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Inspired the world

Classes 3C & 3F – Istituto Comprensivo ‘L. Montini’ Campobasso – Italy school year 2013-2014


Thomas Sankara

the poorest president ever in the world

by Carla Bellotti


Thomas Sankara (December 21, 1949 – October 15, 1987) was the leader of Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, from 1983 to 1987.


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He had a personal charisma influenced also positevely by the fact he was also a good guitarist and he liked motorbikes He promoted health and women’s rights He antagonised many vested interests in the country He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d’état led by Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987.


Thomas Sankara was born into a Roman Catholic family that wanted him to become a Catholic priest but he joined military. His father fought in the French army during World War II and was detained by the Nazis. Sankara began his military career at 19, A year later he was sent to Madagascar for officer training at Antsirabe where he witnessed popular uprisings. In 1971 and 1972. In 1974 he fought in a border war between Upper Volta and Mali. In 1976 he became commander of the Commando Training Centre in P么. In the same year he met Blaise Compaor茅 in Morocco


In 1982 Sankara became prime minister in January 1983 but he was placed under house arrest after a visit by the French president’s son JeanChristophe Mitterrand. A coup d’état organised by Blaise Compaoré made Sankara President on August 4 1983. Sankara saw himself as a revolutionary inspired by the examples of Cuba. His policy was oriented toward fighting corruption, promoting reforestation, averting famine, and making education and health real priorities; he suppressed many of the powers held by tribal chiefs such as their right to receive tribute payment and obligatory labour.


Some of the initiatives that contributed to Samkara’s popularity: • he sold most of the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers • his government included a large number of women • in Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone: this was the first supermarket in the country • his salary was of only $450 a month


Malala Yousafzai shot for going to school

by Errico Sassi


The daughter of a teacher, Malala was openly in favor of education for girls - despite a ban placed by the Taliban. On October 9, 2012 she was going home on a bus after school with friends when a Taliban gunman got on the bus and shot her in the head.

Her condition was critical. She received an emergency operation in a military hospital in Peshawar. Then she was transported to Islamabad but as she was still in critical condition, she was flown to Britain, where she fought for her life in hospital.


Today Malala lives in Birmingham with her family. She has been fighting for girls’ education for years. When she was 11 she started blogging about the Taliban takeover of her hometown of Mingora, in northwestern Pakistan. Taliban members believe girls should not go to school. For several months, Malala’s school and hundreds of others in the district of Swat were closed. Malala spoke publicly about her desire to go to school to have an education. When the Pakistani government regained control, Malala was able to return to class and to continue to speak out about girls’ right to education.


In 2013 Malala was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She also wrote an autobiography I Am Malala which tells the story of her life before and after the gunshot that nearly killed her. Malala, become a symbol of the struggle for girls’ rights, continues to give a voice to the millions of children around the world who do not have the opportunity to go to school.


Simon Wiesenthal

the man who refused to forget

by Simona Petrella


Simon Wiesenthal survived to the Nazi death camps and spent his life to document the crimes of the Holocaust. His work put light to the injustices and horrors of the Nazi murders of millions Jews, Gypsies, Poles and other ‘inferior’ peoples and made possible the capture of war criminals. He founded the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna.


Wiesenthal was born in 1908 in Buczacz, Galacia, a small town then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now part of Ukraine. His father, who worked for a sugar company, was killed in World War I. After his death, his mother took her family and fled to Vienna for a brief period. They returned to Buczacz where Wiesenthal married Cyla Mueller. He worked in an architect office in Lvov before Hitler’s army occupied that town.


He was arrested and spent time in five concentration camps, including Buchenwald and Plaszow. He was separated from his wife and his mother who he never saw again.

Wiesenthal was released from his final camp in Mauthausen in 1945. He found his wife he believed to be dead. In 2003, at the age of 94, Wiesenthal announced his retirement. One year later, he was knighted. He died on September 20, 2005 in Wien, Austria.


Maria Montessori

a revolutionary feminist

by Alessia Petrella


Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Chiaravalle. At that time Italy had conservative values about women's roles. After the family moved to Rome she attended a boys' technical school where she interested in math and biology. Her father disapproved when she decided to apply to the University of Rome’s medical program. Maria was rejected. She took additional courses and persevered to enter the medical school where it was considered impossible for a woman to be accepted. It was more shocking when she was accepted. Her time at the medical school was not easy. She faced prejudice from her male colleagues. On July 10 1896 she became the first female doctor in Italy.


At first Maria specialized on psychiatry. She also developed an interest in education, attending classes on pedagogy and immersing herself in educational theory. Her studies made her think of the prevailing methods of teaching children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1907 she was given the opportunity to study "normal" children and to found a childcare center in the slum district of San Lorenzo on the outskirts of Rome. It was the first Casa dei Bambini. The children soon showed great interest in working with puzzles, learning to prepare meals and manipulating materials. She observed how they absorbed knowledge from their surroundings, essentially teaching themselves.


During World War II Maria Montessori was forced into exile from Italy because of her antifascist views and lived and worked in India. It was there that she developed her work Education for Peace, and developed many of the ideas taught in her training courses today. At war’s end she returned to Europe, spending her final years in Amsterdam. She died there on May 6, 1952. Maria also campaigned on behalf of women’s rights. She was a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950, and 1951. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQl-7Lmm4hE


Robert Baden-Powell the founder of Scouting

by Angelo Di Biase


In 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island for twenty-two boys to test his ideas and his teaching method. The results were very interesting. Boys and girls spontaneously joined the scout movement which became a surprise phenomenon of national and international mass. Baden-Powell retired from the army, giving up a military career and devoted himself to the new movement. Powell had many awards but for health reasons he moved to Kenya where he died in 1941.


Robert Baden-Powell was born in England in 1857. He was the sixth son of a pastor who taught in Oxford and grandson of Robert Stephenson, the inventor of the railways. At 18 he failed his college exams so he joined the British Army. He was sent to India where he perfected his knowledge of scouting by learning new methods of exploration in Africa by Zulu. Transferred in the Secret Service he travelled incognito. He took part in several military campaigns in Africa and in India. He wrote the manual Aids to Scouting for the training of explorers. He was promoted to general and became a national hero. Back in England he discovered that his manual Aids to Scouting was used by teachers and youth organizations and decided to rewrite it for a younger audience as Scouting for Boys.


He was a joyful person, full of humor. He thought that every person must seek happiness by being helpful. He created the scouting movement to give healthy values to young people. The goal of Scouting is ‘to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities’. Robert Baden-Powell saved young boys, throughout the world, by providing them with the opportunity to learn essential outdoor and life skills.

Inspired the world  

Some heroes