Graduation Ceremony

In an inspiring and friendly atmosphere, the Cavazza Institute, after the hiatus due to the pandemic, resumed the graduation ceremony for students completing the switchboard operator and information operator in communication courses.
Egidio Sosio

May 5, 2022 was not a day like any other at the F. Cavazza Institute for the Blind in Bologna. It was a day of great personal involvement and highly emotional intensity for the entire facility and its services. The graduation ceremony for the qualification of switchboard operator, information operator in communication, for trainees of the 2021/2022 course, together with the trainees of the 2020/2021 course, was able to take place again. A tradition was resumed that had been in place for some 20 years, sadly but necessarily paused due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID pandemic, which so affected everyone’s lives, and still makes its presence felt, albeit in a less devastating form. This is a manner, which the Institute has chosen over time, to make the main institutions of the metropolitan and regional territory, and in particular their managers and key representatives, aware of one of the core activities that characterize the role and social function of the structure. 

Graduation day – Istituto Cavazza, Bologna

Over the years, they have succeeded each other in attending and directly delivering diplomas to students: among others, the Mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola, the Cardinal of Bologna, Monsignor Matteo Zuppi, the Regional Councillor for Schools, Training and Labour, Ottavio Bianchi, the Prefect of Bologna, Matteo Piantedosi. And many others: city councillors, regional officials, and officials from the territorial labour office and employment centre. All of them had the opportunity to witness, not only the educational reality and the uniqueness of the model proposed by the Institute, but to also grasp and collect the suggestions, requests, proposals and aspirations, expressed by students, regarding the issues of training and work, which involve and interest them directly. In Bentivoglio Hall, the Institute’s boardroom, together with the Institution’s management: (the President of the C.D.A., and other board members, the Director and National President of the U.I.C.I.), 21 staff, collaborators, teachers, as well as the students of the two courses, Dr. Francesca Bergamini, in her capacity as manager in charge of the Education, Training, Labour and Knowledge Policy Planning Service, was present on behalf of the Emilia-Romagna region, which supports and finances the Institute’s vocational training activities. 

Graduation day – Istituto Cavazza, Bologna

In an inspiring and friendly atmosphere, the President of the Institute, Elio De Leo, opened the ceremony by doing, as they say, the honours. He thanked those present for attending, with special reference to Dr. Bergamini, for her constant attention to the Institute, and the Emilia-Romagna region, for its active and continued support in favour of the training activities it carries out. Egidio Sosio then spoke about the course and recounted the experience of the training process and its impact in the area of labour and, more broadly, social inclusion. He was followed by Director Mario Barbuto, who traced the history of these past decades of collaboration between the Institute and the Emilia-Romagna Region in the field of vocational training, and how important this relationship has been in the experience of personal and social empowerment of so many people living with vision loss in the regional territory as well as across the country. And let us not overlook the positive role and contribution of the U.I.C.I. Then came the time for the much expected and welcome speech of Dr. Francesca Bergamini, representative of the region, who emphasized the important collaboration with the Institute, that this relationship is fully within the operational guidelines of the region, and that all conditions remain in place to continue fruitfully in this direction. She also confirmed the intention to assess, with the Institute, any further training paths related to the existing offer, in relation to the changing demands of the labour market, because of the constantly changing technological and digital innovations, requiring updates to the educational curriculum targeting new skills and professional profiles.


Graduation day – Istituto Cavazza, Bologna

At this point in the ceremony, the floor was turned over to the students themselves. After the first moments of shyness, they began to talk about their learning experience as well as the dynamics within the Institute. All those who spoke emphasized with conviction the decisive importance of their experience, from the point of view of professional growth, and for the significant opportunity that was offered to them within the model of community proposed by the Institute. They talked about the significant impact on the development of their interpersonal skills, a higher degree of autonomy and mobility, their awareness and confidence in their own abilities, combined with the certainty of having invested positively in their life away from their usual environment and the safeness of their family. Petria and David shared their particularly moving experiences. Petria, an immigrant from Romania, after facing countless difficulties in settling in Italy, emotionally described how she found in Cavazza’s welcome and model and the training course, an unhoped-for chance to finally give her life a real turnaround on a personal and professional level, and for the stability it provided her family. She thanked the Institute for allowing her to participate assiduously in all the social, cultural and sports opportunities made available, as well as for the chance to benefit extensively from the curriculum, for herself and for her future career.


David, who had a major illness that has significantly changed and affected his life, described his journey of functional, psychological, and human recovery, emphasizing two key factors. On the one hand, the great personal commitment he made, resorting to his iron will, dedication and perseverance, on the other, the engaging strength of Cavazza, acknowledging the Institute’s services, the teachers, and his fellow students, for having played an essential and decisive role in his life: attention, human closeness, understanding, and moral and material support. He then thanked everyone for the opportunity to live such a unique experience.


The last part of the ceremony was dedicated to the actual awarding of diplomas. The Institute’s President asked Dr. Bergamini to hand out the diplomas individually to each student, amid applause and shouts of encouragement, with best wishes for a prompt and fulfilling future employment. Amid the generalized greetings, the President closed the ceremony by thanking everyone present and making an appointment for next year’s graduation of future students.


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