Enel Cuore’s social project at Opera penitentiary

Published on Friday, 16 December 2016

Ribbon cutting at the penitentiary near Milan, where the integration project of the non-profit organisation Bambinisenzasbarre – for the children of detainees – is a benchmark in Europe.

The Opera penitentiary became multicoloured with its new welcoming area for youngsters, known as the ‘yellow space’. The area exhibits dozens of art works made by the children of detainees, at the initiative of the non-profit association Bambinisenzasbarre with the support of Enel Cuore Onlus, the Group’s philanthropic association. The educational material, games, books and equipment purchased with the donation of around 83,000 euros have been useful to insert the children in a more peaceful environment, following the experience of the prisons of Secondigliano in Naples and San Vittore in Milan.

An environment is made beautiful – said the president of Bambinisenzasbarre Lia Sacerdotenot only by material things, but with social and educational resources. Professional workers make the children of the detainees aware and free of complexes, so that they will remember this experience as positive. This way, the contrast between the outside and the inside, a world of ‘normality’ and one of ‘disciplinary correction’, becomes less traumatic.

The director of the Opera penitentiary Giacinto Siciliano and the mayor Ettore Fusco, who attended the opening with Enel Cuore secretary-general Novella Pellegrini, agreed with this statement. “Our philosophy consists in giving birth and continuity to initiatives promoted by non-profit organisations, which present innovative solutions embedded into the service network to solve social problems”, said Pellegrini.

The project implemented by “Bambinisenzasbarre” is supported by the Guarantee for the rights of the child, who attended the ceremony and participated in the renewal of the Children of Detainees’ Charter in September. This document for the protection of children’s rights, signed by the Ministry of Justice, is a benchmark within the European Union. Almost 100,000 children visit the prisons to meet their parents in Italy, a million in Europe. The hope behind the project was visible at the inauguration, when the spirit of peace surrounding the football match played by the detainees and their children turned an imposed penalty into a victory for parenthood.