Today for class we went to La Cittá dei Ragazzi, the Boys’ Town of Rome. It was founded by an Irish Priest, MonSignor John Patrick-Abbing. He started his outreach in 1945 in an effort to help the orphans of the war and Boys’ Town became incorporated in 1951 (Boys’ 3). It is a town for boys that have no family and it is a place they can go to live and go to school. The boys are taught everyday life skills from cooking and cleaning to having their own form of government, with a young boy as their mayor. They have their own football, or soccer, team and play games every Sunday. The boys are from all different countries including Italy, Afghanistan, Egypt, and many countries in Africa. They grow up in this town, graduate from high school, and then they can move on to get a job outside of the town but can remain living in Boys’ Town until they can afford to be on their own. We had the privilege of meeting the current mayor of the town, a young man of seventeen from Afghanistan who has been living here for almost two years now. The mayor is elected by the boys and serves two month terms. It was really amazing to see the town and how the boys live and function within the town and especially to learn about their form of government. It is a great organization and there is even a Girls’ Town of Rome and other Boys’ and Girls’ Towns throughout Europe and even in the US.
The Boys holding court in their building that served as a court house/town hall. The boy in the center with the black shirt is the mayor.
*Boys' Towns of Italy, Inc. 14 June 2009