Circo Corsaro is a Social Circus project directed by Maria Teresa Cesaroni, who since 2004 has been working in the territory of Scampia (northern suburbs of Naples) and other difficult suburbs of Naples, dealing with integration, childhood and adolescence at risk and early school leaving.
The project has been carried out in partnership since 2017 with the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation and is part of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation’s “Schools in the World” programme.
Our aim is to combat social degradation and school dropout by using pedagogical methodologies that can provide children and adolescents with tools for the development of emotional intelligence and the ability to foreshadow the future. The tools are our Pedagogy for the Third Millennium and the Social Circus, pedagogical methodologies that are the subject of numerous researches in the psychological and neuroscientific field.
We have two active interventions on the territory: an afternoon circus school in Piscinola and a social circus workshop within the “Istituto Comprensivo Virgilio 4”.
The circus school’s afternoon course takes place three days a week, while the school workshop takes place in the curriculum hours in close collaboration with the teachers, two actions that complement each other synergistically to accompany children and young people towards a better relationship with both the school and the territory in which they live.
Scampia is one of the most densely populated districts of Naples, with 40,860 residents. The neighborhood has high rates of poverty, low schooling, early parenthood and early school leaving. Considered as one of the most degraded and problematic places in the city, it is one of the districts with the highest unemployment rate in Italy (50%-75% of the active population). This precariousness and the very poor socio-economic conditions have contributed to the explosion of organised crime, which often uses the children of the neighbourhood as workers. In the absence of alternatives, these children and young people find in the work offered by the camorra a form of immediate gain. Among the adolescents of the neighborhood are increasingly widespread episodes of abuse of power and bullying, a symptom of an absence of positive social relations, in the face of which teachers are often powerless. It is a multi-problematic neighbourhood in which the deep-rooted uneasiness that involves families imprisons children. In this isolated and unstructured reality, their cognitive and social development is at great risk.