ITALY: Families receive support for school costs
Salesians and banking institution Intesa Sanpaolo sign agreement to help families with school-related costs
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Circumscription of Central Italy and the banking institution Intesa Sanpaolo have signed an agreement in support of families with school-age children who attend Salesian schools and vocational training centers in Abruzzo, Lazio, Liguria, Marche, Sardinia, Tuscany and Umbria.
As part of an initiative of the environmental social governance sector of Intesa Sanpaolo, impact loans will provide families with a line of credit of 2,000 or 3,000 euros per year for a period ranging from one to five years.
The goal is to help families with financial sustainability while their children are in school. The loans will provide families with money to purchase products and services related to education (school fees, books, etc.), coverage of special educational needs (psychomotor skills, speech therapy), and other activities fostering personal growth (sports, summer camps, training experiences abroad).
Marco Morganti, head of the Intesa Sanpaolo Impact Department, said, “It is a source of great pride, but also an opportunity to invest in the first part of the school career when the potential for growth and learning is at its highest.”
The project is part of impact finance initiatives that provide credit to people who would be unlikely to receive traditional finance loans. The bank has been offering these impact loans for university students and working mothers, as well as for the purchase of computer devices for distance learning. As confirmed by recent research supported by Intesa Sanpaolo, most Italian families are convinced that spending on their children’s education is the best investment for the future.
“There are many families who choose the Don Bosco school as a place of formation and growth for their children. Many more would like to be part of this educational proposal but are discouraged by the payment of fees,” said Father Marco Aspettati, provincial delegate for Salesian schools. “That is why, as Salesian parish schools, we are very pleased to present this opportunity to the families of our children.”
Fr. Aspettati added, “Concrete support enables families to have the freedom of educational choice, which unfortunately in Italy represents a cost, unlike many other European countries. I’m convinced that many families, including those on low and medium incomes, can see in this financial product a valid help in investing in the education of their children, guaranteeing them quality education.”
Poverty rose sharply in 2020 to its highest level in 15 years as the COVID-19 crisis brought economic challenges for much of Italy. Close to 5.6 million people or 9.4 percent of the population are living in absolute poverty unable to buy goods or services to achieve a minimally acceptable standard of living, according to the World Bank. This number includes 1.3 million minors.
Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.
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Salesian Missions – Italy
World Bank – Italy