Supporting Assistance Facilities And Recreational Activities For The Immigrant Families Of Mazara Del Vallo, Sicily

Project location: ITALY, Mazara Del Vallo, Sicily
Project start date: September 2014 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2014-044
Beneficiary: Associazione Casa della Comunità Speranza

 [2015-024 | 2016-059 | 2018-018]

Learning Italian is difficult for children even if they lived in Italy for years, because of their habits and culture. Usually only fathers can speak Italian, because of their work, but they use many dialectal words and they have poor language skills. Generally, the family speaks the original language and so children have even more difficulties at school. Parents are not able to help their kids because they lack good school education or money for private lessons. The consequence is poor school performance for children, and many of them decide to give up school spending  time on the street where they may be used by local criminals for thefts or to sell drugs.

The main project's purpose is school support. This implies:
- to help immigrant families, especially when they have children with learning difficulties, offering possibility of improvement and support with homework;
- to promote socialization, respect of social rules and integration between different cultures.

Casa della Comunità Speranza Association provides a serious and safe place where children and young can do homework and meet new friends. Workers and volunteers guarantee continuous care with individual lessons helping young to learn a better method of study.

For the 2014-2015 school year,  the same number of children as the past year were expected, a total of 137 individuals, who were divided as follows:


  • 1st year 7
  • 2nd year 10
  • 3rd year 8
  • 4th year 5
  • 5th year 13

Total individuals 43

  • 1st year 10
  • 2nd year 16
  • 3rd year 18

Total individuals 44

  • 1st year 21
  • 2nd year 18
  • 3rd year 6
  • 4th year 5

Total individuals 50


Enrollment forecast for September 2014: 137
10 Italians
- 7 males (70%)
- 3 females (30%)

127 non- EU
- 68 males(53%)
- 59 females (47%)

Educators and mediators work four hours a day for four days in the week, 16 hours a week, 64 hours a month.

Organization of the Activities

Activities take place in three different but contiguous buildings and children are divided in groups with the following timetable:
- Monday to Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. for 1st and 2nd year of Primary school; 1st and 2nd year of Middle school and the 3rd year of Middle school.
- Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. for 3rd and 4th year of Primary school, 5th year of Primary school and High school.
Workers and volunteers act together with School teachers, local authority and local Health administration.

Special purposes are:
- to offer an alternative to the street where children can spend their free time;
- to promote friendship between immigrant children and their Italian peers but also with adults outside the family;
-to propose a new model of education based on shared "thinking" and "doing" where everyone is equal in the differences;
- to act together for the rebirth of the Casbah, the heart of the Old Town;
- to "seed the Hope" of living in a town where differences become tolerance and respect, as a girl said: "I'm 15, I'm mazarese and Tunisinian and a I'm a melting pot"
Furthermore an important aspect is the collaboration with families involved in the activities with planned meeting, talks with parents and sometimes psycho-social support if needed.
The collaboration between school and Association makes it possible to discover and solve problems, to define strategies, to improve learning and to decide individual method.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project to achieve the goals outlined below. In 2015,2016 and 2018  it awarded further grants.

Short term results (one year)
- Successful yearly school evaluation for 80% of children and young
Long term results:
- middle school degree for 90% of the children
- high school degree for 70% of the young

think global, act local
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