Ermete (Hermes) Ferraro was born in Naples (Italy) in 1952. He received (1974) a "Dottore in Lettere" degree (M.A. in Italian Language and Literature) from the "Federico II" University of Naples and (1980) a "Diploma di Servizio Sociale" (Dip.S.W.) from the "ANDIM School of Social Work" at Naples.
As one of the earliest conscientious objectors in Naples, he carried on his 'national service' (1975-1977 ) at the "Casa dello Scugnizzo" Community Centre. In this famous Neapolitan nonprofit institution, founded in 1950 by Mario Borrelli, Ermete devoted himself to serving disadvantaged children, their families and other deprived and marginalized people. Ermete served (1977-1984) as a social-cultural animator for children groups and, later, as a group and community certified social work. Since 1997, Ermete was also appointed as the President and CEO of the FOCS ("Casa dello Scugnizzo" Foundation), the Neapolitan Nonprofit Organization where he served for 10 years as a volunteer and professional social worker.
Since s.y. 1984-85 he has been teaching Italian Language Arts, History and Geography in Middle School, first in the City of Casoria (NA) and then in the Vicaria, a deprived district of the City of Naples. At present, Ermete is teaching L.A. and S.Sc. at the "Viale delle Acacie" M.S., in the Vomero District, where he has always lived in. In these schools he's also been acting as a social-educational counselor for problem-children.
Ermete - a long time ecologist and peace activist - was one of the founders of Neapolitan Greens. From 1987 until 1997 he served as a Councilman of the Vomero District Council in the City of Naples and from 1990 until 1995 as a Councilman of the Province of Naples. In 1991 he was the first 'green' President of one of Neapolitan District Councils.
Since 1999 until now, he is serving as the Coordinator of the Naples Branch of VAS (Verdi Ambiente e Società), an Italian Environmental Association, where he is a member of the National Council, a fellow of VAS-Campania Regional Coordination Board and a resource-person for eco-pacifism. As one of the first signatories of the popular initiative Bill on Solar Energy development in the Campania region, Ermete was one of the founder of the "Rete Campana per la Civiltà del Sole e della Biodiversità" (Campania's Network for Sun and Biodiversity Civilization), of which he is currently the President.
Ermete is also a certified pastoral animator at 'S. Maria della Libera' Parish in Naples, where he was serving as a social-educational counselor and he is at present the coordinator of the Caritas counseling and relief centre.
In 1989 Ermete married Anna De Pasquale - a Religion teacher - and they have three daughters (Laura 26, Irene 24 and Chiara 16).
Ermete Ferraro is the author of a booklet about "Nonviolent Language Education", published in 1983 (Turin: Satyagraha). As a peace researcher, he also wrote two essays about the "Quattro Giornate di Napoli" (the 'four days' insurrection in 1943 of Neapolitan people against Nazi repression). In those two papers (published in 1985 by Verona's "Azione Nonviolenta", and in 1993 by Bologna's "FuoriTHEMA") he explained the cited "Quattro Giornate" as an hystorical case of "Nonviolent, Popular and Civilian Defence". As a peace-activist and researcher, E.F. since the early '90s was the author of some articles and papers on the militarization of the Neapolitan area ("La Provincia di...Natoli?", Naples 1992). In the same year, the "Provincia di Napoli" review published another Ferraro's article about his proposal of a "Nonviolent and Ecological model of Social Work". Ermete is also the author of other articles and essays about the concept of "Ecopacifism", on the massive militarization of the Campania Region and on a global project for a Nonviolent Defence, as the only effective alternative to war and militarism.
Ermete's long time experience as a group and community social work inspired also an article in English, published in 2003 by "Social Policy and Administration" (Oxford: Blackwell Publ.): "From Pavement to Piazza: Grassroots Social Work to Counteract the Globalization of Marginality. To his social-educational experience in the Materdei Community Centre and to the hystory of the "Casa dello Scugnizzo", founded in 1950 by Mario Borrelli, is also dedicated the book "SCUGNIZZI" (Urchins), written by Ermete Ferraro and Luciano Scateni and published in 2004 (Naples: Intra Moenia).
As an environmentalist, Ermete published some papers and a booklet about "Biodiversity Education" (Naples: VAS, 2004), to simply explane how we can and would protect natural and cultural diversity. Another important Ermete's contribution was a trilogy of essays about eco-theology and environmental ethics : "Laude della biodiversità" (2005), "Adam-Adamah" (2007) and "Il salmo del Creato" (2009).
Ermete, a language arts teacher and researcher, has been also interested in "language ecology" and he is the author of an unpublished "Grammar of Neapolitan", to preserve the very importan cultural and social heritage connected with Neapolitan language.
He published some articles and essays on nonviolence, peace education, antimilitarism, ecopacifism, ecotheology, school education and other social problems. He has also a blog ('Ermete's Peacebook' @ Wordpress) where he is regularly posting his articles and comments. Ermete is a contributor to several online publications, as "Peacelink", "AgoràVox", "VASonlus", "Indymedia Italia e Napoli" etc) and he is also the webmaster of some thematic websites, as: www.ermeteferraro.org, www.laciviltadelsole.org , www.vascampania.net , and its educational website "Schoolbook" (www.ermete-schoolbook.info) .
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Education and Teaching
Since the 1980s .Ermete Ferraro has been teaching Language Arts and Social Sciences in the Middle School. He begun in the 1970s as a social-cultural animator for children groups at the Naples' "Casa dello Scugnizzo" Community Centre and then he continued his educational work as a teacher and teachers' trainer, especially in peace and environmental education programs. As a certified social work, Ermete has also social-educational tasks as a school-counselor for "problem-children" and immigrant pupils. He was also the author of a booklet on "Nonviolent Language Education" and, at present, he's still concerned in peace education and language ecology. He was one of the 'animators' in a Regional Seminar for Teachers, about "peace education and school curricula" and a "resource-person" of one of the lessons of a Training Course for "Peacekeepers". Both courses were organized by the Department of Education of the Regional Government of Campania. More recently, Ermete was concerned in the educational project "UniversiVàs di Napoli". For this green university - with a holistic approach to environmental education - Ermete was a resource-person for eco-pacifism and eco-linguistics.
Social Work and Administration
Founded in 1950 by Mario Borrelli to help Naples' street-children (the "scugnizzi"), giving them home and education, the "Casa dello Scugnizzo" (House of the Urchins) became, in the 1970s, an innovative Community Centre. It served, and still serves, not only children and their families, but also women, old people and immigrants, with a coordinate project of social and educational intervention to promote community development. At present, the Casa dello Scugnizzo Foundation) (FOCS) is a registered Italian charity. Its social, educational and creational services are promoted and managed by the FOCS itself or they are public projects, funded by the City of Naples, Department of Social Welfare.
Ermete served in that community centre (1975-85) as a voluntary animator and then as a professional group and community social worker and ha was the author of some social field researches. Appointed in 1997, Ermete Ferraro has been for 8 years the President and CEO of the FOCS and the Social Coordinator of the 'Mario Borrelli' Community Centre. Then, as a past-president and member of the Board of Directors, he served the Foundation until 2011 as a social administrator.
Peace Research, Education & Action
Ermete Ferraro was one of the earliest Neapolitan conscientious
objectors. Since 1972, he committed himself to Nonviolence as a global
alternative not only to the 'military-industrial system', but also to our
economical and social model of development. So, his 'national service' was the first occasion to work with peace and anti-war movements and he gave them his contribution (from 1974 to 1984 to the LOC ,the Italian Conscientious Objectors League, as the Regional Coordinator for Campania and, in 1977, as a member of its National Secretariat).
Going deep into 'peace research' and 'peace education' gave him the opportunity to conjugate peace action with his educational and social tasks as a teacher and a social worker.
Ermete's commitment in peace movements continued in the '80s , with his cooperation with IPRI (the 'Italian Peace Research Institute' at Naples), and other institutions and NGOs devoted to peace education (like the CEP, at the 'Federico II' University of Naples; the 'Green University', the Naples 'Peace School' and, more recently, the 'Archives for Peace, Desarmament and Human Rights', promoted by the Regional Government of Campania and the 'Federico II' University of Naples.
From 1987 to the 1995, his ecopacifist engagement led Ermete to play a role in the Italian Green Movement, as one of the founders of the Neapolitan branch of the Italian Green Party . In 1987 he was
elected in the Vomero District Council of the City of Naples and, in 1990, in the Province of Naples Council. So, from 1987 to 1997, he continued his action for peace and ecology in a new, more political, way. At present, he's still carrying on his ecopacifist action with VAS (Verdi Ambiente e Società), an Italian environmental association, and giving his contribution to the anti-war and anti-globalization movement, to build a more peaceful and fair world. At present. he's the coordinator of the Naples Group of the M.I.R. (Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione), Italian branch of I.F.O.R. (Int'l Fellowship of Reconciliation).
Ecology and the Environment
Ermete's ecological experience begun 25 years ago. He was a peace and antinuclear activist when he founded - with other Neapolitan environmentalists - the first Naples' "Green List", with the aim to promote a completely new (and 'ecological') approach to politics. In 1987 Ferraro was elected for the Greens as the first Naples' District Councilman and, in 1990, he was also elected as a Province. He was the first "Green" President of a Neapolitan District Council. His political experience finished in 1997, but Ermete continued his engagement into the Neapolitan Environmental and Ecopacifist Movement. He is still serving as the Coordinator for Naples and National Councilman of VAS (Verdi Ambiente e Società), an Italian Environment Protection Association, and he's engaged especially in its eco-pacifist actions and in Biodiversity Protection Educational programs.
As a Christian, Ermete is also interested in "eco-theology" and he wrote three essays on religious issues connected to environment protection in a franciscan perspective, intimately connected with Justice and Peace. As a founder and longtime member of the Regional Coordination Committee of his environmental asssociation (VAS) , Ermete has been engaged to organise and manage an educational project, named "UniversiVàs di Napoli", to offer an occasion to learn more about peace, environment and biodiversity, in an holistic perspective and with the aid of a qualified team of university teachers and experts. Ermete, as a language education teacher and an environmentalist - is also interested in the "language ecology". With the aim to defend not only biodiversity but also the cultural diversity, E.F. committed himself to protect and revalue Neapolitan language, menaced by the globalization , that increasingly eliminates socio-cultural diversities and traditions.
E.F. was teaching an innovative class of "Neapolitan Language" at the two middle schools where he worked and actually works and is also the autor of a booklet about Neapolitan vocabulary and grammar. More recently (2011) Ermete was involved in the antinuclear movement and was one of the first signatories of the popular proposal for a Regional bill on "culture and dissemination of solar energy in Campania", that collected nearly 15,000 signatures and has been finally approved by the Campania's Regional Council in January 10 2013 as the Regional Law no.1/2013.