April 23, 2020 ・

Donate your 5x1000 to Still I Rise

We would like to share with you the story of Giulia, Still I Rise co-founder and Programs Director, hoping that this will tell you more about our mission.

Thanks to your 5x1000 donations we will be able to ensure every day access to education and protection to 300 children who live in the Samos hotspot and in Gaziantep and fund the opening of our new school in Kenya.

To donate your 5x1000 doesn't cost you anything. If you declare your taxes in Italy, add the Still I Rise VAT number - 91015070633 to your tax declaration.Find out more


Giulia's story

Giulia Cicoli, Programs Director

I arrived in Samos, Greece, almost 3 years ago. Every day I read the news about Syrian people who, devastated by the war, kept landing on Greek islands only to get stuck there for years. Dead people at sea, desperate mothers, kids with nothing in their hands. How could I stay there and just watch while nobody was actually doing anything? So, after two Master degrees and 7 years working in corporate education in Milan, I decided to leave my home, my boyfriend, and my job. So I left.


Here I met Nicolò and Sarah, and together we decided to help the most vulnerable. Refugee minors in Greek hotspots do not have access to a school. There is no such organisation that takes care of kids between 12 and 17 years old. A lot of them get here on their own, without a family.


So we founded Still I Rise and we opened Mazì, which in Greek means “together”: an education centre that everyday hosts 150 kids from the refugee camp, offering them education and shelter. The objective is to restore the rights of all children, which are too often ignored. Thanks to our qualified teachers and volunteers, at Mazì the kids attend lessons in a range of subjects such as English, Greek, Maths, PE or photography. Here they find safety, a clean environment, water, nourishing food, and protection from violence and abuse.

 Sarah Ruzek, Giulia Cicoli, Nicolò Govoni, Still I Rise founders


The outstanding will to live and learn that kids show every day is indescribable.

I am thinking about R., who arrived on the island with a big smile and unparalleled energy. In a few months he learned English very well. He created a proper dance crew by involving kids from all over the world and choosing music as a common and universal language.


I am also thinking about N., a sweet and shy 13 year old from Afghanistan, who in a few months became the most wanted conflict mediator in the multinational group of students.


These kids deserve a real chance. I saw with my own eyes what kind of incredible people they can become. Now we aim high: we want to offer the best education to the ones who were left behind. Because every child in the world deserves that, and we will never stop fighting for them.


Still I Rise is an independent international organization, created to provide education and protection for the vulnerable. We do not accept financial support from large organizations, governments, or international institutions. Our schools are funded thanks to individual donations of people who, like you, believe in our mission.

In 2019, 97.75% of all donations received were directly invested in our schools. Mazí, our youth center in Samos, provides daily education to 150 refugee children. In March 2020, we opened Beraber, our new center in Gaziantep (Turkey), and we are currently working to open the first international school for refugee children on the African continent, in Kenya.

Together we can reach our common goal - to change the world, one child at a time.

To donate your 5x1000 doesn't cost you anything. If you declare your taxes in Italy, add the Still I Rise VAT number - 91015070633 to your tax declaration.

Find out how to donate your 5x1000