At the end of the Second World War, Italy had a large number of orphaned children due to the conflict. These children, forced to grow up too soon, lived on the streets, often abandoning school.

On March 19, 1946, in Genoa, Padre Umile founded the “Sorriso Francescano”, a refuge for needy children, offering a safe place and hope to those who had lost everything.

The request for help was constantly increasing, and thanks to the generosity of benefactors and the commitment of collaborators, the “Sorriso Francescano” began to grow.

In 1954, Padre Dionisio replicated the project in La Spezia.

In 2004, the “Sorriso Francescano” committed to a regulated collaboration with the Municipality of Genoa, consolidating its mission of daytime and residential reception for minors in difficulty. An "act of commitment" sanctioned this collaboration. However, in the following years, challenges such as the increase in operating costs and the lack of adequate responses from the educational staff led to a search for solutions. In 2014, an agreement with the "Social Objective Consortium" allowed the “Sorriso Francescano” to continue its work in a more sustainable way.

Today, despite the causes of child distress having changed, the requests for help are still numerous. The “Sorriso Francescano” continues its mission, giving a smile and hope to those in need, thanks to the support of benefactors and collaboration with social services.

Purpose and mission

The purpose and mission of the Sorriso Francescano is to "comprehensively assist and educate all the minors who are welcomed into the Sorriso Francescano communities", providing them with the opportunity for holistic personal growth, alleviating the causes of social and familial distress, and promoting their proper integration into their original family, local community, and the workforce.

Inspiring principles