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The story of Thujana, when a school-work project leads you to work with disabled people

The story it tells Thujana Ganeshamoorthy, Roman of Sri Lankan origins, began in October 2019, when the Giulio Verne school in Acilia, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Rome, and theAnffas, National Association of Families of People with Intellectual and/or Relational Disabilitiesfrom Ostia join forces to carry out a project school-work.

We often talk about the problems of Italian public schools, the many difficulties that students are called upon to face during their studies. The good news is that there are also things that work, especially when the right people meet and decide to work together. The director of Anffas Stefano Galloni and the principal of the Verne Institute Patrizia Sciarma study the project togetherthen they call together the students of the fourth year of the socio-health path.

The idea is to select one student from the approximately one hundred present at the first meeting, to include him in the association’s activities. Among the kids who show up for the interview is Thujana.

«I decided to participate, but I was convinced that I would not be the chosen one. They told me that there was also one of the parameters that would make the difference school progress. I had good grades, but other classmates certainly did better.” Thujana, however, had already had an experience at Anffas, where she was appreciated for her dedication and commitment.

«At the end of the interviews they told us that after about a month they would communicate the name of the winning person, I quickly dismissed the matter, I was sure that they would focus on someone else».

Then one day the phone rings. «As soon as I left school I received a phone call. She was a teacher, she told me that they had chosen me. At the time I didn’t even understand what she was talking about, then she told me that it was the school-work project, it was wonderful news. I was still a minor when I went to sign the contract with my father on December 23, 2019. So I began to alternate my presence at school with that of Anffas. Three days I was a student, the other three I worked.”

In June 2021 Thujana finishes her journey, graduates, and thanks to the contract which provides for the possibility of being hired permanently by the Association, she finds a permanent job. Today more than two years have passed and Thujana is employed in the role of administrative assistant. «I am happy, first of all I thank my family who has always supported me, even when it would have been easier to force me to follow a different path. Thanks also to Dr. Galloni and Dr. Sciarma, who strongly believed in this project. And then, thanks to myself, who never gave up despite the difficulties!”.

Source: Vanity Fair

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