While the home visits, which together with other community meetings (parishes, kindergartens, and in our centre the Pomegranate “Times for families”) have led us to reach about 150 families throughout the city, are temporarily suspended due to the Coronavirus emergency, the activities of cognitive and educational support to children and their families are continuing. From the “little red houses”, as the children we – the Messina Community Foundation – work with define them – Fondo Saccà, we have in fact moved to the web.
So in these difficult days of forced “cloistering” due to the health emergency, the activities of “Tempi per le Famiglie”- the Pomegranate (and the Centrosocio Educativo-Il Melarancio), continue online. This is in order to remain close to children and families, which, in the case of “Tempi per le Famiglie” alone, count more than twenty households and over thirty children – and are growing numbers thanks to the work done – and thus keep the thread of the relationship that has been created over time.
We spend part of the days with them developing distance activities to break the isolation and transform this otherwise homogeneous time into an opportunity for personal and family growth through the discovery of their resilience and talents.
We are therefore on Skype and on dedicated Facebook and WhatsApp groups: with animated fairy tales, tutorials for making recipes, painting, colouring, “challenges” that children and parents can do together and with support for homework and study.
In addition, through specific work, parents are supported to better face the delicate moment we are experiencing and to turn it into an educational opportunity, with the aim of providing them with tools to continue to grow together with their children.
Photos, memories, videos, thoughts, the most beautiful, interesting or stimulating of which will be shared in dedicated Facebook groups, are an opportunity for exchange, comparison, reflection, fun between parents, children and operators involved.
When everything will be over, and we will finally leave the Covid-19 behind us, we will have a great party, all together. A party where we will display the funniest things produced “in the days of the web” and celebrate the winners of the challenges. Above all, we will smile at each other from a little distance – we hope – or at least a bit closer, and not only from the screen of a smartphone or a computer.