Our work in Italy aims to improve the living conditions of girls and boys, because through them we can bring about concrete change in the communities in which they will grow up. We promote initiatives to support their education, wellbeing and development.

Why we work there

In recent years, the theme of childhood at risk has also become topical again in a country like Italy, where we have offices in Genoa and Milan.

Data from the Italian National Statistics Institute reveal that 1 million and 470 thousand families – equal to 6.8% of the entire national population – live in conditions of absolute poverty. Of these, over 1 million of the absolute poor (1 in 4) are children.

In Italy, public spending on social protection is below the European average. The poverty of families is associated with huge problems for children and minors, such as school dropout, deviance and malnutrition. We intervene in support of children in difficulty with initiatives aimed at alleviating the distress of children, adolescents and their families, with particular attention to the victims of old and new forms of poverty, regardless of their origin or provenance.

Our projects in Italy focus on contrasting educational poverty, through interventions of educational inclusion and education for global citizenship, strengthening access to services for young girls and boys who live in conditions of social emargination and are exposed to the risk of exclusion and deviance.

We also work in Italy to combat child malnutrition and its consequences. In fact, the country is marked by a rate of childhood obesity that is one of the highest in Europe. Our work in this area is carried out through important partnerships with key players in the territory such as schools and hospitals, in order to raise awareness among young people and their families about the long-term benefits of a healthy and sustainable diet.

In 2016, we started social integration programmes involving migrants and asylum seekers on Italian territory.

The keywords for understanding our interventions in Italy are freedom and democracy, law and legality, development and solidarity, beauty and sustainability, identity and memory.

Finally, in Italy we also intervene in contexts of emergency to try to alleviate discomfort and suffering for children and families affected by natural disasters. In particular, since August 2016 we have been active with projects of family support and economic reactivation in the areas of central Italy affected by earthquakes.

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Country representative

Alessandro Grassini
Secretary General

Chiffres sur le Italie

59,8 million



population below 5 years of age

45,9 years old

average age of the population

33.573 $

average annual income per capita


live below the poverty line


under-five mortality rate

3,5 / 1000

under-five malnutrition rate


illiteracy rate among over-15s


population over the age of 25 with a secondary school qualification


school dropout rate


happiness Index (on a scale of 1-10)

Source: Human Development Index 2016, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)