When we speak of children living in poverty, it's hard to imagine that, in Italy, in 2018, there were more than 1,260,000 children living in absolute poverty and that this figure has actually trebled in the last decade.
Poverty, not only financial, but also educational and social, is not just the preserve of distant developing nations, but is also becoming increasingly common in advanced economies and is creating, in particular, huge disparities, often even within the same metropolitan area.
Furthermore, for some time now, Italy has been experiencing a significant and continuous fall in birth rates, as well as a reduction in government spending on children's welfare and education.
These are the premises that form the basis of this initiative organised by Save the Children Italia, a non-profit organisation that, for over 20 years, has been organising and conducting activities aimed not just at boys and girls in developing countries, but also at those living in Italy. It's as a result of this commitment that the “Fondo Miglior Inizio” (“A Better Start” Fund) was created, a pilot project set up on a national level to support children and new parents during the most challenging stage of their child's life. This project involves providing, in the period leading up to and immediately after the baby's arrival, material assistance (such as help with food and nursery school costs) and psychosocial support aimed at improving parenting skills. A social network is being created to support the project which, by integrating local accredited organisations and services, will enable the initiative to be sustainable over the long term.
The Fondo Miglior Inizio project is being rolled out in five major Italian cities, and involves raising 1.5 million euros to help, during the first 18 months of their lives, over a thousand children born into poverty across Italy.
Location: Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Bari
Association: Save the Children Italia Onlus
Beneficiaries: 90 children (from Enel Cuore's contribution)
Contribution: up to 180,000 euros