And the Lord saw that it was good. And it was evening and morning, the first day.
That is how Genesis speaks about the creation, and it was with the same feeling of hearts filled with hope that we too started the eleventh year of our school of second chances.
There was emotion in the eyes of those who came for the first time to the colourful CasArcobaleno [Rainbow House]. Something different was taking place, not just exteriorly but internally in each boy or girl. A new world was beginning, with new possibilities that clashed with the boring old life spent between the bed, the couch, the playstation, hanging around outside with a few friends or chained to the exhausting power of the mobile phone, which from one point of view represents a big wide world but from another point of view is extremely limited and enclosed.
This was the new creation of the self, […] acting as co-creators of our own development, discovering wonders, hungry for surprises and full of curiosity, “being on the inside” as protagonists and companions on a journey.
The inauguration of IO VALGO was undertaken after countless meetings, at least four with every family to get to know them and become fully acquainted and to show a concern to respond to the real needs of their children. Before selecting the children and accepting them in the school, we wanted to talk to them individually and listen to them in personal interviews, two of us to one of them. We wanted to show that we saw them as adults and treated them as such. That serves to bring out responsibility in them and also their trust, which leads them to make an honest analysis of their personal experience of school and a willingness to face a new venture.
We were impressed by the positive attitude of the parents, by their general encouragement and by the way in which they understood the aims of the IO VALGO project. As one father said, “Yes, I understand completely. You are a Community!”
The image invoked at the inauguration was that of a road for them to travel. The school’s role was to provide signposts, the families were to be “life-giving fountains to quench the thirst”, while we staff members were to be “the bridge” to help them cross the terrible chasm that had opened up in their roadway.
It would therefore be our joint effort to create a new inner landscape for the children that was not just cultural and educational. This would involve all of us, because we were all transformed right from the interview by the realisation that we had experienced a glimpse of the Love which trascends us as individuals and the limitations of our affective relationships.