Some Ukrainian children take part in Italian classes and games at the Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale parish in Rome | Photo: PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/ VALENTINA RONCATI
Some Ukrainian children take part in Italian classes and games at the Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale parish in Rome | Photo: PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/ VALENTINA RONCATI

The Rome University of International Studies UNINT on June 10 started free classes of Italian for Ukrainians to support them in their integration into the country. The courses focus on adults and children and will be held every Friday and Saturday or June and July. Children will learn Italian by playing, adults in university classrooms.

An initiative kicked off on June 10 at the Rome University of International Studies UNINT that aims to meet one of the essential needs of Ukrainian refugees in Italy.

Every Friday and Saturday of June, free classes of Italian will be held on the university campus for Ukrainians to help enable both adults and children fleeing the country at war to integrate into Italy.

The classes will be taught by instructors specialized in teaching Italian to foreigners, who will be flanked by cultural mediators.

252 signed up, 75 children and adolescents

Some 252 people have signed up for the classes, according to organizers.

Of them, 167 are adults, the vast majority of whom women since most men were required to stay in the country in case they were needed to fight. There are also 75 children and adolescents.

"It was necessary to close the registration after only a few days or the number would have become too large. However, this initiative may encourage other universities in Italy to do the same," promoters say.

Hundreds of board games, toys, and children's books have been donated in recent days for the youngest to learn the language while playing in the park during classes on the university campus.

From compassion to action

The vice president of the university, Fabio Bisogni, underscored that -- faced with the tragedies that Ukrainian refugees are experiencing -- it is essential "not to stop at compassion, and to instead move on to action. Feeling their suffering pushes us to intercept and meet their needs. One of the top needs is to communicate and dialogue to create closeness and integration.This great project was created on that basis."

"Creating bridges between cultures is part of our mission as a university, and this is our concrete response to to the tragedy of a war that is affecting the entire planet," added the chair of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Mariagrazia Russo.

The classes will be held until the end of July, every Friday between 5 PM and 8 PM and Saturday between 10 AM and 1 PM.

 

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