About Mediterranea

Our Story

In the summer of 2018 the idea of Mediterranea was born; born out of indignation over the thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean and the closed-port policy.

In a very short time, people and associations working together in a civil society platform organised and put to sea the first and, as yet, only civil rescue vessel flying the Italian flag.

On the night of 3rd-4th October 2018, exactly 5 years after the tragic shipwreck where more than 360 people died off the coast of Lampedusa, the Mare Jonio set sail from the port of Augusta on its first monitoring and rescue mission.

Over the years Mediterranea has grown more and more and has become an Association of Social Promotion (APS). Today it is made up of sea and land crews with thousands of active members in more than 40 territories in Italy, Europe and the United States.

With the escalation of international tensions and Italian and European migration policies, Mediterranea has been reaching out to migrants along their routes by also organising land missions both on the Balkan Route and in the Ukraine war scenario.


Legally speaking, Mediterranea Saving Humans is a "Social Promotion Association" (APS, Associazione di Promozione Sociale).

During the 2019 General Assembly in Rome, statutes were drafted guaranteeing a more robust democratic structure to the organization.

Organisational Structure

Mediterranea is a horizontal organisation with two main bodies: The Members' Assembly and the Executive Board.
In order to allow for a constant flow and exchange of ideas between all our members, we have also set up two other bodies: a Steering Council, that keeps the organisation’s activities current and discusses political strategy, as well as the Land Crews Piazza, a common virtual space that ensures a constant exchange of ideas and good practices.

Executive Board

The Executive Board assumes responsibility for operations at sea as well as on land.
The Executive Board also elects the President, who is the legal representative of the organisation.
It consists of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 15 members elected by the Assembly and is renewed every two years.

Laura Marmorale


43 years old, social worker, member of the Naples Land Crew of Mediterranea Saving Humans.
Originally from Benevento, she has been living in Naples for almost 15 years, fully engaged in Italy's social movements of the past two decades: with the coordination of the Campania centri sociali first and in the Disobedient Movement.
Committed to anti-racist movements, she also follows, through her work, the growth and transformation of migration flows. Between 2016 and 2019 she served first as a municipal alderperson and then as a city councilor of the City of Naples.
Since late 2020, she has joined Mediterranea Saving Humans and participated as a mission leader in the first Safe Passage Mission in Ukraine and the Med Care mission.

Vanessa Guidi

Vice President

Medical doctor specialising in Emergency Medicine, has been active with Mediterranea since 2019.She was President of Mediterranea from 2020 to early 2023.
Guidi coordinates the medical team and has participated in missions at sea as the ship’s doctor.
She has found her own port of safety in Mediterranea, as she believes in freedom of movement for all and considers it crucial to denounce human rights violations at the borders of Fortress Europe.
She chose to work in urgent care because it is a practice that is open to all and welcomes anyone in need. Likewise, Mediterranea makes no distinctions and guarantees a place on board the Mare Jonio to anyone seeking it, and a safe port of disembarkation.

Serena Sardi

Vice President and Treasurer

A procrastinator since 1981, she was part of The Feminist Library collective in London as well as Ladyfest London.
Since has been part of Mediterranea Barcelona since 2019.

Leon Blanchaert

Has been an activist from a very young age. Among the countless struggles he has participated in, his first were for better schools and against wars.
He was deeply marked by anti-racist battles, most significantly that of Abba Abdoul Guiebre, a young boy killed because he was black. He has also been involved in the right to housing and emancipation movements.
He loves books, graduated in History and Economics and would like to never stop studying.
He has two sons, Andrea and Teo, with his partner Patrizia.

Debora Camarda

Born and raised in Sicily, she worked for many years in social services and organised cultural events. She also did anti-mafia activism through several organisations.
At the age of 27, she moved to the UK and was part of a group of volunteers from Cambridge who worked in the Calais refugee camp (France), trying to mitigate the stark differences with which Europe treats human beings according to their origin.
In 2019, she moved to Spain and joined the Barcelona Land Crew.
She was in charge of the Steering Council of Mediterranea and is now part of the Land Crews Coordination Group.

Luca Casarini

He's 55 years old and has two children. He lives in Palermo.
An activist from a young age, he trained in the social centres in the North-east of Italy, where he agitated for over 30 years.
He attended the Faculty of Political Science in Padua during the 'Panther' protest and took part in the struggles against nuclear power and the Cruise missiles at Comiso.
From the Zapatista march to the mobilisation against the WTO and the G8 in Genoa, he has been critical of neo-liberal globalisation, standing with the major movements of the late 1990s and early 2000’s.
He is one of the founders of Mediterranea and Head of Missions on board Mare Jonio since 2018.

Viviana Couto Sayalero

Born in Rome in 1995, is passionate about science, writing, and the people who inhabit the world.
After graduating in Industrial Chemistry, she attended courses in creative writing, scientific and digital communication and she works as a freelancer.
In 2020, she began her militant work with the Casetta Rossa social space, cultivating projects and organising cultural events.
In 2021, she began working with Mediterranea. Together with Rome’s Land Crew, she organises fundraising events often featuring music and comics.
She joined the new Executive board in September 2022.

Mattia Ferrari

Born in Sassuolo (Modena) on 27-11-1993,
He entered the seminary in 2012. He was sent as a vice-parish priest to Nonantola (Modena) and became the diocesan assistant of the young catholics organization Azione Cattolica Ragazzi in 2018.
During the seminary, he connected with the Bologna social centers TPO and Làbas, which were among the founding organisations of Mediterranea.
Since April 2019, he has been serving as Mediterranea's chaplain and spiritual assistant. He is in charge of relations with the Church together with social and popular movements around the world.
Since May 2021, he has been repeatedly threatened by the Libyan mafia and has recently been placed under state protection.

Fabio Gianfrancesco

Born in Rome, activist and university researcher in Philosophy.
In his years as an activist he has learned not to submit to the cynicism of neoliberal morality but to experiment instead with different forms of solidarity.
In 2018, with the criminalisation of those who wanted to fight together with those who were forced to migrate, he decided together with the Roman social enter ESC and others to help establish Mediterranea.
Since 2018, he has been a member of the Rescue Team and is active in various missions. He coordinates the Rome Land Crew.

Riccardo Mattone Fantini

Born in 1997 in Turin. He has a Degree in Protection of Human Rights and International Cooperation from the University of Bologna.
A Mediterranea activist since 2020, he helped create the Turin Land Crew. He is the Head of the Communication group and is active in the organisation of 'A Bordo!' — Mediterranea's festival.
Linked to the Susa Valley for political and family reasons, he is active with the Turin Land Crew in supporting migrants on the French-Italian Alpine border.
He is deeply engaged with cross-border cultures, but believes that a better world is built only by breaking down borders.
In September 2022, he was elected to Mediterranea's Executive Board.

Stefania Porchia

Is 60 years old and has been a member of Mediterranea's Venice Land Crew since its inception.
She has a degree in statistics and is involved in supporting public and private organisations doing community work by supporting them in research, evaluation, training and development.
In the last two years, she has actively participated in the Fundraising group, providing support to the treasury in processing data and making it available and clear. She has always been involved in movements and organisations concerned with social justice and rights for all, for a fair, dignified, free, anti-fascist and anti-racist society.

Massimo Righetti

Born in Milan on January 19th, 1954.
He lives in Milan and is married with three children: Alessandro, Teresa and Emiliano. He has one grandson, Jacopo.
He has a degree in Literature with focus on pedagogy from the Milan University La Statale. He has been a teacher in Milan's prisons for 36 years, and has always been involved in politics. From 2011-2016, he was a district councillor , chairman of the School, Sport, Organisations, Volunteering and Participation Commission.
He was a co-founder of Zona 8 Solidarity Committee and a member of the board of directors of the Gramsci section of Sinistra Italiana.
He is a member of the 'Non uno di meno' and a delegate for 'Memory and Antifascism' for Milan’s Town Hall n. 8.

Tiziano Schiena

Born in 1984 in Wiesbaden (Germany) to Apulian immigrants, he attended the first three years of school in a multi-ethnic institute.
At the age of nine, he went back to Foggia, Southern Italy, and had to fight cultural homogeneity.
After graduating from high school, he moved to Rome where he began his political activism with a focus on anti-mafia issues, minimum wage and the liberalisation of soft drugs. After taking a degree in Political Science and International Relations he moved to Berlin. In October 2019, he helped found Mediterranea Berlin, of which he is treasurer. He took part in humanitarian missions in Bosnia and the Ukraine.

Members' Assembly

The Members' Assembly is by law the sovereign and deliberative body of the Mediterranea.
It elects the Executive Board, sets the policy and approves the annual budget.
The Assembly consists of all members who have regularly paid their annual dues.
By statute, it convenes at least once a year.

Steering Council

The Steering Council is an advisory body and a forum for discussion, which serves to keep the Board, the Land Crews and the other Mediterranea components (working groups and mission co-ordination groups) up to date.
Participation is open to all members.
Steering Council meetings are held approximately every 2 months.

E-mail: [email protected]

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