In Licata, 140 young participants took an active part in the summer educational activities, together with 65 adolescent animators who acted as attentive companions. Together with the animators, the children discovered the value of belonging to a community, the beauty that each of us can create in the world with our own life project, how precious uniqueness and diversity are, how important it is to help others. The young participants made these themes – freedom, community, expectation, service, responsibility, project – their own through the stories of ‘witnesses’, people who have made these themes their life mission.
This was possible thanks to the work of Catholic Action S.G. Tomasi of Licata and the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani, which offered various activities and educational games during the summer. These included: a meeting with the Commander of the Carabinieri Company of Licata, Augusto Petrocchi, with whom the young participants reflected on the figure of Salvo D’Acquisto and commemorated the fallen of the Second World War, a few days after the commemoration of the liberation of the city of Licata; a visit to the places of the Judge Rosario Livatino – the house, the chapel and the stele that stands at the site of his murder – as a way of making this extraordinary figure of our land known; a meeting with Licata’s administration in the city hall, to acquaint the children and young people with the places where public life is administered; and then creative and educational workshops, as well as games and days at the beach and swimming pool. The leitmotif of all the activities was ‘Ester turn the world upside down’, an invitation for children and young people to make courageous choices and change the world through their own actions.
Giuseppe La Rocca, director of the Community Foundation, pointed out that summer is a time when social inequalities, especially among children, are accentuated due to the closure of schools. Families with economic and social possibilities can guarantee their children better educational, play and growth opportunities, while children from families in fragile situations risk falling behind in participating in educational and socio-relational initiatives. In this context, the Drop-in project decided to intervene to address this often neglected and underestimated need, especially in the post-pandemic era, when it is crucial to give children and young people back non-formal growth opportunities.
In the Parish of San Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, located in the suburban district Fondachello Playa, where the Drop-in project’s educational and aggregative place is located, the importance of ensuring constant attention to prevention and education in order to avoid degradation and deviance phenomena, while promoting a higher level of active citizenship and social participation, has been recognised.
“It would be nice if all children had the same opportunities, but this is not the case, and we, who live every day and all year round with families, know this very well.” This is the thought of the volunteer educators of the S.G. Tomasi Catholic Action of Licata that led them to commit themselves to carrying out these activities.
The ‘Drop-in’ project is co-financed by the Peppino Vismara Foundation, with La Grande Casa Società Cooperativa Sociale (MI) as project leader.