Launch of the partnership between the international organization that is fighting against poverty and social exclusion and Milan Foundation, for young people in NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), and to sensitize boys and girls on the issues of gender discrimination.

(PHOTO: Mattia De Sciglio with representatives of the ActionAid Milan Foundation team)

MILAN – Presented today at the Swiss Corner in Milan, at the presence of the Wellness, Quality of Life, Sports and Leisure of the City of Milan chief Chiara Bisconti, the collaboration between the International ActionAid Organisation, Italy International and Milan Foundation, which have chosen to take the field together to promote sport as a tool to combat gender stereotypes and social exclusion, encouraging the inclusion of young people NEET training and working in the peripheral areas of Milan.

Two projects that ActionAid Milan Foundation has chosen to support: Play for Change and Teamwork.

The first, funded by the King Baudouin Foundation and in partnership with ActionAid Italy and AC Milan, is centered on combating social exclusion and gender discrimination, and will involve about 100 teachers and 1,000 boys and girls aged 8 to 11 years of four Italian cities: Bari, Messina, Milan and Naples. The boys and girls involved  in the project will have the opportunity to participate in psycho-motor education courses made by professional coaches and technical experts of AC Milan, during school hours in the structure where pupils usually follow the physical education classes, taking advantage of the expertise of experienced coaches to provide activities suited to their age, aimed at improving not only their physical condition, but also the ability to work in a team, respect for others and rules.

Within the project, there is also an exchange of emails and Skype calls among Italian schools involved and a school in India, located in one of the villages where ActionAid works, with the aim to bring together boys and girls who live in different countries and cultural backgrounds, as well as different social and economic conditions. The issue of gender discrimination in the family, society, media and sport will be deepened through Me, Myself, I, in which students will have the opportunity to come across gender stereotypes through simple and easy to understand examples, such as role play, class discussions and motor activities.

The Play for Change project will end in June, when a Sports Tournament in Milan will take place which will be attended by delegations of pupils from all Scholastic Institutes.

The second project, Teamwork, promoted by ActionAid and Milan Foundation in partnership with AXA Insurance and AXA Hearts in Action, and with the operational support of the Vismara Centre, is an annual course (March 2015 – February 2016) involving young people aged 15 and 24 who are residents in Milano Gratosoglio (Zone 5) and aims to contribute to the activation of young NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), proposing a path made free of physical activity and sports quality, “motivational training”. Sport, in fact, if set properly, can give an answer to distrust and risk of exclusion and social distress, as it increases self-esteem and self-confidence, develops a sense of teamwork and collaboration and helps in motivating goals to achieve them. Starting from the personal resources and network of each participant, the technical partners of Milan and ActionAid will build a path of improving the situation of children, in particular through actions that can allow motivation of young people and help them to find that motivation to seek professional employment, voluntary work in the area, or take a training course. Through a consulting service and the use of specific tools and methodologies, the boys will be helped to identify their own career plan and training, starting with the expressed needs and resources of each participant.

“For Milan Foundation is an honor to collaborate with ActionAid,” said Rocco Giorgianni, General Secretary of the Milan Foundation. “Those who join us in this project, bring not only practical help but also support in terms of experience in combating social exclusion. We believe that sport can be a key element in the formation and growth of individuals, especially for those who find themselves in a difficult situation as the young people involved in the initiative presented today.”

“We are pleased to have Milan Foundation at our side, sport trains us not only in the physical side, but also the fundamental values such as commitment, respect, legality, team spirit, cooperation, results-oriented approach,” said Marco de Ponte, Secretary General of ActionAid Italy. “Our organization has always believed in the potential of motor practice in our own projects and promotes the inclusion of sports language as drivers of awareness among young people to obtain solidarity and social integration.”