In Italy, the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences on girls and boys, especially those aged 0 to 6 years and on their access to fundamental opportunities for personal growth and the acquisition of fundamental skills.
Because of Covid, 876 thousand children in kindergarten (3-6 years) had to deal with discontinuity and fragmentation right at the beginning of their educational journey. In the most disadvantaged Italian provinces, where the greatest number of students live in conditions of socioeconomic disadvantage, only 5% of children have access to a public kindergarten, compared to 24.5% of those with the highest number of students of high socio-economic level.
Educational poverty has deprived and deprives boys, girls, families and citizens of individual and collective learning opportunities, of which they are entitled and which actively contribute to the construction and generation of the sense of "common good" that allows communities to be, and grow, cohesive and inclusive.
In this context, Fondazione Reggio Children together with Save the Children recognise to the educational community and the social fabric of the territories, a fundamental role for the development of skills and competences by boys and girls.
This is the origin of the Crescere Insieme ("Growing Together") project which, thanks to the support of the Gruppo Credem, aims to combat educational povertyand reduce the factors that feed inequalities from early childhood. In particular, the project aims to expand the quality offer of the Save the Children’s Spazio Mamme program by creating workshop experiences for children and adults together in 7 Italian territories: Genoa, Rome, Naples, Palermo, San Luca, Brindisi and Sassari.
Combating educational poverty has been one of our primary goals for many years. Our projects on local realities aim to combat all forms of inequality that prevents every child from exploring and implementing their potential, providing opportunities and tools to have a better future. Educational poverty is not an irreversible condition, but without interventions aimed at early childhood care and education and policies of welfare and support for parenthood, can become a vicious circle in which inequalities are transmitted from generation to generation. It’s up to us adults to break this spiral.
The regeneration of a community can arise around the protagonism of childhood. We also aim for this in the new paths to the Spazi Mamme with Save the Children and the Gruppo Credem. Educational poverty concerns not only families, but communities, and it is defeated together. Centrality of childhood means giving opportunities to the golden age of the person to express themselves in quality contexts and to make girls and boys, mothers and families, protagonists of the dialogue with a welcoming community.
With the "Growing Together" project we want to continue to support the most fragile children, especially in a very complicated economic scenario, and their families by extending our intervention to the age group 0 - 6 years. To do so, we have brought together two prestigious realities active in the world of child education such as Save the Children and Reggio Children Foundation. Thanks to this productive collaboration, we will be able to offer new quality educational paths that have the aim of generating value not only for the parties involved, but also for the areas in which we will intervene. For Credem this also means Wellbanking, working for the welfare of the communities in which we operate.
After the site-visit of each Spazio Mamma and a first phase of listening to the territories to bring out the peculiarities, needs and desires of each of these, a second phase of co-planning of the new activities started, with proposals of contents and languages closer to the experiences and cultures of the beneficiaries who live the daily life of the Spazi.
One of the projects also concerns the redevelopment of the spaces of Palermo and Sassari, which will be redesigned and re-furnished to accommodate the beneficiaries. This phase will involve in the co-planning not only those who live daily in the mother spaces of Palermo and Sassari but also architects with previous experience in this field.
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