Varese (Italy) Song Xuefeng, Consul General of China in Milan, wrote to the students of the 3rd level of Mary Help of Christians Social Economic High School in Varese, in the Lombardy Holy Family Province (ILO), thanking them for helping Matteo, a Chinese youth who returned to China because of the Coronavirus, to complete the school year started in Italy.

The students, coordinated by the Italian Teacher Sister Cristina Merli, gave their contribution by making Matteo’s study of Dante’s Divine Comedy more accessible to Matteo. To do this, they combined each topic with a theme (friendship, choices, love, desire to know, respect for limits, betrayal, cruelty, and evil) from which to draw a moral teaching, as Giulia explains: “In addition to narrating the story, we considered it important to analyze the theme and the moral behind each event in order to launch reflections and analyses on life.”

To represent the chapters, the young people opted for the video mode – more immediate and easier to understand – and they worked in groups: “We work as if we were an assembly line, everyone does their own piece: who takes care of the writing, some of the images, some of the music, some of the reading, and some of the editing. We can say we are satisfied with the work done. We made a great team project that allowed us to have fun despite the difficulties of this particular moment, and allowed us to unite and see what we are able to achieve by putting together the potential in each of us.”

The chosen title is also significant: “Traveling with Dante. From Varese to Wenzhou.” “We wanted to unite our two cities, Varese and Wenzhou, which is the place where Matteo lives and where he is at the moment. In short, we made a ‘short’ trip from the Divine Comedy to China!”

The Consul expressed his appreciative for the initiative in his letter:

“Thanks to you, China and Italy are no longer far away and the young will not be alone. The ancient Chinese said: ‘True friendship exists only if there is a common goal and constant commitment.’ Friendship goes beyond distance, solidarity increases strength, friends are the precious riches of life.” He then ended with an invitation: “After the epidemic, you are welcome to visit the Chinese Consulate General and China, the city of Wenzhou, where Matteo now lives, a friendly country that combines antiquity and modernity.”

That of the Consul General of China is the first response to the students, who thought of sharing their project also with the Mayor of Varese, with Pope Francis, and with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

The work is part of the “Teens during Corona” Service Learning Path, which puts students into play by offering through the social pages, activities and posts to keep learning alive during the lockdown.

The videos are available on channel Youtube Teens During Corona.


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