Kids and artists create a mural in the streets of Milan
  • The evolution of the Italian cultural scene is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic and rich in variety. Teachers, educators and parents are thus faced with a new challenge: to create inclusive places of learning and growth for children that respect and enhance everybody’s diversity and distinctiveness.

     Project objectives: to create a sense of belonging in the community, to help young people understand the value of difference, and to promote integration.

  • 17.600 girls and boys aged between 6 and 25

    1.050 educators and teachers involved

    15 final films made, one for each city where the project operates

Imagine going to school, entering the classroom and seeing about twenty children staring at you. Imagine seeing them playing and talking without understanding a word they are saying.

This is how foreign children feel as soon as they arrive in Italy from very distant countries, having left all that was familiar to them to follow their parents’ working dream or to escape dangers they are not even aware of.

Similar cases have increased exponentially in Italy in the last twenty years: the population composition has been varying greatly, with a progressively higher presence of boys and girls of foreign origin. This has resulted in the creation of increasingly heterogeneous classes comprising young people coming from very many realities, speaking different languages and with very different cultural values.

The name of the project, "Like an Okapi", reflects this diversity through an animal that resembles both a giraffe and a zebra.

The project’s objective is to help children feel less ill at ease and build a sense of communitytogether with their Italian classmates, to encourage inclusion and to value each person’s differences and distinctive characteristics. The project will operate in 60 locations scattered throughout the 12 provinces of Lombardy and will actively involve childrenbut also parents and teachers who play a fundamental role in shifting towards an intercultural society.

The different major subjects who are critical in terms of the youth’s good development will be involved using the Open Space Technology Lab technique, which allows everyone to exchange ideas creatively and positively.

There will be no face-to-face lessons: the kids will become the real protagonists by taking part in engaging and exciting activities such as role-playing games and interactive workshops, where they canlearn by having fun, turning education into entertaining moments of learning and practice. By identifying themselves with the role of journalists, the kids will carry out research and video interviews that will focus on their fellow citizens to collect experiences and comments on the theme of inclusion and participation. In this game, the kids will become filmmakers and, thanks to the help of Ed-work professionals, they will shoot a film that will be shown to all citizens.

Listening, dialogue and participation: this is where integration starts

Students will also take an active involvement in planning events such as concerts, theatre performances, and screenings of films chosen by them in film forums, as well as in organizing exhibitions.

The kids will then create murals and artistic projects aimed at sharing their ideas and values with the whole community.

  • My name is Silvia Jelmini and I'm responsible for educational activities at CELIM.

Project’s overview

The general objective of the project is to promote inclusion and a sense of community, to improve the kids’ listening skills and to teach them to value differences.


  • workshop aimed at improving and diversifying listening skills and increasing the understanding of the value of difference; realization of murals at the end of the workshop
  • participatory planning workshop aimed at organizing initiatives for young people and adults from the community
  • organization of concerts, theatrical performances, film screenings, exhibitions
  • participatory research on inclusion: operators and young people led by professionals give voice to 3,000 citizens; realization of final films


  • Project title 
    Come l’Okapi – percorsi formativi per favorire il dialogo e superare l’omologazione

    Project Manager
    Silvia Jelmini, [email protected]

    April 2018/October 2019

  • Partner
    Aspem, Cast, Cbm, Coe, Deafal, Il Sole, Mani Tese, Mlfm, Mmi, Pro.Sa, Scaip, Svi, Acea, Altropallone, Colomba, Compagnia Africana, Comune di Brescia, Comune di Milano, Ed-Work, Elikya, Guardavanti, Isola Solidale, Project for People, Ruah


Support the activities

  • 10€

    to provide material needed for a workshop

  • 25€

    to hire the tools required to shoot the video

  • 50€

    to donate the paint for a 10 m² mural

  • 100€

    to guarantee a 4-hour intervention by an educator trained in global citizenship

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