Elpis: empowering youth employment in Rome

I am Federica Pennino, tutor of Elpis, a project by social enterprise Sophia aimed at the job placement of young people in Rome, through a path of personal and professional growth. 

We deal with NEETs, young people who are inactive or stuck in training or a job which does not suit them. We accompany them to achieve economic independence, housing and to identify and take decisive steps towards the professional field of their interest. 

Creating growth paths for young people thanks to the Charity Fund

My role in the project is to listen to these young people, and together with other tutors and psychotherapists, help them establish a growth plan and help them with taking the next steps necessary. But the most important thing is to be close to them, help them have confidence in themselves again, as well as in their talents and abilities. 

Thanks to the support of the Intesa Sanpaolo Charity Fund, we were able to change the stories of more than 95 young people. Of these, 76 are now working, 40 have achieved housing autonomy and 19 have resumed their studies. 

Marina, after years of inactivity and frustration, has a contract as a data entry operator in a hospital in Rome, Andrea has left his parents’ home and is a special needs teacher, Eleonora, once a warehouse worker, has resumed working as a seamstress, Carlo has left an oppressive job to devote himself to the less fortunate.  

In addition, over the last two years, thanks to the Charity Fund, we have launched a protected work area for the employment of the most vulnerable young people and made the Elpis project available to 250 high school students, with a university and professional orientation course.  

To other entities, we recommend taking advantage of the willingness and skills we have found in the Intesa Sanpaolo Charity fund, which has always been at our side and alongside the young people we assist. 

The Elpis project continues to guide the employment of young people in Rome

Six months after the testimony, the Elpis project by social enterprise Sophia has helped 87 young people to find work, while 59 have achieved housing autonomy and 27 have resumed their studies. Thanks to the support of the Intesa Sanpaolo Charity Fund, the project team continues to help young people make the necessary changes in order to enter the working world and take the decisive steps towards the professional field of their interest. 


Francesca, 26, has started studying medicine again thanks to having met a doctor who, after finding out about the Elpis project, volunteered to offer her professional expertise to beneficiaries interested in the medical field. Like her, five other professionals volunteered to collaborate with Elpis. 

In addition, 250 new students, for a total of 500 youths, participated in the orientation courses that Elpis carries out to prevent the phenomenon of NEETs and ELETs (Early Leavers from Education and Training) in schools. The courses focused on the importance of making authentic choices and being prepared to meet challenges to achieve one’s professional calling



The Elpis project carried on working in the area of artisanal work, for the employment of the most fragile beneficiaries. Luca, 28, who worked in the protected area since 2021, decided to take a step forward in his career by opening a music recording studio, in which he put into practice the relational work style he learned from Elpis.  


The “contamination” effect is the most beautiful gift of the project. The attitude change of the beneficiaries generates a great impact on the people around them. With the help of Sophia tutors, this maturity generates enough confidence to entrust them with significant work projects. In fact, since October, six young beneficiaries of Elpis have been working as tutors to combat the school dropout issue among circus worker’s children. 

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