The third award ceremony of the schools competition, “One city is not enough. Chiara Lubich, citizen of the world” took place on 12th May. There were 136 drawings entries.  We spoke to Cinzia Malizia, teacher of the 1st A Class of the I.C. Camerano – John Paul II – Sirolo (Ancona-Italy) which was awarded the first prize in the primary school section.

The 2022-2023, third national competition for schools, “One city is not enough. Chiara Lubich citizen of the world”, was promoted by the Chiara Lubich Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Merit, the Fondazione Museo Storico del Trentino and New Humanity of the Focolare Movement. The title of the winning multimedia graphic essay for the primary section was “Patterns of love”. It was produced by the children of the 1st A of the I.C. Camerano – John Paul II – Sirolo di Camerano (Ancona-Italy), guided by their teacher, Cinzia Malizia.

Ms. Malizia, how did you find out about this competition?
As can be seen from our video, mine is a very lively class, sometimes challenging and difficult to manage. Despite being 7-year-olds, they give me a lot to do and, since they are children of the Covid era, I noticed a certain difficulty when identifying their feelings, to bring out the “good” things, positive gestures and kind words. I asked myself: “how can I get to the hearts of these children?” I started looking for some projects on Miur (Ministry of Education and Merit), some competitions that might help, especially for some personalities that could be an example. This is how I came to Chiara Lubich, a person I had heard of but knew little about. I started reading her story and, little by little, together with the children, we followed a pathway with the aim of enabling them to above all rediscover that curiosity, that amazement, that wonder that unfortunately seem lost in today’s society.

Did you have a particular focus?
I wanted to work with them on emotions, to understand what they had inside. We dealt with fear, worked on anger, joy and so many experiences came out. They started talking, expressing themselves in their own way, and what used to be the weak point of my class turned into a real strength. In our video you will hear the words, “From fear we found the courage”. The children were the first to understand how good it is for the heart to say “sorry”, to say “thank you” or “good morning”. It’s not that children have changed radically now, they are always the same, they can’t keep still, they scream, they ignore the rules, but there are beginning to be gestures that are small but at the same time great because they are part of a journey we are on together. Chiara Lubich was a guide for us, a reassuring figure, almost like a “grandmother”, who with messages of love, hope and her example really worked to create a better world. Even simply looking at each other with love, regardless of social background, religion, skin colour or culture has affected them a lot. They experienced this in the classroom, with their Muslim companion and this means nurturing good feelings, hoping for a different society. We teachers cannot give up. These children have so much to give.

How did the children react when they learned they had won the first prize?
They were elated, really happy. We worked for months and months and I really think they deserved it. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the means for us all to be able to go to Trent for the award ceremony. Some of us took part by video link while 6 children were able to go, accompanied by their families who were happy to use their own resources to finance the trip. They too were very happy with this project. We worked a lot together, so much together that at the end of the year we’ll do a play based on emotions. The parents themselves have collaborated by making most of the masks that the children will wear and we even brought some of these to the award ceremony. So our journey doesn’t end there.

At the beginning, the principal, Dr. Flavia Maria Teresa Valentina Cannizzaro, said to me: “Cinzia, they are so small, do they understand what you are saying?” I hope so, if nothing else they have heard and hearing good things never hurts. I think it’s important that children understand that even before being capable, what matters is being good, having a kindness of mind that allows us to change things for the better. I think Chiara Lubich’s experience really helped them.

CONCORSO NAZIONALE “Una città non basta, Chiara Lubich cittadina del mondo”! – IC “CAMERANO – GIOVANNI PAOLO II – SIROLO” (

Maria Grazia Berretta






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