From Prayer To Boxing: Naples Church Offers Jobless Youths Lifeline

Nov 22, 2019 570

BY: Antonio Denti

Thwacks and thumps echo through the hallway of the 17th century church in a neglected Naples neighborhood as 21-year-old Nico Rodrigues and 20 other youngsters go through their paces in the boxing ring. Rodrigues is one of 60 young people who have found an escape from the local area’s harsh streets in the boxing project founded a year ago by Father Antonio Loffredo to steer jobless d youths from a potential life of crime.

While he practices his jabs and uppercuts on the hanging punch bag, outside the church’s doors young people in hoodies argue and throw punches at each other as police sirens blare – a familiar street scene in the poor Rione Sanita district.

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