Aid organizations in Italy are concerned about children who drop out of school to join the mafia. That is a criminal organization that acts in drugs, for example. Especially in places where the mafia is big, such as in the city of Naples, it is a problem.
Heleen D‘Haens works for the Youth Journal in Italy. She went to Naples and spoke to children in a high school there.
The school where the children sit at is located in a poor neighborhood in Naples in the south of Italy. Many parents here have problems and often they don’t think school is very important. One in five children will drop out of school before the age of sixteen.
Most young people then go to find a job. But some mostly hang out on the streets. Then they can come into contact with criminals.
Due to corona and home-schooling, even more children quit school than before. The Italian government has therefore promised extra money to schools to deal with the problem. For example, by organizing fun lessons to motivate children to go to school.