23.5.2011 Eraldo Affinati meets our pupils at our school - Liceo Statale Niccolò Machiavelli

23.5.2011 Eraldo Affinati meets our pupils at our school

Here you can read 4 articles which are the outcome of a group work done in class by the pupils of the class III H the day after meeting Mr. Eraldo Affinati, the author of the book La città dei ragazzi, many of our school’s kids read in connection with the Comenius project EMSC.

A Unique Place

Yesterday, 23rd of May 2011, we met Eraldo Affinati the writer of “La Città Dei Ragazzi”. He told us about what kind of city the Boys’ Town is. It was born, at first, as an educational center for misfit Italian guys. Only after it became a point of reference for the immigrant guys who left their countries because of wars or to find fortune. Today this place is located in the Roman area called Magliana and it is a community of boys. These boys go there to school and learn how to live together in a sort of self governed system. During these years of community’s development, the project and the building itself, became a meeting point for many foreign boys escaped from their own countries. Right there these young men try to find someone who can help them and understand them, listen to their stories and, in this way, overcome difficulties. The Boys’ Town offer them protection from the outside world trying at the same time to integrate them into that world. Despite everything when they take a bus or when they walk in the real city, they have to leave this shield that divided them from outside. They have to relate themselves with a world very different from the one they were used to see and, in this way, face the xenophobia that is spreading in our world, in our reality. According to us this project is a great opportunity for immigrant guys because in this way they can get an opportunity to live a better life.

Cristian B., Germano C., Martina D., Serena M., Milagros M. Class III H 2010-2011


Yesterday, the 23th of May, we went to meet the author of ’the boys town’. ’The boys town’ is a sort of school for immigrant teen-agers from 12 to 18 years old where they live and study. First of all guys are completely autonomous; for example there is a mayor, a currency and different jobs... The relationship between teachers and students is friendly and good. However, teachers know there has to be a distance because pupils have to be able to be independent since when they stop attending ’the boys’ town, they will have to cope things on their own. The relationship between adults and youngsters could become a real friendship and an affection so that students consider teachers as important as parents and they are a real reference point for them. An example is the story of the author himself who cares so much about them that he even went with two of his students to Morocco to meet their families, find out about their culture and to know the real reason why they escaped from Morocco and came to Italy.

Daniela S., Giselle P., Elena V., Jaquilyn B. 3H 2010-2011

A new beginning

Yesterday 23-05-2011 at our school we met the writer and teacher Eraldo Affinati who wrote the book "the boys town" and talked about his book with us! In Italy there are many orphans, who don’t have any opportunity, that’s why the boys’ town was built. At first most of those kids were Italian, but with the passing of time there have been more and more foreigners. Those foreigners have to integrate into the Iitalian society, and now one of the main goals of the boys town is to help them. It’s very hard for those kids to integrate themselves because they have to face a new reality, a whole new world, starting from their trip. The trip is a very dangerous moment in their life, and it also marks the beginning of a new life. The boys’ town provides for them a place where they can gradually heal their traumas and get used to our society. Most of them have sad stories behind, because they left a piece of their heart in their home town to change their social condition, which is usually very poor.

Mohamud H., Maurizio B., Marta P., Rabia Z. III H 2010-2011

The boys’ town: an innovative educational system

On Monday, May 23rd 2011, at our school we took part in a meeting with Eraldo Affinati, a writer, a teacher but above all a great man. He has had a very special work experience that completely changed his mind and his life: he has taught in a special school located in the “Boy’s Town”. “What’s the boys’ town?” That’s the first question we asked Mr. Affinati. He replied without any hesitation: “ It’s a place where young boys with family troubles study, live and grow up together in a system of self government .” The school is a real city in miniature: the guys use a special money called “scudo”; they elect a mayor who elect councillors that help him to handle the life in the city. The “Guys’ meeting” takes place once a week and It’s a very useful activity that gives them the chance to have a dialogical and democratic space where to organize their tasks and talk about the problems of their city. This way the guys can learn how to become good citizens not just of a little city but of the world. Teachers try to establish a sort of friendship with the boys. For example Mr. Affinati went with two of his students to Morocco to meet their families and he always keeps in touch with their students even when they leave school to start their own life in the “real world”. In the school’s administration the educators have a secondary role, in fact they try to let the guys solve their conflicts that sometimes also lead to fights. We ahve to bear in mind that the boys who live in the centre came from rough realities, they had been beaten, they had seen their parents die and this had caused them psychological shocks that will make them emotionally scarred for long. We think that the task of the teacher in the “Boys’ Town” is very difficult: they can’t plan the job to do with the class because everyday everything can happen and they have to leave the students time to express themselves.

Marianne L. Luisa B., Fatima B., Marianna P. III H 2010-2011

Ultimo Aggiornamento: 31 May 2011

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