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Andrea Bosca and the greatest dream of children in war situations

There World Children’s Rights Daysanctioned byUN In the 1989expressly reminds us that children, girls and adolescents also have civil, social, political, cultural and economic rights, which must be promoted and protected by everyone.

More than thirty years laterthe day is ideally dedicated to right to peace, just while a Unicef ​​note a few days ago released a frightening fact: in a month and a half of conflict in the Middle East, over 4,600 children have been killed in Gaza and at least 9,000 have been injured, while a million children have no safe place to take refuge. Catherine Russell, UNICEF Director Generaldeclared «What I saw and heard was devastating. Parties to the conflict are committing grave violations against children, including killings, mutilations, abductions, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access.”

The conflicts, first in Ukraine and then in the Gaza strip, add to the poverty, hunger and the climate crisis: all factors that are «pushing – as he underlines Save the Children – millions of girls and boys on the brink of the abyss. In fact, in the world, approximately 468 million of them, that is, more than 1 in 6, live in a war zone and there are 160 million children between 5 and 17 years old, trapped in exploitation and slavery child laborwhile an estimated 29.9 million adolescent girls live in the 10 countries with the highest numbers of child marriages».

In short, we live in a historical period in which the rights of children and adolescents are particularly at risk and regularly, sadly, violated. Even Italy is not a country for children, On the contrary. It is estimated that there are almost one and a half million minors living today below the poverty lineand the situation has worsened further with the pandemic, which has amplified social inequalities and made access to healthcare, education and early childhood services much more difficult.

«The most violated children’s right is the right to be children» explains the actor Andrea Boscaamong the founders of #EveryChildIsmyChild ETS (Third Sector Body), which deals with supporting children who live in places of conflict and who come from disadvantaged social groups, and underlines: «The founding value of our association is precisely the right to childhoodtogether with right to education».

«We were born in 2017, as a group formed on the emotional wave created by the war in Syria, then we structured ourselves into a non-profit organization, now ETS. We immediately looked for a project we could follow. A serious and transparent project: we have identified that of Plaster SchooL (literally school patch), in Turkey, but in an area very close to the border with Syria. In fact, the objective was and is to help Syrian children who, once they arrive in Turkey, remain in limbo because, not knowing the Turkish language and not having a minimum education, they are unable to enter the school and social system of the new country in which they live. We came into contact with children That have never experienced their childhood, and have instead gone through a thousand horrors. For this reason, the first thing we do – he continues – is to take them off the streets, where they beg to support their families, and then let them enter school, in a finally serene environment where they are first of all taught the Turkish language, and then move on to other school subjects”.

What is a child’s biggest dream? What more do they ask you?
«Children who live in a situation of war or in a disadvantaged social context strongly desire to go to school: they know that education is the only way to have a better life. It’s as if they were asking us to protect theirs right to education».

Another children’s rights is that of play, without making differences or exclusions: «our school also welcomes children with disabilities or fragility, those who would otherwise be left behind in a conflict situation, often unable to survive. We are doing the same in Italy with the project Fair play, based in Latina, which sees able-bodied children and children with disabilities playing football together. Being together, playing together generates great enthusiasm even within our group, for example Anna (Foglietta, co-founder of the association) often goes to Latina to follow the matches.”

What is the first wall to break down to truly begin to respect children’s rights?
«The real enemy has always been and is indifference. Especially in the first days of this conflict, we saw terrible images, which circulated on the web and on social media. But little by little we will become indifferent to those too, just as many are already insensitive to the atrocious images of the war in Ukraine. We at #EveryChildIsMyChild were shocked by the violence of these scenes. Now we are eager to act, we are waiting for access to treatment to finally be given and for the bombing to stop so that we can also intervene in Gaza with a project that can truly help.”

An image of hope linked to children?
«It gives hope to see that the kids who were previously on the streets are now responsible and they look the little ones, it gives hope to see kids large who return to visit their old school, it gives hope to see a baby of a few months who looks at his father and smiles at him, confident. The fact that, if they just feel a little loved, children bring out unimaginable resources gives hope.”

Andrea Bosca concludes: «The children I am the future: not our future, but their own future. This is the shot of responsibility that we adults must do: not take over the future of the little ones, but rather manage to secure it for them. This too is a fundamental right of children.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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