In recent years, the theme of « childhood at risk » has once again became a topical issue in Italy. Data from ISTAT (the Italian Institute for Statistics) reveals that 1.47 million families in Italy live in absolute poverty; this represents 6.8% of the country’s total population. Over 1 million of the individuals living in absolute poverty (1 out of 4) are children.
In Italy, public spending on social welfare is below the European average. Family poverty is associated with major problems for children and minors, including early school leaving, deviant behaviour and malnutrition. We work to support at-risk minors in Italy by means of initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty among children, teenagers and their families. Particular attention is devoted to victims of old and new forms of poverty, irrespective of their origin or background.
Our experience, gained in the field, allows us to focus on offering services and programmes across the board, ensuring that we make quality interventions tailored to the specific features of the area and those who live there.
Our projects in Italy are based on a participatory approach. Our aim is not to overlap with pre-existing and successful initiatives but to enhance them, complementing the contributions of both public and private stakeholders. Our primary goal is to combat educational poverty, and we focus on two main fronts: educational inclusivity and global citizenship education.
We improve access to services for children who have been socially marginalised and are at risk of exclusion and deviant behaviour.
In 2016, we launched social integration programmes involving migrants and asylum seekers in Italy.
We work with schools at all levels to help boys, girls and teenagers to:
• be more aware of their rights and more conscious of the violation of children’s rights around the world
• manage their emotions and develop empathy as a basis for living alongside others with respect for different identities
• be active and responsible citizens, effecting positive change in the world and society
• take care of their health by approaching nutrition in the correct way, not only from a biological point of view, but also from a social and relational perspective
The watchwords underpinning our initiatives in Italy are freedom and democracy, laws and legality, development and solidarity, beauty and sustainability, identity and memory.
We also intervene in emergency situations in Italy, where we seek to alleviate the distress and suffering of children and families affected by natural disasters. In particular, we have been working on projects since August 2016 aimed at supporting families and boosting the economy in the regions of central Italy affected by the recent earthquakes.