Location and general information

Location Naples, Italy
Start date 01/01/2019
End date 07/31/2020
Cost of the project €123,050
Foundation funding €123,050
Project identifier EUR-2018735
Partners Play for Change


Naples has one of the highest rates of social inequality in Italy. It is also a city where the values of sport are a way of life. Creating a sports centre in Naples for disadvantaged and disabled children is intended to help these youngsters develop while creating new prospects for a better future.

A gym will be renovated in the Sanità district. This neighbourhood is characterised by a very high rate of organised crime, social exclusion and unemployment. La Sanità is not well served by public transport, which contributes to its isolation. There is a lack of educational establishments, with just one primary school and one high school. In the first two years of high school (compulsory education), there is 50% drop-out rate and 74% failure rate. La Sanità is also characterised by a variety of ethnic groups including the Rom, who are the largest community. For these reasons, the project developed by Play for Change aims to rehabilitate young people in this social context through inclusion and participation in sports activities. The Neapolitan name of the project is ‘Juca pe cagna’ (Play for Change).

Project content

Sport is the catalyst for a cultural change and will impart the values of discipline, teamwork, fair play and commitment to children and teenagers, in contrast with the current situation, helping them in the long term to find the motivation to bring about real and sustainable development in the community. The goal is to reduce the school drop-out and failure rates, inspire the youngsters to pursue a career and not be dragged into criminal gangs. Families and community members will encourage the positive change.



  • Renovate the gym at La Sanità neighbourhood, turning it into the Play for Change sports centre
  • Propose prevention activities against all forms of generalised malaise among young people
  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Provide them with life skills such as knowing how to live together, as well as investing in young people’s cultural development and training
  • Integrate young people into society, helping them to develop employability skills and develop their talents and real abilities
  • Create a platform for activities adapted to the needs of the community and younger people in particular

La Locomotiva Onlus, the project partner, has been working in the Naples district since March 2000, providing educational and training activities in active citizenship, social and employment inclusion, environmental protection and living in peace and without violence, with a focus on community development.

Project activities

The project will last 18 months.

The first nine months will be dedicated to renovating the sport centre, assessing the risks and beneficiaries, as well as meeting local stakeholders.

The second stage will focus on the following:

  1. Organising sports coaching, leadership, and life skills workshops
  2. Social activities, sports activities, educational activities and integration activities for minors
  3. Inclusion and integration activities and support for adults and families
  4. Social, educational and integration activities for the disabled
  5. Cultural activities and events to promote local development
  6. Youth training activities
  7. Activities to promote a network of social policies and develop an educational community

The project is supported by local communities, institutions and sports partners to ensure the sustainability of the project from an economic and social point of view.

Expected results

Direct beneficiaries:

Between 100 and 300 children 3 to 14 years old: 10% migrants or refugees, 50% with challenging social backgrounds, 30% with disabilities, and 10% others.

  • Beneficiaries from extremely difficult backgrounds and families with a variety of issues, such as drug/alcohol abuse or incarceration; youth crime; sexual abuse; teenage pregnancy and teenage parenting; unhealthy nutrition; with limited access to life skills information; no coordinated access to sport.
  • Beneficiaries with vision and hearing disabilities (blind and deaf) and forms of autism

Indirect beneficiaries:

Four schools, two churches, six third-sector associations, 300 families, four sport centres, three institutional entities, and 500 community members.


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