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A bit of history

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A Bit of History

The Community's first efforts of outreach to the poor were to children -- the children of the shantytown near Rome's Cinodromo district, -- the children of immigrants from the South of Italy, who were growing up at the borders of the life of the city and who seemed destined to lives of exclusion. For these children, schooling often represented one more way in which they were pushed toward the margins of society: the school system did not bridge the gap between the culture of the South and that of Rome, and most times rejected the children altogether. So the Community founded what was then called  the School of Peace. This was meant to be a setting where every child could study and learn, helped by the love and friendship of adults.

From 1968 until today, the Community has come to know the different faces of child poverty.

From the Roman shantytowns, the Community turned its attention to the children of the new outskirts on the margins of the city. They were children who spent their days on the street; they were growing up in a dehumanised and anonymous environment, without strong family ties.

For these children, adolescence (and, with it, Junior High School) was a time of particular difficulty. The temptation to drop out of school or join a gang was great. They often felt older than they were, yet under the skin they were quite frail, So the Community founded another kind of Schools of Peace, especially adapted to the needs of adolescents. This Schools of Peace is meant to be a place where teenagers can meet in a positive and humane fashion, a place that offers friendship to all.


Over time, some of the young people we were helping were put into care. In order to maintain our friendship with them we started a service for institutionalised minors. In those Children's Homes, as they are called, we also met many children of immigrants and Gypsy children.


In the nineteen eighties, then, we established People's Schools specially designed for the Gypsy children who were living in makeshift camps around Rome. These schools the Community members focus on teaching the Gypsy children the Italian language and giving them health education. We also help families to register their children for conventional schooling.


Today the Community's work in education has spread throughout the world, and there are Schools of Peace for young people in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The Youngest

February 27 2009

Abidjan (Ivory Coast): A very special Valentine day, lunch with the street children

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July 8 2011

Garoua (Cameroon): At the School of Peace children learn to be in solidarity with the poor: a visit to the city's public neglected children in the institution

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June 10 2011

Manila (Philippines) - School supplies to the children of the School of Peace of Cainta

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November 4 2010

Buenos Aires (Argentina) - "We stand in solidarity!" This appeal was made by the children of the Country of Rainbow during the spring feast.

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July 8 2010

Maputo (Mozambico): Encounter among generations: children and the elderly celebratine together

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March 3 2010

The news of BRAVO! In Uganda, birth registration are the sign of a season of peace for a new generation in Uganda

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June 1 2010
Gazzetta di Parma

Parma - Canti, balli e giochi in piazzale Picelli

July 6 2011

Games teach young about tolerance

June 12 2011
Nuova Stagione

Più fratelli che mai

June 5 2011
Nuova Stagione

Nel paese dell'arcobaleno

November 10 2010
La Repubblica

S.Egidio, rigiocattolando si nasce

December 14 2009
Avvenire - Ed. Milano

Sant’Egidio lancia il Rigiocattolo

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January 23 2018 | ROME, ITALY

Presentazione del libro ''Alla Scuola della Pace. Educare i bambini in un mondo globale''

January 17 2018 | NAPLES, ITALY

Presentazione del libro ''Alla Scuola della Pace - Educare i bambini in un mondo globale''

January 15 2018 | ROME, ITALY

Presentazione del libro ''Alla Scuola della Pace, Educare i bambini in un mondo globale''

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