HOPES AND DREAMS ð
ISTITUTO COMPRENSIVO ‘L. MONTINI’ – CAMPOBASSO (ITALY) CLASSES 3C & 3F
ISTITUTO COMPRENSIVO L. MONTINI – CAMPOBASSO (ITALY)
REFLECTIONS Single issue
Different but equal
Violence against women
A strange world
6th National Competition "Città di Campagnana" (Rome)
The school year is at the end and with a bit of sadness we are about to conclude the three-‐year period in the lower secondary school. Therefore we are required to think over what we have learned both as students and as persons. The analysis, discussions and study of current issues about the world around us let us come to the conclusion that we should not wait until majority to try to make the world better for ourselves and others, but since now we have to change our behaviours, to open our heart and our mind to become responsible citizens of the world. Each of us can make a contribution, small or large, to give life to the realization of personal and social hopes and dreams so that we, today’s youth, can aspire to a more secure and right future than today’s future which appears that 'black and empty' for the many young people who have not yet found their place in the world.
Different but equal
We all have similar thoughts, feelings, wants and dreams. Theoretically we should have the same rights and duties despite different ethnicities, cultures, religions, family backgrounds, appearances, interests and abilities. We should have self-‐ respect, respect for others and responsibility for our actions. But actual facts prove it is hardly so. As teens and students there are lots of ways in which we do not respect ourselves: not getting enough sleep, not eating healthy food, not learning and exercising, drinking, taking drugs, smoking etc. To respect ourselves means to have good thoughts about ourselves. We should replace negative thoughts like ‘I am too fat, too ugly or too dumb’ with positive ones like ‘I am smart and capable of learning and doing new things’. It is not a bet to be better than someone else but a way of life which helps us to understand who we are, to accept and improve ourselves so that we can build our future life, following our hopes and dreams. If we are on good terms with ourselves, we also have a good interaction with others.
Sometimes it happens some of us say mean words, call names, push and kid provoking fear, anger, resentment and hurt. Bullying is something really unkind and disrespectful but it frequently happens! We all need to be loved and accepted for who we are but, even if it is difficult, we have to accept who apparently seems different from us. Sometimes even if we do not behave like bullies, we act superior, tease, laugh at others or avoid them and by doing that, we set up barriers, prejudices and bad feelings that we may keep in our head, perhaps forever. We must open our mind and heart, learn to be honest, respectful, kind, dutiful and to have consideration for others. Is the adults’ world different? Millions of people try to help others but those who do nothing for mankind are more and more. Maybe they are not aware or do not care of others’ needs, they are interested only in themselves, they have ‘bigger problems' or they do not have means to do it. What we do not realize, however, is that the real big problems are indifference, ignorance, presumption and malice. Some of these people who do nothing, believe it is abnormal to see people of the same sex kissing each other. They consider war a right thing, they are convinced that foreigners should remain in their country and they should not become Italian citizens because they were not born here. As for me it is not normal to see human beings who, daily, fight for their
survival, cannot go to school, cannot practice their religion or express their own opinions. It is not normal people are tortured, treated like slaves, imprisoned and killed for their ideals, ethnic groups, sex and social condition. It is not normal death penalty still exists, that people cannot marry and adopt children if they have a partner of the same sex. Now the obvious question is:'' What is normal?''. People such as Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela have opened our eyes, giving us the key to our freedom but we have not turned it yet in the lock. Everyone can always do something and I want to do it, like hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of other people do. The only obstacle is the cancellation of my own ideas which I should not destroy. No matter if they are big or small.... I am fourteen. In January I became a member of Amnesty International and of DoSomething.org. a few weeks ago. (Martina) I know there are kids who are already stirring things up, and they will be more and more. It is true that bigger and bigger are the youth problems that block and stop this kind of "rebellion". The first of all is that sort of "normality" that obsesses us much. There is a lack of personality, of ideals and of involvement in right causes. Today among the young, the teens, the need to be visible and fantastic to the others’ eyes appears exasperated but it often represents an essential condition
for success in a society that is more and more competitive and less "guaranteed". We must not, then, underestimate the role of others: in fact, in the process of defining their identity, teens look for new models of identification among peers and schoolmates, struggling to differentiate themselves and to emphasize the intentional departure from their parents. In this way, the social bond with peers gets stronger, in a sort of ritual, such as the ritual of a cigarette or a joint, which sometimes are just rituals of transition, to which aggressive actions may be added, such as early sexual and unprotected activity, dangerous driving and games and others. Imitation is not enough; teens needs to compete with their peers all the time and this may implement harsh behaviors, due to an alteration in the perception of real danger which leads them to expose themselves to any risks while maintaining the illusion of (self) control. There are also good actions which in most case are addressed to emulation and to overcome. Some behaviors are put in place to "test" the reactions of the adults (parents and teachers), to see how far they can get and what they are worth up to the given limits and prohibitions. Other times, teens transgress, to observe how much the adult is actually interested and attentive to their behavior. Taking risks is part of the psychological growth that characterizes adolescence, especially, in Western cultures,
marked by individualism that encourage self-‐expression. In addition, the continuous restructuring of the cell family and the tremendous changes which have taken place in our society in these years, lead to a necessary redefinition of the concept of risk. Today, parents are inclined to indulge their children unconditionally; this absolute inability to say "no", together with the absence of precise rules, do nothing but inourish the vicious circle of granted requests. First the child and then the teenager see the immediate satisfaction of every desire, without having to make the slightest effort to obtain them. Where everything is guaranteed, often there is not even any risk to be run; so, there is no more space for transgression that, in some respects, might prove necessary for the growth. It is not correct, however, to lump everything together. Let’s give an example: student demonstrations.
Hundreds and hundreds of young people take part to communicate their dissent, peacefully united, trying to avoid the resignation in the face of the injustice or the inefficiency of those who leave to rot problems, the withdrawal into
themselves, the loneliness of individuals left alone with their problems too often dramatic and carrying, in the streets a single voice, which, if it were not collective it iwould be silent in this society made of mass loneliness. But to appear all angry but confident their voices together will be stronger, is losing value. The copposite party, that the demonstrators would like to make hear their voice to, waits only they vent and everything returns as it was before. What distresses me more, is that of a great event, of a river of people, there are only left the numbers of injured people, bitterness, tired feet and frightened families. Offensive slogans remain against the police who are those who lose face in most cases. What they broadcast on TV is an urban guerrilla between police and rioters who too often forget that a police officer is a man like all of us, with his problems, his life and his inside and ouside struggles. The hotheads are everywhere, but I miss the reason why they destroy towns, as if, ruining streets and monuments, defacing walls and breaking shop windows might help us to overcome our difficulties. I condemn the acts of abuse of power by the police, but equally I condemn the vandalistic and provocative acts of some young people. I believe that once again we are losing the message. Violence is the topic that attracts attention and they talk about it for days. But who remembers the
reason why so many people gathers together? I would like to know what is left to the young if their future is uncertain and we ruin the present one gainst the other. Let’s stop fighting, let’s fights for our future and do it without provocation. There are active positive young people, ideals, proposals and the desire to change, and it is not fair that because of a few among many all this may be ruined. If we fight for our future without provocations, they will talk of the indignation felt for the lack of opportunity to pursue our own ideals. In any case, we must not be discouraged because the future, even when appears uncertain and threatening, is still ours. Martina M. & Benedetta M.
Violence against women
Every day we hear about cruel episodes concerning violence against women both in Italy and in other countries. Discrimination and inequality are at the root of this violence. Historically women have been seen as less important
than men, lower than them, of less value than men politically, socially, economically and culturally. In the past both law and custom made women the property of men. Violent methods to ‘keep women in their place’ and to assert male dominance in some countries were justified by ‘religious principles’, or ‘cultural traditions’ and domestic violence was considered a ‘private matter’. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) states that "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.” Women’s recent emancipation especially in Western countries has given women legal equality, dignity, status and rights with men. Today there are women soldiers, women managers, women judges and women ministers, but in our society, the positions of power and prestige are mostly carried out by men. In Italy, for example, to give women equal opportunities, they created the so-‐called 'pink proportions' that ensure the presence of women in economic, financial and political sectors and national laws punish forms of violence against
women in line with international human rights standards. Yet women are still subjected to violence and continue to be penalized and discriminated both in industrialized countries and in developing countries. They suffer harassment and violence in the family, at work, on the street and in armed conflicts. Yes, rape is frequently employed as a weapon of war! Most women are forced to follow their father’s or husband’s orders, they are condemned even for a suspect and they pass from right to wrong. Not all women have the courage to rebel or to report because they fear other people can learn about their experience and furthermore they want also to save their family. Violence against women takes many forms: physical, sexual, psychological /emotional and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. ‘All of us – men and women, soldiers and peacekeepers, citizens and leaders – have a responsibility to help end violence against women. States must honour their commitments to prevent violence, bring perpetrators to justice and provide redress to victims. And each of us must speak out in our families, workplaces and communities, so that acts of violence against women cease.’ (Ban Ki-‐moon, Secretary-‐General of the United Nations) What can we do to stop violence against women?
A strange world...
First family and school should educate and sensitize from a very early age, girls and boys on human rights and gender equality. In this way stereotypes and wrong ways of thinking would change. An example of what frequently happens is what we make distinction between males’ and females’ behaviours. We have the idea that to act ‘like a man’ means that men do not cry and they are tough while to act ‘like a woman’ means that women are always polite and submissive. We also use the expression ‘you run like girl’ or vice versa meaning that you are referring to men or boys as girls or to women or girls when they are doing something derogatory. These gender roles are learnt in the family but they are frequently present in magazines, films, ads etc. When we see advertisements with a typical family scene, we see that mothers do all the housework and cooking and they really enjoy
this but other possible ways of thinking which are not shown by the stereotype could be that men should do more of the cooking while some mothers hate doing housework. In some countries parents favour the boys and neglect the girls. Girls are more likely to drop out of school and to receive less education than boys because discrimination, education expenses and household duties. Second laws must be known and understood if we want them to be effective. Campaigns can help to raise awareness and educate women about their rights. November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I hope one day women will not be blamed for violence committed against them and will be respected and honoured for their role in an equal society. Amalia M.
I have often thought about myself thrown into the future, with my hopes and dreams but without much consideration of the present reality. In these days at school we are deepening topics which concern our country in the EU, our environment, the water emergency, our personal expectations that will influence our future life, when we are the active citizens of the world. I am acquiring a new perception of today’s problems and I am a bit worried about my future and future in general because there are lots of problems connected to wars, pollution, hunger and diseases which should be solved very soon. For some of these problems each of us can give a little help as in the case of pollution. We can reduce the amount of waste by collecting, processing different materials and turning them into new products. Recycling is positive both for the community and for the environment as for example, it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. We face also problems we can’t solve by ourselves, like world hunger, the most extreme form of poverty. It is necessary the involvement of all the rich countries to develop new ways to grow food and to improve the food distribution. This means poorer countries may benefit from
surpluses of crops produced regularly by richer countries and learn how to use tools and grow food with the help of humanitarian organizations that may provide clean water, solar power and education about nutrition, farming and food production.
What I have learnt in these days is that: • 1.02 billion people are hungry • Over 25% of all the children under five years of age in the developing world, are moderately underweight, or worse. • One in six people don’t have enough food to be healthy. • Almost one in three people have disabilities or die early due to hunger-‐related issues. • Every three minutes a child dies of hunger somewhere in the world. Hunger exists in wealthy western countries, not only third world countries. Like my peers I am an Internet addict. I have found the website freerice.com where you play simple online word games to earn rice that is distributed through the United Nations World Food Program. You simply answer multiple-‐choice questions about
word meanings; for every answer you get correct, freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice. This may seem insignificant, but in its first month of operation alone, freerice.com donated more than one million grains of rice. It is simple, fast and free; you help end world hunger and improve your vocabulary at the same time. I have added the site to my bookmarks and I visit it every day. I do the same with another site: thehungersite.com where by clicking on the button 1.1 cups of food will be donated to feed the hungry at home (U.S.A.) and overseas. The donations are funded by the advertisers on the site with 100% of fees going to the non-‐profit organizations that alleviate world hunger. It is free and takes just a few seconds to make a difference. I wonder why not all the people are lucky as my family and I are! I feel a bit guilty considering how often it has happened to me to throw tantrums to eat everything without considering many people cannot choose among a great variety of food or do have nothing to eat. Our dust bins are full of food thrown for a reason or another so we should respect food which is important for our health. In fact many diseases are tied to it and to its quality. One of the most dangerous is cancer that produces lots of victims. We can’t know why there’s this disease yet, but we know that who has a good ‘way of life’ can contrast it. We have to avoid dangerous food for our health and eat healthy food. If we
often stay sitting it should be better if we did some sport. People should sometime do check-‐up to know immediately if you are ill. It’s important you don’t smoke, because people who smoke can give serious problems to them and to other people. We can’t solve these problems now but, in the future, scientists can give us answers. Maybe if thousands of ‘one person’ take action, much can be achieved. Giulia B.
If we all did our part, imagine the impact we can make!
In these recent years the Italian population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion and many families have worsened their living conditions. Thousands people have lost their jobs, lots of students have have not finished their studies and young people, who have found work, do not earn much. People are disillusioned and there are lots of them who do nothing to improve their situation, so they find satisfaction from drugs, alcohol or reckless actions such as hooliganism, violence, racism and bullisism and doing so, they forget the real meaning of love, friendship and family. The diversity of living environments, educational opportunities and social and family conditions affect these behaviours. I consider myself lucky, because I have a family that provides me for what I need and loves and accepts me for who I am. They support and help me in everyday’s difficulties I meet. But not all kid are so lucky. About 150 millions of street children in age from three to eighteen, in countries of the Third World, Asia, Africa but also in Europe and North America. Their number is
increasing constantly. 40% are homeless and the other 60% work on the streets to support their families. Some are sent out by their impoverished parents to work or to beg. These children are the victims of violence, sexual exploitation, abject neglect, chemical addiction, and human rights violations. They live in hardship and deprivation, abandoned to their fate. They are unable to attend school and the street is their home. They spend their days in search of food, money and shelter for sleeping legally or illegally. They find casual work picking rubbish out of garbage bins, steal and often stick together, in groups of two or three, looking out for each other. Many children find their own escape from street life through glue-‐sniffing and other drugs. Children enter the sex trad because they are sold to brothels by their parents, they are tricked by adults that offer them a better life, they need money to feed themselves and their families, they are enslaved by adults. According to UNICEF there are three types of street children: Street-‐Living, Street-‐Working, and Street-‐Family. Street-‐living children are those under the age of 18 years old who spend most of their time on the streets. These are children who cut ties with their families and live alone on the streets. Street-‐working children are those who spend most of their time working on the streets to provide income for their families or for
themselves. These children have a home and return there to sleep. Street-‐family children live with their family on the streets. My dream is to be able to help people by reducing their poverty and promoting their rights. Voluntary work is an opportunity to share experiences with others, put yourself at the service of others, meet different people and cultures. We all have the duty to be solidal and good-‐hearted towards emarginates and to escape today’s attitude to emarginate and abandon the weakest people in need.
Adolescence We have read a lot of passages concerning adolescence which catches most of us, thirteen-‐year-‐ old kids, unprepared to strong changes in our body, mind and character. I have changed both physically and temperamentally too. All happened when I started to practice athletics. This passion was born by chance, because I wanted to start to lose weight and
as I saw myself fat, I ran and did not eat. Slowly I started to lose weight and not to eat any more. My parents, seeing me all the days, did not notice my physical change until one day, I went to the pediatrician. She weighed me and shook her head, then she sat and asked me to leave. I went out and closed the door. Driven by curiosity I started eavesdropping. I heard the doctor talking but I did not understand well what she was saying. In my heart, however, I already imagined it. My mother came out crying and said to me: "Let's go." On the way home I asked her if she could explain me what was going on. She started telling things known to me. I was a victim of anorexia, an eating disorder that makes you lose more weight than is considered healthy for your age and height. At that time I did not feel like a sick person or things like that, I felt well and I was also happy because I had begun to receive more attention from my relatives and friends. It was very hard to get out from anorexia because in one way or another, I always saw myself fat, no matter what they said to me to make me feel better. It took me a long time to understand that, if I had continued not to eat, I could have been heading for many problems. Athletics was the 'medicine' that made me heal by making me realize that if I had not eaten, I would not be able to run; that is why athletics has become part of my life. This sport is not only a passion for me but it also has a
sentimental value because without it I would have never been out of that 'black hole'. Running has also made me change the way of thinking and coping with life. It has taught me that if you have a dream, you must takle any problem or obstacle which occurs, without being distracted by other things that might change it.
faster. By respecting others you will find yourself respected and accepted. R.S.
6th National Competition "Città di Campagnano" (Rome).
My hope is that everyone can find a passion that will help them to grow and complete their personality. The language of sport is a universal language that brings people together, teaches teamwork, tolerance, and strengthen values such as friendship, pride and loyalty, solidarity, commitment. To become friends there is nothing better than to play and have fun together, because sport is a beautiful game to play all together with respect for rules and for opponents. The aim is not to win at all costs, by intimidating the opponent or taking special" substances " to get stronger or
We are about 30 kilometers north of Rome and the "Giovane Orchestra Montini" is preparing to honor one of the most important events of the school year, a National Music Competition in which we compare with other schools and other musical groups coming from all parts of Italy. A huge number of parents follow the orchestra; they read in their kids an enthusiasm, a tenacity, a spirit of cohesion that has to do group. The organization must be impeccable, before and during the audition. The charge must be to the outmost but also the tranquility and concentration. There is no time to blame or criticize the companions: now what matters is only the overall result. Each individual must sacrifice himself for the whole and the kids know this: this only has to come to a commission that does not seek the particu but the image of the group. The teachers help the students to tune their instruments; the parents step aside and dream of another success. Once given the initial attack, no one can stop, not
even in front of an error, and goes to the end of the limited time reserved to an audition. Ten minutes of focused musical attention, of young ‘professionalism.’ Soon after comments, compliments and regrets. Playing well does not ensure the Prize because the level, thanks to the teachers’ work arises ayear after year but hope is always present. Hours later...the Awards and the fateful result. Also this time there
is a full First Prize: the score is the highest: 100/100. The teachers are satisfied with the carried out work, the kids explode in the most immediate joy, the parents continue to dream of a possible future of their children into the music world. And yet it is not easy to live these moments together and even to prepare them. The kids are all different, with their own reality, their characters, their problems linked also to a difficult age, and then the
family diversities, the first real cares, the individuals’ different interests. This is the value of music, particularly of the ensamble music: you have to really believe in it if you want to overcome differences and to build at school that integration that forms and guides us towards the real change. Massimo D.T. (flute teacher)