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Carmen Street is a space that offers different animative, aggregation and socializing proposals to the juveniles of the surrounding area and to their families. Since over 30 years it operates in the district of Carmine, in Brescia. Initially Day Centre, from January 1990 Carmen Street became a CAG.

The Centre is patronized by the Marist Fathers.

Carmen Street intends to be a place where children can find a relational and educational environment meaningful for their growth; a space in which we work to prevent of discomfort and to generate a condition of ease.

Carmen Street intends to be a place where boys and girls can find answers to their socializing, listening, companionship and dialogue needs supported by recreational, cultural and recreational activities. There are study and meeting rooms.

Carmen Street welcomes children and young people, male and female, most between the ages of 6 and 18 years.

The access to the center is free under subscription. Anyone can participate, provided that he shares some educational bottom lines. The offered activities are not aimed at acquiring particular skills. The purpose of the activities is recreational, animative and relational.

The Carmen Street activities are partly financed by the Municipality of Brescia.

Carmen Street, due to the emerging needs in the area, has enabled some experimental projects and complementary activities. In particular, it works for the advancement of the female condition and the difficult integration of foreign women and girls.

Progetto Insieme. A space for women, run by women for women. It is a language course for foreign women, but it also aims relational purposes, to give an opportunity to many women to learn Italian, meet and discuss with other women.

Progetto Alma. A space for foreign teenage girls that can't access to promiscuous services. It is a get-together, socializing and awareness moment for these users that it is difficult to "hook" in the "traditional" services. There is the possibility to learn the language, to do the homework, to use the computers or just to chat.

 

During term time, the centre is open from 14:30 to 20:00 from Monday to Friday.

For a couple of weekly activities, the centre prolongs its opening to the evening.

In the non-school period, timetables are subject to changes according to the emerging needs also providing the morning opening.

 

-> SERVICE CHARTER - CAG CARMEN STREET (ITA)

-> READ THE COMPLETE PROJECT PRESENTATION (ITA)

-> TEXTE COMPLET DE LA PRESENTATION DU PROJET (FR)

 


 

MARIST FATHERS

 

The Marist Fathers, in Brescia since the 20s, arrived in the district of Carmine in 1981. The choice of this neighborhood for the Marists was not random. The opportunity was given by the fact that during that time the church of S. Maria del Carmine was closed, waiting for someone to take it over. This request met with the desire of the Marists to have a presence within the Carmine district, a neighborhood that has always had its own peculiarities in the urban context.

The Marist have thus reached the Carmine with the task to reopen the Church, always keeping in mind the specific nature of the neighborhood, questioning theirselves about the best possibilities of intervention inside this reality. After a first period of analysis and knowledge of the neighborhood, they decided to take care especially of minors. This choice was accomplished since there already were operative services targeted to the other segments of the population, and with the conviction that through acceptance, socializing and leisure time they could make important steps in the prevention of social unease and the promotion of ease.

Gradually a large number of initiatives have arisen, including some services specifically targeted at children and young people.

The first services that the Marist Fathers have promoted, in January 1985, were a community of Emergency Services for children and a day center. Next to the Emergency Service quickly arose also a Community of Minors Hospitality that, in January 1990, found an accommodation in Via Carmine, thanks to the Municipality of Brescia. In the same period the Day Centre was transformed into the Youth Aggregation Centre "Carmen Street," service targeted primarily to the minors in the Carmine neighborhood. Over time “Carmen Street” is the service that has been growing and evolving more, in parallel with the changes of the neighborhood. After an initial exclusively Italian presence, over the years the presence of children from immigrant families has highly strengthened. The composition of the Centre users has remained undifferentiated (ie, next to some "difficult" situations coexist and live many other "normal" situations). This in order to avoid the center to be characterized only by the access of problematic situations.

Basic element for the Marist Fathers was the belief of preventing discomfort through targeted interventions, offering to the minors support opportunities in place of those, often lacking, offered by their families and by the neighborhood.

Even the name, born spontaneously and somehow casually (Carmen Street is a play on words born from a mixture of the dialect of Brescia and the English language) was seen as a symbol of a possible meeting.

The Marist Fathers have tried to live within this context with the objective of 'making community'; a discreet presence, according to their own style, trying to testify in the neighborhood a simple and familiar way of being Church. We never claimed to change the neighborhood, but to live in it, with its riches and its limitations, its resources and its problems, its positive and negative elements. This also through the meeting, the listening and the informal relationship with people living in the neighborhood.