Italy - Educating for global citizenship. Through... a diary

06 July 2018

(ANS - Rome) - A diary has great educational value and is a tool of great impact on the formation of the ideas of a child. In some cases it can also be a proponent of civic education, globalization, respect between cultures and religions ... And sometimes even a concrete vehicle of solidarity. This is the case of the diary "My dear distant Desk Mate."

The diary is the result that matured from a global citizenship education project promoted by the Salesian NGO "International Voluntary Service for Development" (VIS), in collaboration with the association "PRIMO VOLO (First Flight) - Specialists in the Adult-Child relationship".

As its immediate recipients, the project focusses on Italian minors between 8 and 14, and, in parallel, their peers from developing countries; for every diary purchased in Italy, an equivalent one is donated to children from twinned foreign schools (in Liberia, where it arrives translated into English; in Côte d'Ivoire, in French; in Bolivia,  Spanish; and in Pakistan, translated into Urdu).

Moreover, it is certainly also an educational tool in the hands of professors, teachers, educators and parents, who can use it to start a dialogue with their children.

The diary accompanies the pupil's full growth by proposing 4 short stories about bullying, self-esteem, willpower, loyalty. Also, it features, besides the solar and lunar phases, the Christian, Hebrew and Islamic calendar with explanatory notes of the various festivities. The saint of the day is also indicated and Sunday is home to a special focus.

Always with the aim of breaking down walls and building bridges based on mutual knowledge, the diary presents the recurrences of the World Days proclaimed by the UN and the EU, informs on the national holidays of the various countries of the European Union, reports proverbs of wisdom from African cultures, and culture of peace with a reminder, in the centenary of World War I's end, how children and adolescents suffered during the war.

"Certainly it is a counter-cultural diary," explains Fr Michele Novelli, SDB, among the promoters of the project. However, the Salesian asks the many parents: "what society do you want for your children? A peaceful coexistence, full of multiple contributions of the various ethnic groups? Then it is necessary to take a stand today, for their future."

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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