Italian suburbs: for young people, changes start right here
Back to the suburbs at the Corviale neighbourhood in Rome and, for the first time, in Turin, the summer camps of the young people of the Focolare are taking place, with programs ranging from cultural activities and local development to debates on integration, active citizenship, mafia, and peace. All of this, only a few days before the meeting of young Italians with Pope Francis.
“In times like these, when even politicians seem to have forgotten the problems of the country in favor of the struggles between their respective parties, we decided to focus on where change is urgent. This is why some years ago we made the choice to work in the suburbs of our cities.” This is how Raffaele Natalucci, spokesperson for the Focolare youth in Rome, explains the reasons behind the 2018 edition of the Campus of the Focolare young people scheduled to take place in Rome (3-12 August) and Turin (28 July – 6 August).
Ten days of action-training in the outskirts of these two cities for about a hundred young people coming from all over Italy and beyond, between 18 and 30 years old, to respond to the invitation of Pope Francis “to go out, to meet others, to go to the suburbs, to meet those who are more distant.” They will then join thousands of young people for a meeting with Pope Francis in Rome on the weekend of 11 and 12 August.
Many diverse activities are included in the program: social and volunteering actions in synergy with other citizens’ associations, artistic workshops with the children of the neighborhoods, actions of requalification, training courses, and workshops open to all the inhabitants on issues that challenge everyone on a daily basis.
“The suburbs: the capital resource of Italy” contains the commitment that for many years the young people of the Focolare have carried out in the suburbs of our country (Caserta, Syracuse, and Rome). The objective, as stated in the “Campus identity card,” is to live “an experience that promotes and develops interpersonal relationships, among associations and with the institutions, that give life to a ‘We’ that becomes a subject acting locally.”
In Rome, from Friday 3 August, the young people of the Focolare will go back to the Corviale neighbourhood; leitmotif of the activities will be the relationship between conscious choices and active citizenship. Several debates in the schedule: On migrations with lawyers Loredana Leo and Flavia Cerino, and the operator Claudio Torre, member of the Central System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers, from Rome. On the “Uselessness of war” with journalist Ennio Remondino and the group of “Economia Disarmata” (Disarmed Economics). “Politics as a service” with Prof. Claudio Guerrieri, a teacher at the High School “Liceo Eugenio Montale” of Rome, and Michele Molé, councilor for the 9th District of Milan. “Legality. To the mafias we say NO” with journalist Gianni Bianco, and many testimonies.
The campus in Turin at the paper mill, the former factory of the City’s 4th District, aims to create bridges of brotherhood in a melting pot of cultures and populations, meeting the problems and riches of the suburbs located within the urban fabric of Turin.