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ITALY: New workshop provides educational supports for marginalized youth to help them stay and succeed in school

(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco oratory, located in the district of Cinecittà in Rome, Italy, has launched the XteStudio workshop as part of the IN.S.I.E.ME project which provides extra educational support for marginalized youth. IN.S.I.E.ME is active in 17 locations throughout Italy and aims to combat educational challenges by involving schools, parents and youth.

Through the XteStudio workshop, children between the ages of 11 and 17 are able to access tutoring and support that enables them to be successful in their educational endeavors. Many of these youth are struggling to stay in school or are repeat students, school dropouts, or dealing with family challenges.

The XteStudio workshop provides after-school and school-based reinforcement activities, including educational activities based on expression and cinematographic initiatives. These are carried out in collaboration with the local Cinecircolo Giovanile Socioculturale, a youth and cultural cinema-based association.

At the beginning of the year, to increase a sense of belonging in the group, project facilitators took the children on a field trip to the center of Rome. Caterina Pezzi, the project’s local coordinator says, “Many of the youth, although they have traveled alone around the neighborhood, had never seen the center of Rome. We visited some typical streets, the Pantheon, several churches and a few monuments that they had only studied in books and never seen in person.”

Through this trip and through all of the experiences facilitated by the project, youth are regaining self-confidence and acquiring knowledge and motivation for their studies.

In Italy, young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population. Vocational training is as an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school.

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

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.

According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.



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ANS – Italy – “For you, I study”: IN.S.I.E.ME project at “Don Bosco-Cinecittà” focuses on relationships and trust between young people

UNICEF – Italy Poverty