IBSA in support of ASPI to prevent violence against minors24 August 2023
The various Corporate Social Responsibility projects supported by IBSA also include its partnership with ASPI – Fondazione della Svizzera italiana per l’Aiuto, il Sostegno e la Protezione dell’Infanzia (“Foundation of Italian-speaking Switzerland for the Aid, Support and Protection of Childhood”). Born in 2018, the purpose of the collaboration with ASPI is to support initiatives aimed at preventing any form of violence against minors.
The term violence means any form of ill-treatment, abuse, prevarication and coercion; therefore, the violence we are talking about is not only physical, but also psychological (and, to all intents and purposes, cyberbullying falls within this case study). Indeed, violence is even more serious when perpetrated against minors, because – in addition to causing pain and suffering – it also compromises their psychophysical development and self-esteem.
Support and protection of children since 1991
Globally, one billion children are victims of violence, while in Switzerland there are at least 40,000 cases a year. In Ticino there are 2 ascertained cases of abuse every month, and the ASPI Foundation was precisely created to combat this phenomenon in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Founded in 1991 by paediatrician Amilcare Tonella, today it’s the main private institution that promotes the respect, rights and fair treatment of children aged 0 to 18 and that is committed to fighting sexual abuse and ill-treatment against minors, through awareness and education. The vision on which all the Foundation’s work is based is that of primary prevention: it’s not only necessary to intervene in case of confirmed violence, but rather to start from the assumption that any violent behaviour can be prevented, acting before this happens.
Thanks to the numerous programmes carried out in the elementary and middle schools, the ASPI Foundation reaches around 7,000 children and young people every year. The goal of the programme is to educate young people and provide them with protection and defence tools against violence. Furthermore, ASPI implements social awareness activities, adult training and, when necessary, expert services, such as activities to support parenting through workshops and positive education courses.
Supporting those who take care of children – and sharing educational methods based on respect and non-violence – are the first steps in opposing all forms of child abuse.
ASPI’s programmes consist of interactive educational activities involving children, and in some cases their parents as well. Among the main ones that will be reproposed in the next school season are the following:
A programme which, representing the first approach to prevention for the little ones (2nd and 3rd grade), aims to convey the basic notions to help them protect themselves from possible abuse, with the involvement of parents and teachers too. The path aims to make children stronger and more confident, while promoting education for the coexistence of differences: in fact, from September 2023, it will restart in a completely renewed way, with more up-to-date materials and tools, designed to better address the issues and problems of the current social situation, related to aspects such as:
- (physical, cultural, social) diversity;
- belonging to different family contexts;
- social integration.
The programme is fully supported by the Canton Ticino, and this ensures a more widespread fruition by all schools.
A programme for 4th and 5th grade children and aimed at:
- developing the skills to face the relationship with the other with serenity;
- recognising possible risk situations;
- promoting positive and respectful behaviour.
Lasting several days, it’s an actual course held to help children recognise their emotions and sensations, respect their own and others’ personal boundaries and develop the ability to ask for help.
A programme aimed at 4th and 5th graders and middle schoolers on risk prevention in the digital environment. The programme intends to develop in children a critical spirit and an awareness which can guide them in the vast world of the internet, addressing issues related to the main risks such as:
- fake news;
- viewing inappropriate and potentially shocking content;
- privacy concept;
- social media addiction;
A programme aimed at 4th and 5th graders and middle schoolers which intends to promote the culture of respect, in order to prevent bullying and cyberbullying. The project leverages on:
- the importance of respect among equals;
- the development of an empathetic attitude;
- the promotion of collaboration and collective responsibility.
A programme intended for people who work in organisations and associations that deal with foreigners and for parents and adults of migrant origin whose children participate with their school in ASPI activities. By involving figures of linguistic and cultural mediation, the project intends to raise awareness of:
- the child abuse issue;
- current guidelines in the field of prevention;
- the active role that every parent can play in strengthening minors and in preventing all forms of violence against them.
In addition to these projects, from October 2023 the launch of the “Love Limits” programme has been scheduled, a pilot project for children aged between 13 and 16 which aims to promote healthy relationships between equals, exploring topics such as respect and consent within relations.
Communicate united to raise awareness and promote prevention
All information and insights into the Foundation’s activities are available on ASPI’s digital and social channels: Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and ASPI WebTV, created in collaboration with CERDD (Centro di risorse didattiche e digitali del Canton Ticino, “Centre for educational and digital resources of the Canton Ticino”), thanks to which ASPI can reach and involve the various societal targets. IBSA intends to give its contribution to realise ASPI’s mission, supporting primary prevention activities, in the awareness that – to build a truly free and healthy society – it is necessary to educate and promote a culture of respect and non-violence, of inclusion and peaceful coexistence of differences, starting from the new generations.