To provide youngsters with a place and the opportunity to receive support and be accompanied in their studies and personal growth, thanks to positive socialising models.
Great social disparity in this area means that a sense of community is lacking and this has led to a proliferation of organised crime. With no suitable sports, social or cultural meeting places, and faced with high unemployment, youngsters are increasingly disoriented and lack fixed reference points. This situation in turn leads to a growing rate of early school leavers, even among middle school students.
This context, where more fragile youngsters are easily attracted by deviant behaviour, represents a breeding ground for criminal organisations, a fact unfortunately proven by the increase in the number of cases involving minors reported by the judicial authorities to the social services.
In the most dramatic of cases, many youngsters risk growing up in a juvenile detention centre.
Our association in Naples is the only one that combines the two spirits of Sport for Change, working both to combat early school leaving and also towards reinsertion of young offenders.
The project provides opportunities for education and encounter both to youngsters in the Nisida juvenile detention centre who have already served a third of their sentence and have been granted permission to attend professional training courses outside the prison, and also to their peers who risk becoming early school leavers, reported by the local networks and services.
Fondazione Milan has decided to intervene in this difficult context, working simultaneously with two groups: one younger group (11-15 years of age) which risk becoming early school leavers and one older group (16-24 years of age), which includes both youngsters from Nisida and those who risk social exclusion.
Giving the detainees a chance to take part in professional training courses outside the juvenile centre, helps overcome the reciprocal diffidence between society and detainees and promotes creation of a supportive relationship, in the conviction that by completing a training and educational course together, these youngsters can restart their lives and grow as citizens.
To generate real change, we decided to base these courses on training for work and, in such a particular context, sport plays a fundamental role as a tool linking the world of work and normal everyday life.
The younger group follows the traditional strategy, with activity on the field together with an SSD Europa team, the Neapolitan sports association and partner for this project, plus music and photography workshops during the second half of the year. Accompanied by a psychologist and an educator, the youngsters gain more self-confidence and awareness of their personal limits and resources through motivational training. They are taught the basic elements of communication on the field and they are guided in observation of how children manage their emotions and the cognitive and relational differences at each age. Ever better, their basic abilities, autonomy and self-esteem are reinforced.
Whereas, the youngsters in the second group receive classroom training for the technical and tactical aspects, and on the field they learn about management of relational dynamics, starting with observation of SSD Europe member teams and in the end are shadowed by a coach as they prepare and train the younger kids for the championship.
These youngsters are also allowed to attend a work-oriented training course and to take part in a pottery workshop organised by the Nisida detention centre. These courses take place in a building on the island outside the prison walls.
15 youngsters aged 11-15, their names provided by the “Centro di Solidarietà”, enrolled at middle schools and who risk becoming early school leavers.
21 youngsters aged 16 to 24, of whom 6 are students and 7 NEETs (Not in Education Employment or Training), their names provided by local networks and 2 detainees from the Nisida juvenile detention centre.
Associazione Portofranco Napoli
Nisida Juvenile Detention Centre
Local Sports Council and Education Council
Associazione Centro di Solidarietà of Naples