“Popeye is a fictional American character who made his debut on January 17th, 1929 in the Thimble Theater comic strip in which Castor Oyl, the initial star of the series, wanted to leave for Africa but had to find a sailor able to lead the ship and met Popeye, a thin, cross-eyed guy with a very typical way of speaking that used to increase his strength thanks to spinach and, we dare to say, also his self-esteem “
P.O.P.E.Y.E. (Pathway of Orientation for Promoting and Enhancing Youth Employment) is the project conceived by the Consortium La Rada, together with Cidis Onlus, CSC, Mestieri Campania and the Municipality of Salerno, and supported by the Never Alone fund, that leads girls and boys, both minors or young adults, who have arrived in Italy as unaccompanied children and who are living in Campania, towards a relational and economic autonomy.
P.O.P.E.Y.E. is a large ship with four engines – the multicultural centres P.O.P.E.Y.E. of Salerno, Naples, Avellino and Caserta – real promoters of the multidimensional job orientation projects, social, housing, language and cultural inclusion, that can be joined by all the young people who get on board.
On this journey they have extraordinary travel mates, each with his own task: the chief engineers at the head of the 4 multicultural centres; the seconds in commands, responsible for the achievement of housing autonomy and social inclusion, who cooperate and support the project coordinating captain; the chief mates, responsible for the skills development and counselling service in view of possible training and job opportunities; the boatswains, dealing with legal maneuvers; the precious deck officers, workshops experts, trainers, second language teachers and workshop on key competences instructors; all the kids, brave sailors from all over the world, who have already made a journey – the most dangerous one, which is still frightening, just thinking about it – but, who have decided to get back on board and trust us.
And then, there is the network of the First Reception Centres, care facilities for children, Siproimi Centres, (second line governmental reception centres) where the kids are hosted, schools, employers’ associations, smart businessmen who are offering internships, local authorities and foundations that have joined the NeverAlone fund, and that are supporting the project: these are the stakeholders who have decided, for this special journey, to take on the role of harbour masters from whose port the ship will sail and then land.
The P.O.P.E.Y.E. ship, with all its load of extraordinary humanity, has set sail; the wind of our time blows against us but we keep on sailing in an obstinate and opposite direction.