The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, awarded 30 certificates of honor by Standard bearer of the Republic to young people who in 2021 distinguished themselves for the conscious and virtuous use of technological tools and social networks, also in relation to the problems posed by the pandemic. The cases chosen are emblematic of behaviors to be encouraged, composing a mosaic of civic virtues expressed by young people during this long and difficult period.
Also awarded three plaques for collective actions in the field of sustainable agriculture, digital communication and engagement in a social enterprise in a juvenile prison.
Among the 30 awarded boys, four are from Campania. They are Daniele De Angelis, Gennaro Dragone, Miriam El Ouazani, Francesco Tortora. Here are the reasons.
Daniele De Angelis, 14 years old, living in Marano di Napoli, “for the help offered in the school and also within the family in the hardest moments of the pandemic”. Thanks to his commitment, the younger cousins were able to follow distance learning despite the absence from home of their parents who, as nurses, were engaged in grueling shifts in the Covid ward of the hospital. Daniele’s uncles are two nurses, forced into the hardest phase of the pandemic in grueling shifts in Covid cast of the hospital. Very often they were forced to leave their children with their elderly grandparents in a municipality other than their residence. Daniele studies successfully, follows the various activities promoted by the school and also carries out the task of class representative. He shows a spirit of solidarity towards his classmates, helping them when they have problems in their studies, and he did not shy away from helping his younger cousins in the family when they found themselves in difficulty. He followed them by telephone and remotely on the PC, supporting them in their homework, solving technical connection problems and uploading the children’s documents on the various school portals. The pandemic has highlighted the value of internal support for families. David’s sense of responsibility towards the little ones was a great comfort for his uncles. Her aunt said that Davide said to her one evening on the phone: “I’ll take care of Sara, you are calm and save as many human lives as you can.”
Gennaro Dragone, 11 years old, resident in Naples, “for the tenacity and civic commitment with which he becomes the spokesperson, in his neighborhood, of the” energy and solidarity community “project, aimed at producing and sharing clean energy”. Despite his very young age, he became a motivator listened to by adults, and therefore one of the architects of the project. Gennaro is in sixth grade. He is a curious, sensitive boy, attentive to social issues. It actively participates in the project of the Fondazione Famiglia di Maria and of Legambiente, aimed at creating “the first energetic and supportive community in the Central South”. A solar system, and for the first time in Italy the energy produced will be shared between forty families in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is San Giovanni a Teduccio, and Gennaro, despite his young age, played a role of motivator for the constitution of the energy community: door to door, he explained to the adult neighbors the meaning and advantages of the initiative. Together with the educators, he became the protagonist of environmental pedagogy and active citizenship paths, monitoring electricity consumption and heat loss. Altruism and a sense of community have become tools for Gennaro to improve the life of his neighborhood.
Miriam El Ouazani, 19 years old, living in Cava dei Tirreni, “for the commitment with which he dedicates himself to the growth of children outside the family”. She came of age in a community of care leavers, where she was an example of generosity and attention to the little ones, and now publicly addresses the issue of foster care, so problematic, when these children come of age. Miriam grew up in Salerno, in a community where she was the largest of the children hosted. She helped the little ones, and also the operators, behaving like an older sister and becoming a model for her reliability, friendliness and composure. When she turned 18, the Social Service did not allow her any more time in the structure and so she returned to her grandparents (who she helps to look after). In the community in which she grew up, however, she decided to train as social operator and to carry out the internship to obtain the title of “child educational assistant”. Miriam is a participant in the «Care Leavers network» of «Agevolando», a network of young people who, like her, grew up «outside the family», and in the course of regional conferences she played the role of speaker, raising in particular the topic of I entrust children of age, who are often denied this opportunity because there are no families or people available.
Francesco Tortora, 17, resident in Roccapiemonte, “for the commitment and support to the population in the pandemic period, and in particular for the help provided to the elderly in booking anti Covid vaccines and in the procedures for issuing the Green pass” . Francesco joined the “Roccapiemonte Civil Protection Unit” since his teenage years, demonstrating a lasting interest over time in voluntary work and distinguishing himself for his commitment to his activities and for his organizational spirit. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he particularly distinguished himself in supporting the population with the collection and distribution of food, and assisted citizens, especially the elderly, in registering on the regional platform to access the vaccine and in procedures for issuing the Green pass.
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“The recognition of Standard Bearer of the Republic conferred by the Head of State Sergio Mattarella on the very young Gennaro Dragone of the Family of Mary Foundation testifies to the extraordinary desire for social redemption and civic participation that sees the majority of Neapolitans actively commit themselves to building a better future. Gennaro’s commitment to the energy and solidarity community project, aimed at producing and sharing clean energy, in fact achieves a double effect: it contributes to raising the quality of life as well as sowing the seeds in its San Giovanni a Teduccio neighborhood to nourish a sense of community, solidarity and belonging. Sustainability and social inclusion must go hand in hand and Gennaro has proved it ». Thus the mayor of Naples Gaetano Manfredi.