The world around us

“Unless we change, how can we hope to change the world around us?”. It is with this sentence that Angela Iantosca, journalist and writer, concluded the debate “The world around us” on WeFree Days, today on the 9th of October, at the San Patrignano community. Carmine Amato who is a Street educator and who joined Angela at the same forum on the second day of the WeFree days event adds: “We have to influence the opinions of those around us, starting from the bottom, if we really want things to change.”

Carmine Amato opened the forum by presenting his book, “The boy is all right”, of which he also reads some exerts. He defines himself as a street educator. He helps the kids and adolescents of Naples, hanging with them, trying to lead them to the right path, taking them away from a world that he describes as “a war zone”.“In Naples there are 120 deaths per year of people under the age of 25 years, in shootings, just settling scores,” says Amato – in the face of death there is no hope, this is unacceptable. You have to explain to the kids why certain things happen, because for them this life is normal, like vindication is normal.When I went to the funeral of this boy, Caesar. His death was the result of settling a score, I notice in the church there were no adults, except for his parents.There were only kids. We cannot leave them alone”. Carmine also founded “The carpet of Iqbal” association, which deals with giving support to street children in Naples and which now has a group of 70 people working for the greater good”We must make it clear to the kids that there are other ways to live – continues Amato – Of course I am talking to fourteen year old children armed with guns; but the key to getting through to these kids is to be with them every day, create a relationship, to be there.The only way to defeat this problem is to use love, because these kids don’t know what unconditional love is; like this, just like it happened to me, then hopefully they will try to do something good and in turn help those who need it. “

On the other hand Angela Iantosca, has been working on the ‘Ndrangheta crime family considered the world’s largest crime family, with an estimated turnover of 60 billion Euros.”They do not know what love is, they are willing to kill their own family, if rules are disobeyed – says Angela – When you do something for these kids without asking for anything in return, they begin to open up, because they see a love that they don’t understand”Continuing and quoting from her book, “Children of ‘Ndrangheta”, Ianosca talks about aspects of life in the Mafia family, how the wives, children and families are treated. “The daughters of the bosses are not told that they can fall in love – says Angela – When someone asks for their daughters hand in marriage, its only agreed upon if the marriage befits the business and to create an alliance between families. Seems like fairytales, but life in the ‘Ndrangheta is like that.”The students are spellbound by Angelas seemingly fantastic tales, moments of life in the mafia families, where there could be drugs being prepared for market in the basement, with kids playing soccer right out side.”In the ‘Ndrangheta crime family children are the lookouts, they control the streets, the wives visit the husbands in prison, many times in other regions of Italy, and every ones goes on as if this is just normal life.This life style is unacceptable we must denounce it and combat the ignorance, because it sabotages social harmony, stealing from them their freedom through fear and intimidation. That’s why I decided to be a journalist. “

Carmine Amato at the Wefree Days

Angela Iantosca at the Wefree Days

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