial model. As an association, they have a membership fee of 50 euros, which is of course a minimum. Basically there is a monitoring of grant programs for which you can develop and implement a project. For example, a grant of 46,000 euros was won to launch the association. Then they took part in the international program for the exchange of experience, during which nothing was earned, but they travelled around many countries with a team of professionals, familiarized with other programs. It was an excellent opportunity to start international cooperation.

In the course of the work, it became clear that constant financial backing is mainly needed for administrative needs: for community support, for daily and operational work. It also happened that during the year there was enough money for one small thing, for example, to support the site. Trainers and experts receive minimal fees. Now the association receives money from the district budget. For example, money from the Berlin city government goes to work with migrants. But 5-6 years ago one had to work, relying only on oneself.

The corporate social responsibility mentoring program is a useful practice, and very convenient for career guidance mentoring programs. Corporations through such programs can form a pool of potential employees from the younger generation.

The history of the European Summit began with contact with many European programs and communities in the field of mentoring. They met with the Scottish network, with colleagues from Sweden, Switzerland and Italy. Then there were not only a lot of discoveries, but also collaboration and agreements.

It is interesting fact, but 10 years ago the situation in Berlin was similar to what is happening now in the whole of Europe: it means social exclusion. In parallel with this, there are many great projects, professionals and project leaders who have the experience and the desire to share them. Connecting everyone, transforming this tangle of experience and knowledge, we become more professional. This helps projects that come to their investors and to state programs, boldly say: "Mentoring is not an event practice, it is a practice confirmed by research." Yes, she is young in Europe, but she has been working in America since the 1980s.

There are American standards for effective mentoring practices that have a solid evidence base. There is a Scottish model. There are standards of the German program "Growing up together ". Unfortunately, there is no assessment of the quality of management of the system itself. You can say: “Yes, I do it,” but no one controls you in the process itself. Everyone has their own way of getting knowledge and professionalization, but no one gets any reward, any recognition for it.


As a result of the research that has been carried out, it can be concluded that mentoring is an important and necessary practice for the Novgorod region, for Russia, and for the whole world in general.

A child needs a lot of attention and support from an adult for successful development. And, of course, in the family, he sufficiently receives it from loved ones. However, a completely different situation occurs within institutions for orphans and children left without parental care. Despite the fact that the contribution of educators and employees of public institutions for street children to the lives of each child is enormous, only their efforts are not enough to cope with all the development tasks facing their pupils. Therefore, the practice of mentoring is intended to become an additional resource in the work of educators, which one will allow them to implement their activities more effectively, relying not only on their own strength, but also on the help of another person from the child’s environment - his mentor (Agency of Strategic Initiatives, 2017).


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  3. Likhanova, O. (2018). 11 districts of the Novgorod region will join the project “Mentors: not close, but together”. Received April 20, 2018, from
  4. Mentoring in Europe: German experience. (2018). Received April 10, 2018, from
  5. Not close, but together: the ASI project started in Veliky Novgorod. (2017). Received April 20, 2018, from
  6. The ward of the governor of the Novgorod region decided to study IT technologies. (2018). Received April 25, 2018, from
  7. Workshops as a way of mutual learning (n.d.). Received April 10, 2018, from

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02 April 2019

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Afanasyev, A., Gerasimov, A., & Visotskaya, D. (2019). Mentoring In The Novgorod Region. In V. A. Trifonov (Ed.), Contemporary Issues of Economic Development of Russia: Challenges and Opportunities, vol 59. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 484-491). Future Academy.