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Italy fights educational poverty with ‘light centres’

Italy fights educational poverty with ‘light centres’

A new one is planned in the city of Milan

At the end of the working week, the Municipality of Milan informed the public about the planned construction of a new ‘light centre’ in the city. ‘Save the Children’, an NGO working to resolve young people’s issues, has won the tender to redevelop an old school building, located on via Ojetti 20, in the Gallaratese district.

‘Light centre’ is the translation for the Italian term ‘punto luce’, as these places are commonly known. There are already 26 of them all over the country’s territory and their purpose is to address gaps in education and training availability.

They point to the fact that such gaps even exist and that Italian society might not be as egalitarian as one might have expected, given the fact that not all of its members can get the same opportunities to develop individually and professionally – depending on where they live.

These centres help kids and their parents

They are called ‘Light centres’ in reference to the metaphorical concepts of Illumination and Reason, standing for the light that brightens the mind. It is also a reference to the Illuminiamo il futuro campaign launched seven years ago in Italy.

The new location will offer educational, cultural and social opportunities, free of charge, to girls, boys and adolescents. Its professionals will develop individual support plans for minors, who are living in certified conditions of economic hardship. These will be identified thanks to the municipal administrative network, by consulting all of the school and the reference social services.

Save the Children is an international organization that has won the tender for the rebirth of the former school building. It has more than a century of experience in working with children’s issues, so the authorities felt confident in granting a concession for the management of the new centre for a duration of 30 years.

Children and families can take advantage of various activities within these educational density spaces, including study support, artistic and musical workshops, promotion of reading, access to new technologies, play and physical activities. The spaces also offer legal, psychological, pediatric and parenting support advice to parents or adult role-model figures for the children.

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