NAPLES, ITALY - 16 MARCH 2018: Angela Cuccaro (19), an aerial dancer, poses for a portrait at "Il Tappeto di Iqbal" (Iqbal's carpet), a non-profit cooperative in Barra, the estern district of Naples, Italy, on March 16th 2018.
Il Tappeto di Iqbal (Iqbal’s Carpet) is a non-profit cooperative founded in 2015 and Save The Children partner since 2015 that operates in the Naple’s eastern neighborhood of Barra children in the arts of circus, theater and parkour. It was named after Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani boy who escaped from life as a child slave and became an activist against bonded labor in the 1990s.
Barra, which is home to some 45,000 people, has the highest rate of school dropouts in the Italian region of Campania. Once a thriving industrial community, many of the factories were destroyed in a 1980 earthquake and never rebuilt. The resulting de-industrialization turned Barra into a poor, decaying neighborhood. There are no cinemas, theaters, parks or public spaces in Barra.
The vast majority of children from poor families are faced with the choice of working in the black economy or joining the ranks of the organised crime.
Recently, Save the Children Italy opened a number of educational and social spaces in Barra. The centers, known as Punti Luce, or points of light, aim to help local kids stay out of the ranks of the organised crime and have also become hubs for Iqbal's Carpet to work.