Bridging languages and memories to foster multiple identities: "Never leave your backpack behind!"

About the project

BACKPACK ID is an innovative intervention for promoting the inclusion of refugee children at school in 4 European countries (Greece and Italy, Germany and Sweden), which are met with acute and very diverse challenges by the ongoing refugee crisis. Informed by these differences, the present approach on social inclusion advances a common account of social inclusion challenges; it sees the social inclusion of refugee children as a function of addressing the needs and perspectives of those children and their families, and local communities and stakeholders, while affirming common European values.

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Backpack ID using a bottom-up participatory method produced the following outputs in order to address social inclusion interpersonal and intergroup understanding in the school environment.

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Who we are

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Hi! My name’s Alice and I’m a thirteen years old only child.

My family comes from...
My parents were born in Parma but my father lived in Gaiano, near Collecchio, and my mother in Sala Baganza.

I live in...
Now we live in Gaiano, near the parents of my father, my grandparents. I don’t like Gaiano so much, but I think I wouldn’t leave it. It is a bit boring and there are few teenagers like me but we try to have a nice time together anyways; once, for example, I invited all the people of my age in my house to play together and watch movies. My house has a unique floor, there are two bathrooms, two bedrooms, one study, one kitchen, one living room and two storage closets. It’s big enough for us. When I was still in mom’s baby bump my parents and some friends of them painted my room, so now, on the wall s of my room you can find all the personages of the cartoon ‘Nemo’, I would like to repaint it with something more personal, such as pictures of me and my friends.

When I was a child...
I was a lovely, curious and lazy baby. When I was a small child, I used to say that I didn’t want any sisters or brothers because I was afraid that my parents could love her/him more than me.

When she was nine months she started crawling and the day of her first birthday started to move her first walks. During her first year of life her mother was not working and used to stay always with her, they were making walks together, going to the beach, and little Alice hated the sand but loved the water, so that her mother used to bring her to the swimming pool when they could not go to the sea. At the pre-school Alice was shy until she met Chiara Rollo. Every night, before sleeping, she was watching her favourite anime, ‘Bear’: the small girl, protagonist of this anime, used to cry when she had to blow out the candles for her birthday because she didn’t want to grow up, and she was depending on her mother. She started saying her first words (mom, dad, Beppi, which was Bessie, her first dog) and in the same period she was baptised in the place where she was born. At the age of three she started attending the kindergarten, where she liked to go, and started to attend classical dance lessons.

She used not to say hello to the people, even the ones she knew, and her parents were not happy for it. She used to wear just skirts and, on the contrary, now she wears just trousers. At the age of six she started attending the primary school, and she still has pleasant memories of it. There she met many nice people but started also to dislike someone.

She was good at school and her parents were proud of her, she was in a good relationship with her classmates and also today it is like that.

Sad stuff...
When I was six years old my dog, Bessie, died, I loved her, we were making walks together and playing and I was leading her around by a leash because she didn’t pull me down to the ground, I was small and she was realizing it. I was very sad when she died, I’ve lived many beautiful moments with her, such as when we went to Garfagnana (mountains) all together with my parents.

Now I'm a girl...
It’s true I’m an only child...but there’s a person I know since when I was born and he’s like a brother to me, he helps me, he supports me, he makes me happy when I’m sad; we’ve passed together many beautiful moments, even if when we were small we were fighting a lot, but, as we grew older, we quitted fighting and became great friends. I’m a generous, sociable girl.

I’ve two fantastic parents, serious when they have to be serious and funny in other moments. My father’s name is Luca, he’s funny, tender, he likes to play with children, when I was a child he used to buy me many toys I liked, and he was bringing them to me when he was coming back from work, he spoiled me a little bit. He is a songwriter and he writes theatre pièces.

My mother’s name is Costanza, she supports me and consoles me, she helps me and she’s lovely and affectionate, she’s my savior. She’s very kind, but when she’s nervous, though, you can’t even talk to her!Now I attend the lower secondary school and I practice volleyball; I like this sport very much! It has become a real passion for me! I liked my team from the first time and I’ve found there new friends, I tell them also my secrets. Our trainer is one of my classmate’s father and he’s a very good trainer who encourages and helps us.

My comfort corner...
The place where I feel safer and more comfortable is my bed, and it is also where I write my impressions of the day, before closing my copybook inside a closet of my desk.

My school...
I’ve always attended the school in Collecchio, even if I’m from Gaiano. I’m happy to go to school even if there are some days in which I would prefer to stay in bed but...I can’t, going to school it’s compulsory! Even if it could sound strange I admit that I like studying, mostly the subjects I love. My class is a great team, even if it doesn’t seem like that. We look for each other in the afternoon, when we don’t have school, and, before any type of school holiday, we go to eat a pizza all together.

In my backpack you can find:
I’m fond of music and photography... So in my backpack there will be for sure a camera! At night I love listening to music...I like almost all music types. My favourite singer is Shawn Mendes, I would really like to go to one of his concerts! One of my mottos is: ‘Let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile’. One of my talismans is a necklace I wear since when I was baptised. I always wear it. Sometimes I even think I’m that talisman.