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Chiara is studying for a Masters in Music and Development and so decided to go to Scampia and help out, taking her skills, sensitivity and empathy with her. She was invited by Eraldo Cacchione who runs the Pastoral Centre of the neighborhood:

These children need love, come and give us a hand”

Chiara has been living in Scampia since September. She is interested in understanding how music can change – or rather she prefers to use the word “move” – the dynamics of a place and in what ways it can be useful.

Chiara says that for the group of older children, music has been a real glue: the Roma and Neapolitan teenagers have made friends with one another thanks to the work of the volunteers who have transmitted their love of studying and community.

For the younger children, music has triggered an important change: learning to sing and play together means they now understand how to listen to each other and relate to others. Even though it was not easy at the beginning, over time the results have been incredible. 

They are amazed at the expressive possibilities that music gives them. They are now able to understand that they have a means of expressing themselves, their inner world and their emotions.”

School, education, being part of a community does not only affect the development of kids, it also determines who they will become tomorrow. It helps them find their own path and choose who they want to be.

Thanks to the work of the volunteers and the kids’ desire for positive change, many students have decided to change direction and stay at school. Showing others that there are a wide range of opportunities and not just the well-trodden path they see around them is a great achievement:

“It is so important to have someone who sets an example for things to really change,” says Chiara.

Thanks to this project, the children who have attended the Centre Educativo are beginning to have greater aspirations, compared to the future their parents had in mind for them: some have decided to go to university, others have taken vocational courses and others want to carry on at the Centro Educativo as volunteers.

Following the oldest and greatest of Neapolitan traditions, many dream of becoming a pizza chef.

The potential of these kids is enormous, almost as much as their desire to live a different life.

Chiara tells us the story of a Roma girl who, despite the cultural tradition of girls having to drop out of school to find a husband and start a family, managed with the support of the volunteers to convince her parents how important it was for her to continue studying. She eventually managed to complete the school programme and her dream is to study law.

“Only with, first and foremost, the willpower of the kids, good communication with the families and mediation with the schools is it possible to achieve results,” explains Chiara.

Change is actually taking place and it is happening because there are volunteers who work at changing the status quo and there are kids who are keen to learn.

The aim of the project is to create solid structures so that all the kids realise that their path has not necessarily been mapped out, but they still have a choice.

“To do this” explains Chiara, “it is essential to organise both educational and leisure activities so that the kids find their own way, inspiration.”

A typical day inside the Centro:

All the kids go to school in the morning and to the Centro Educativo in the afternoon. From 6pm til 8pm, the teenagers are helped with their homework and preparation for school tests. Then they can play together, eat there, watch films, go out on trips. There are after-school activities for the younger kids or piano and choir lessons. The staff always keep an open dialogue going with the families.

Play and learning activities are more dynamic and practical than school lessons, which are mostly frontal instruction.

In this way, children learn by playing, developing their creativity and collaborating with their peers.

Thanks to the tireless work of the volunteers, teachers and tutors, they have formed a great group: it does not matter where you are from, your ethnic group, what language you speak. There is no discrimination, just a group of friends who mix traditions and cultures.