Support to the Centre Metropolis


Title of the project

Support children and families living in Le Piagge neighbourhood

Place of the action

Florence, Italy

Description of the context

Le Piagge neighbourhood is located at the far end of Florence: it is composed by houses that look like “ships”, wedged between Via Pistoiese and the railway. Back in the ‘80s, these white blocky buildings hosted over 9 thousand inhabitants. Le Piagge was firstly created as a dormitory for homeless, evicted people, foreigners in distress, and Roma coming from the former Yugoslavia. In Le Piagge, the unemployment rate is double compared to the rest of the city; school dropouts rate are higher compared to the national average; and the presence of slot machines and video lottery have a rate of 1/65 (one machine per 65 inhabitants) against the national average of 1/166 (one machine each 166 inhabitants).

Thanks to the financial support of Diaconia Valdese and of the association “Yesterday Today and Tomorrow”, Martin Luther King consortium funded the Metropolis Centre- a Community Centre in Le Piagge area. The centre is a public location where members of the community gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes, followed by qualified and duly trained personnel. Twice a week a Tax Advice Centre is active; a web radio ( totally self-organized and self-managed 24 hours a day is functioning; social support is available; a centre for youngsters (aged 6-18) is active three times a week; and courses on gymnastics for the elderly, martial arts for young people, boxes for children and adults, Italian courses for foreigners are organised. The Centre actively collaborates with the schools and the public social services of Le Piagge. The metropolis centre in le Piagge is an important reference point for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

The project

Annulliamo la Distanza decided to support the Metropolis Centre in January 2018 through a project aimed at guaranteeing the cultural and recreational after school activities for the children attending the centre. AnlaDi will provide also medical and legal competences free of charge in the legal, paediatric and psychological fields both for the children of the Centre and for their families. In addition, AnlaDi will provide once a week volunteers that will help children attending elementary, middle and high school in their homework; and will provide educational material and second hand clothes in excellent condition. These clothes will be bartered among the families in need.

Achieved results

Since the beginning of the project , children and youngsters have improved their school marks and created a good friendship with our volunteers. In February 2020, the agreement between Annulliamo la distanza, Diaconia Valdese and Centro Metropolis has been renewed for two more years, till February 28, 2022.