According to ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) data, children living in poverty in 2015 in Italy are 2,100,000. About half of them —i.e. 1,131,000 people— may lack regular nutrition, an adequate and heated home, medical care, and access to leisure, sports, cultural, and associative activities. Poor families keep on increasing, a phenomenon that significantly affects the weakest, namely, children.

2,100,000 poor children in Italy

Varcare la soglia (Crossing the threshold) – Helping families in Italy in their fight against poverty

Fondazione L’Albero della Vita has intervened in Milan, Genoa, Rome, Catanzaro and Palermo to help families in poor economic conditions to overcome that difficult moment and build a new happy life.

Varcare la Soglia is active in several Italian cities and is implemented according to four areas of work:

material support that allows families to get every month both food and, if necessary, diapers, hygiene products and school supplies to meet their own needs; socio-educational support providing families with guidance and tutoring by professional educators through individual talks and home visits. This course aims to support them in the process of re-acquiring their own skills and in their subsequent empowerment in order to address their challenges more effectively; the proximity network, that is, enhancing community-based social interactions to create connections among families, enabling them to exchange views on common issues and lay the foundations for a proximity network;

guidance to training and job placement, focusing on development or re-activation of the beneficiaries’ employability skills —i.e. the ability to find and keep a job. Families are involved in a complex path, structured in a series of activities, aiming at their re-employment: from an individual interview to get to know the beneficiaries and their personal skills to employment guidance; from how to write a CV to how to deal with job interviews; from self-evaluation and definition of the re-employment action plan to by-weekly tutoring meetings.

New poor among Italian middle classes

Among the new poor, there is a growing number of Italians, belonging in particular to that middle class and those social groups that usually did not experience any social distress. In other words, average Italians without specific problems, who find themselves in great difficulty.

In line with the European Commission’s recommendation “Investing in Children”, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita has intervened by activating a poverty-alleviation model: the entire family is involved in a social, economic and relational reintegration path.

What we do

These families are offered:

a basket of staple goods (groceries, children’s clothing and educational material); financial-education programmes for household-budget management;

individual counselling; parenting-support programmes; training and awareness-raising initiative; creation of a workshop for children to help them deal with the situation; employment-guidance meetings; definition of re-employment action plans; assistance and guidance on services; thematic workshops; network creation to help families support each other.

Where we are

Milan, Palermo (Zen and Brancaccio), Genoa, Rome and Catanzaro.

How you can help

Together with you, we can help people in poverty leave behind the discomfort they live in by giving them self-confidence and the strength to believe in their abilities. As a matter of fact, in order to get back on their feet, above all they need a chance to start to change their life. To start anew, trust is key. And you can donate them some with us.

Source: 2015 ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Institute) data published on July 14, 2016

The incidence of absolute poverty is calculated on the minimum monthly expenditure needed to acquire a basket of goods and services. This threshold in the Italian context corresponds to the minimally-acceptable standard of living for a family. Absolutely-poor families are those with a monthly expenditure equal to or less than the value of this threshold —which varies by household size and age composition, by geographical distribution and by demographic scale of the municipality of residence—.

While absolute poverty distinguishes poor from non-poor households based on their inability to acquire certain goods and services, the incidence of relative poverty incidence is calculated on the basis of a conventional threshold (poverty line), which identifies the expenditure value below which a family is considered poor in relative terms. The poverty threshold for a two-person household is equal to the average monthly expenditure per person in the country.