Antivirus ideas: how volunteering addresses quarantine
22 April 2020 | Written by La redazione
The initiative of a Bergamo non-profit organization to continue providing assistance to children and families
The health emergency we are experiencing is a historic event of enormous importance and the ability to substantially modify the world in which we have lived so far. Many realities in many contexts are forced to change to find new life and new meaning. From the production of culture to the economic sphere, also passing through forms of volunteering. Johnny Dotti, pedagogist and university professor, in this regard, told us that “there is a need for subjects, realities and figures who sew the territory and make the relationships of care, education, attention, assistance, not only related to the emergency but also to everyday life “.
Just near Bergamo, one of the cities most affected by the emergency linked to Covid-19, one of these realities has found a way to reinvent itself and continue to support families in need of assistance. It is called the LEA association, a non-profit organization that deals with proposing initiatives and activities aimed at local children who launched the “antivirus ideas” initiative, a newsletter to continue providing services to families. To find out how they are facing the emergency and how they have found a solution to meet the needs of families, we had the opportunity to speak with Giulia Bossini, coordinator of the operators and referent of the projects aimed at families and children of the association as well as therapist. of the neuro and psychomotricity of the developmental age.
How did this initiative come about?
Given the current emergency situation, we immediately took action to find viable alternatives to deal with the problem by continuing to support the families we followed directly in our association. Having already activated the site and the social networks and having people who deal with it voluntarily, we had the idea of making the initiative digital and proposing activities to families in the form of newsletters through which every day we send activities and proposals to families to be able to do independently at home, perhaps supported by us through video calls, messages, e-mails.
How was the reception from the public?
Very positive. Initially the families who followed us were a hundred but in a very short time we tripled and now, since the quarantine began, we have over 500 newsletter subscribers which are really many for a small reality like ours. We are really happy to have reached over 500 families and others, in the sense that there are also professionals who maybe sign up to take a cue and then propose the activities we write.
So you are taking a bit of a virtuous example on how it is possible to approach these issues via digital…
Exactly, we are in contact with many educators who have to follow through their co-ops the children who follow at school usually through online teaching with Skype calls that take a little inspiration from what we propose that in any case it is material made by therapists and other professionals working in childhood: speech therapists, psychologists and psychomotors who voluntarily make their professionalism available, therefore free of charge
How do you manage the distance and the use of digital?
We are maintaining two lines: the newsletter in which we offer within the sections, a part aimed at parents with readings and articles to get informed and trained, a part of therefore operational activity to do with children and we keep a digital section in which we offer videos and sites to turn to for concrete activities to do with children. The other reality is to support remote families. We have about sixty families to whom we still offer therapy or educational intervention through video calls, which is a fundamental part for families even just to see each other, to keep in touch, to be able to maintain a minimum of continuity with the children and with parents.
The Covid-19 emergency has created a new type of disparity between those who are able to use digital technologies and those who cannot because they are perhaps unable or unable. How do you approach to guarantee everyone the same opportunities and face the digital divide?
Obviously we are dealing with situations of this kind since the type of users we are dealing with is very vast. We have situations where the only access there is is Whatsapp, fortunately everyone at the moment has it and therefore through it we are able to propose a summarized and reduced version of the initiative so that it reaches everyone. In borderline cases, we certainly have a phone call that allows us to stay in touch with the parents who may therefore also pass on the child, so we still maintain the voice and direct contact.