Sport for Change

Sport to combat early school leaving: the Bollate project.

THE SITUATION

There are an alarming number of students leaving school, with 17.6% in the age group 10 to 16.  Let’s talk about almost 700.000 children who, once out of the school system, risk being left to themselves, no longer involved in society in terms of employment and often without access to other structured contexts in which to deal with their peers. Many end up entering into deviant areas and, in many cases, end up in prison or reported to social services.

Our response: the PLAY FOR CHANGE programme

The PLAY FOR CHANGE programme has been set up to help young people at risk to find their own way and realize their dreams.

We believe that youngsters need to be accompanied and supported in realizing their growth and, especially for young people in trouble, we believe that sport can be a formidable force for change.

With this spirit, the PLAY FOR CHANGE programme was set up and that already has nine programmes for minors at risk in Italy. With this spirit converges various services and activities in the belief that the creation of new social networks and health is a condition to prevent and intervene on deviant behavior and social marginalization. Here through sports, education and social activities we are trying to include youngsters in linear paths to restore their confidence in themselves and in adults, help them return to school or enter the labour market.

OUR APPROACH

In Milan, about 10% of students in primary and secondary schools are at risk of becoming school dropouts.

In a particularly complicated outskirts PLAY FOR CHANGE – Bollate accompanies 20 children between 11 and 15 years every year to resume their studies and regain the lost years.

For each of them, involving schools and local community centers, it is a customized project with developed training that includes:

• educational workshops rediscovery of skills and competencies;
• individual coaching activities, with the support of an educator and a psychologist;
• sport in the Milan football schools.

Sport in particular has a strong educational value: to establish a more balanced relationship with adult figures; develop a sense of teamwork and collaboration; teaches reason for goals and to achieve them.