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ITALY: Youth in need find new opportunity

“You x the children” program Salesian program, Italy

Salesian program for marginalized youth supported more than 54,000 youth in 2022


(MissionNewswire) The “You x the children” program run by Salesians for Social APS in Italy reached 54,190 youth in 2022, thanks to an investment of 2.5 million euro. The program is run through 46 Don Bosco Houses, where poor and marginalized youth study, play, grow and have new opportunities through the commitment of educators, volunteers and donors.

Operating through a network of more than 100 local organizations, Salesians for Social APS has been working for more than 30 years to take care of youth who need help. Don Bosco Houses are real homes where vulnerable children can live with foster parents who provide food, protection and love.

This support is important given the status of youth in the country. According to data released by the National Institute of Statistics in 2022, 13.4% of minors in Italy were in absolute poverty, equal to more than 1.2 million children and adolescents under 18. This is an increase of almost one point compared to the previous year of 12.6%. In addition, 23.5% of children are in a condition of relative poverty, which is more than 2.1 million children and adolescents.

The statistics also show regional differences, with disadvantaged children living to a greater extent in the south (15.9%) of the country, while lower numbers of disadvantaged children are living in the north (12.3%) and in the middle of the country (11.5%).

“A third of our children grow up with heavy negative conditioning,” explained Marco Rossi Doria, president of the social enterprise Con i Bambini. “Italy’s sustainable future is at stake. It is time to integrate public and private action in a strategic way, constant over time in support of the educating communities already at work. Child educational poverty is fueled by and fuels economic and social exclusion. It is an intolerable short circuit that harms people’s rights and opportunities at the beginning of life and threatens the future sustainability of Italy’s development.”

Father Francesco Preite, president of Salesians for Social APS, agreed. “We share the concern about the data, which gives us an alarming picture. The economic and social conditions of many families do not allow children and young people to have access to the services, activities and goods necessary for their development. We continue to be committed to supporting minors and young people with their families who live in situations of social vulnerability, material and educational poverty.”



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