Caritas launches 'Hikikomori' project

Consciousness-raising initiative on social dropouts in Rome

(ANSA) - Rome, November 18 - Catholic charity Caritas has launched in Rome a consciousness-raising campaign on the estimated 100,000 Italian male teens and young men between the ages of 14 and 30 who shut themselves up in their rooms and shun contact with the outside world apart from the Internet - a condition known by its Japanese name, hikikomori.
    The project, in partnership with the Hikikomori Italia association, is funded by taxpayer's contributions managed by Italian Bishops Conference CEI.
    Meetings will be set up at Rome parishes and Roman schools involved.
    "The goal is to study the phenomenon and involve the territorial actors involved in a direct manner in the life of the youth world," said Caritas.
    The term hikikomori has been in use for young Japanese social dropouts for a decade or so.