Italy – Don Bosco's educational style is always current: the story of Fatima

29 July 2019

(ANS - Turin) - Fatima is a young Muslim girl of Moroccan origin who arrived in Italy with her father. Her life's journey and studies have not been easy. In her journey, however, she finds herself at Valdocco, and thanks to the meeting with real educators, something has changed.

"I met Fatima at a Turin civic library where I work as a volunteer teaching Italian to foreigners," the teacher Rosarina Spolettini told the daily La Voce e il Tempo. "While giving her a hand in her studies I learned about her tormented story as the daughter of migrants."

Fatima has been back and forth between Morocco and Italy several times. The first time she arrived in Turin was as a child: she stayed there for two years and started attending elementary school. Then she returned to Morocco where she remained for seven years with the regret of having to leave her companions and teachers whom she'd befriended. In 2017, a third trip, again for her father's job, brought her back to Turin.

This time, however, everything had become more difficult: the poor crowded house, the difficulties with the language and socializing, the technical institute that she begins to attend, too difficult for her and where a few peers tell her to go back to her country …

The meeting in the library with Professor Spolettini starts a path that is good for both of them. The teacher tells us: "I started listening to her and she felt welcomed, she was able to say what she felt and talk about her fears. Together we decided to choose a school that was best suited to her and Fatima enrolled in a Salesian Vocational Training course of the CNOS-FAP in Valdocco. And a world has opened up."

For her, a Muslim girl, Don Bosco's educational style was therapeutic from all points of view. She started the first year with hopes and fears, then hopes became certainties and the fear disappeared. She met professors who were able to welcome her and look beyond her difficulties, teachers who went beyond the mere transmission of knowledge; they were able to foster improvements, give attention to the whole human being and offer sensitive listening, based on empathy, to achieve change.

Fatima has worked very hard, has improved and at the end of the school year has reached the milestone of graduating with a vocational diploma.


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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