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 Leonardo and I’m 13 years old. I attend the lower secondary school in Collecchio, near Parma, in Italy.

I have been living in Parma until I was 1 year old, but then I moved to Collecchio with my parents and my sister. My parents, Federica and Daniele, have always lived in Parma and decided to move to Collecchio just to be closer to their parents.

Now we live in viale Aldo Moro, in a peaceful quartier, with many green areas and good neighbours.

When I was a child I used to eat a lot and grow up easily, I started eating mini cakes and yogurt very soon! I was so fat that my cheeks seemed ready to burst!

Even if I have never crawled, maybe rolled, at the age of eleven months I started walking.

I was so lazy that I was often inside my cradle.

When I was at the pre-school I used to bite the other children to play with them.

Giacomo, my name

One night, in that period, I maybe had a dream. I woke up at around midnight and went to my grandfather’s bed to tell him I really wanted to learn how to cycle. And I learnt to do it.

Two years later I’ve started attending the primary school and practicing football, which is still my favourite sport.

I was a funny child in the end, a bit naughty maybe.

I was not so interested in school, so my parents were often punishing me for my bad grades.

As every person does, me too I had to face an unpleasant situation: I failed the first class of the lower secondary school. I was often teased by the older guys, and I was suffering for it, but I now have solved this situation.

There are many memories I share with my family.

Once, I don’t know how I had 20 euros with me, and knowing my mother was worried about something related to money, I’ve placed those 20 euros on her bed and wrote her a note: ‘This is for you, mom’.

Together with the beautiful moments there have been also many sad moments, as for example when I had a big health problem, at the age of two, or when my beloved grandmother died.

I’m thirteen years old, as I’ve said before, and I haven’t lost my best qualities: loyalty, generosity, sensibility.

The place where I feel safer is my bedroom, which I share with my sister, but she’s never there!

It’s a quite big room where there’s anything one can desire for leisure times: a TV, a playstation, a basket (to play basketball) and a desk with a computer.

My class is placed at the second floor of the school ‘D. Galaverna’ in Collecchio.

My class is a good team and we have also a special classmate, Haitam. He is affected by Down syndrome and I always help him with great pleasure.

With some of our teachers we use mobile phones and computers for didactic purposes, and I really enjoy it.

In my BACKPACK you can find for sure my favourite song,’A visor as a beak’ by Sferaebbasta, an Italian author. Here’s the link , my talisman is a hat with visor, my motto is: ‘I’m nobody but I’ll become the number one’.

The poem I would like to bring with me is the one my mother wrote for her mother who was dead:

To my mother

What else shall I tell you
Which I haven’t already told you? Where have you gone That I can’t see you?
Behind the hills
The sky becomes infinite.

Which is the aim of your departure
If the farewells are one-way tickets without return and I could never tell you How much I love you, anymore?
And if something happens to me, you, memories keeper, where will you be waiting for me?

Those changings which dissolve everything, what would they want to tell us?
And you, are you still listening to them?
Are you trying to see the truth as I watch the stars?

What do I have to tell you? That I love you
And your walk, inside me,
I can feel it,
While leaves are falling on my feet And the sea breeze makes me fly To you.

The journey I would like to make?

I would like to go to London with my friends because I like London fashion stores and also because my favourite English team is the Chelsea football club, and I would like to see the stadium.