The educational experience of the Growing Tour in the suburbs of Milan and Naples
The end of the health emergency has allowed us to slowly return to events held in presence and recover the passion that has always characterised us. The story of one of the first local missions to Milan and Naples comes from Cecilia Stajano, who is coordinating the activities Growing Tour, a project promoted with Visa.
Our community manager also visited suburbs where Save the Children’s “Punti Luce” (light points) coordinated by local associations specialised in creating bridges have demonstrated that generosity can take care of social integration.
“The most beautiful thing of this experience is learning from Giovanni, the head of one of the “Punti Luce” in Naples, that when two boys have it in for each other, he puts them on trampolines so that they have to help each other walk forward to avoid falling. And this sense of contact immediately provides a new value,” Cecilia reveals.
From Milan’s Giambellino neighbourhood to Naples’s Barra and Chiaiano, "it all comes down to your first five minutes there. In these areas, where the herd reigns, the law is all for one and one for all. If they teens are guided well, as we were able to appreciate, peer solidarity is extremely high,” explains Cecilia. "Becoming part of the network almost requires an initiation rite, so either you really know how to make a difference or it’s better just to go and learn, not teach. There is no over and under here. Either you know how to lend a hand or do something else for others, otherwise you are just bothersome and it’s best to leave.”
"The suburbs teach humility. They are extraordinarily simple. They are hones,” adds Cecilia. "If you know how to listen, they shout out what is needed, and you just need to open your heart and mind to see it and accompany them courageously towards a change that also becomes one’s own."
Answers must be as "fast as lightning bolts," meeting their needs and imbuing trust. "If you wish to keep their attention chit chat is useless. They need tools to survive, to break free, concrete help, educational help." The suburbs require "seriousness, continuity, trust, courage. Here is where you learn the true meaning of resilience, the meaning behind getting up every day."
Cecilia also emphasises the fact that educational poverty is not equivalent to ignorance. "In fact, poverty often goes hand in hand with a great knack for problem-solving and a profound understanding of things. What can be done to help in these contexts is enrich the limited baggage that people use, always obtaining the same answers."
"The women, mothers and young men and women that we met are life-savvy since a very early age. They know about love, disappointment, doors that have been opened and slammed shut in their faces, emancipation, toil, desperation and solidarity. To outsiders, this is a school of life, a school where feelings are intense, they need truth and simplicity; not traditional, but real-life didactic activities."
Together with Vis, we are bringing tools for financial education to these realities to help the new generation count and account.
Educator Giulia Fidilio helped us understand how the relation with money tells us much about ourselves and our relations with others, because "financial education is a way to take care of oneself, look after one’s personal economy."