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It is becoming increasingly obvious that in Italy the Covid emergency has exacerbated the inequalities that were already present.

Before the pandemic, school education for most Italians was considered a long-acquired right and often taken for granted, but today the question is more complex.

Scampia is a neighbourhood where education poverty for children has long been a widespread problem, yet even in this situation they have managed to overcome adversity.

Serious difficulties have emerged as a result of the Covid emergency: many kids do not have good internet connection or an adequate electronic device. Not going to school or the Centro Educativo has meant many very young kids have forgotten some of the basic notions.

But even in situations like this, the girls and boys of Scampia have managed to overcome so many obstacles.

Support from the Terramia Association has been fundamental for the Scuola delle Seconde Opportunità. The association – which deals with combating school dropout in Roma camps – has helped primary school children connect online, giving out tablets donated by state schools and the Centro Educativo. The Centro Educativo has served as a hub for the children so they have a working internet connection point.

What’s more, a solidarity chain has been set up between schools throughout Italy to give extra lessons to children who are having problems, so that no one is left behind or left on their own.

In Scampia, Chiara is mainly involved in projects for Roma girls. Typically, when they enter puberty, they are taught household duties and the importance of work, affection for others and housekeeping.

Often these girls live in nomadic families, who find themselves in Scampia for the most diverse reasons, speaking up to three different languages.

The education project that Chiara has set up for them is aimed at giving them different opportunities to those offered by their families, promoting creativity to ensure they can discover their own interests and skills.

The seven girls involved in the project – despite resistance from their families and the Covid emergency – have decided not to drop out of school and continue learning.

The programme is divided into two parts. In the first part, the group tackles one of the proposed discussion topics. To date Chiara says that they have reflected on freedom, love, expectations and sexuality: very relevant topics for girls entering adolescence.

In the second part, the girls devote their time to creative activities, making things for themselves: dresses, trousers, veils, new hairstyles, whatever interests them.

As well as getting them out of their home environment and encouraging them to be more independent, the girls begin to build on their own individuality: they can cultivate their interests and experiment together.

Although the legacy of thousands of years of tradition may seem an obstacle, the reality of the situation is quite the opposite. What we have discovered thanks to Chiara is the existence of a lesser known Scampia full of young girls and boys who want to learn. There is still a lot to be done; these kids need someone to accompany them along this path today, so that they can achieve their goals tomorrow.


“The road so far has been long and not without its problems,” says Chiara, “but definitely worth it. There are lots of projects for the future and they are pretty ambitious, for example creating well-defined roles within the Centre, implementing education projects on other important issues, organising activities in a more systematic way as well as trying to reach more and more kids in the neighbourhood.”

“Scampia is a place that totally absorbs you,” says Chiara in total honesty. “Often when you are here, it is easy to forget about everything else. When the Geomag cubes arrived, the kids were all so excited,” says Chiara. We use the magnetic cubes as an alternative teaching method for the younger children as they make learning mathematics, Italian and English fun! It really is an inclusive learning and play system that does not have any linguistic and cultural barriers. Roma and Neapolitan girls and boys all play, grow and experiment together.”

The spontaneity that distinguishes our School Hero, Chiara, in her work is a feature that makes her even more exceptional in our eyes. It reinforces our commitment as a company to protect girls and boys all over the world, to be engines of change for future generations.

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