From file: A picture of Sicilian greenhouses, where strawberries are being harvested | Photo: Archive / ANSA
From file: A picture of Sicilian greenhouses, where strawberries are being harvested | Photo: Archive / ANSA

A recreational space for minors was inaugurated in the town of Acate, Sicily. The project’s mission is to contrast educational poverty in a geographic area characterized by the presence of greenhouses employing migrant agricultural laborers.

'Paspartù,' a recreational space for minors, was inaugurated on Thursday, July 21, in the historic center of the town of Acate, Sicily, with two games rooms, a coffee area, a computer room offering digitization courses and another room for conferences and theater classes.

The center's mission is to provide a space for minors, many of them migrants, or the children of migrants, who are living in an area characterized by educational poverty. Many migrant agricultural laborers are employed in these greenhouses.

'Paspartù' is hosted within the walls of the town’s former Convent of the Sacred Heart.

Hundreds of minors live in greenhouses

The municipality of Acate has entrusted the space to CISS, the project’s leading NGO based in Palermo. The project involves schools, institutions and local associations with the aim of creating an educational hub for minors who are at high risk of being excluded from mainstream education, in an area where meeting places to socialize are completely absent.

The project covers the area known as 'Fascia trasformata,' ('Transformed area'), covering the territory from Santa Croce Camerina in Acate, reaching all the way to the towns of Vittoria, Comiso and Scoglitti.

In these areas, extensive swaths of land are covered with greenhouses where migrant agricultural laborers grow vegetables and fruits which are then exported all over Europe.

Educational poverty

In the last few years the agricultural crisis in the sector has severely impacted the economic and social fabric of the area.

Among the numerous problems stemming from the crisis are the hundreds of minors, sons and daughters of migrant workers, who live in and around the greenhouses in a state of isolation, excluded from all health and social services, education and culture.

Educational poverty represents an issue also for local children and adolescents, who often lack access to educational and social facilities. A contributing factor to this issue is the lack of areas (which are not pubs or bars) where the youth can meet and practice recreational or sporting activities.

'Paspartù' aims to fill this absence of facilities and become a reference point for youth and for their parents by implementing a wide-ranging program of courses, labs, performances, concerts and events. 

The project can be found in the former Convent of the Sacred Heart (ex Convento del Sacro Cuore,) in via Duca D’Aosta 95, in the old center of Acate.

 

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