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23 July Jul 2020 1758 23 July 2020

The difficult return to "normalcy" for Italian families

Giovanni Videa recounts being on lockdown with Bruno, his six-year-old son with learning disabilities and anxiety. AVSI is providing support to people like him, facing hardship due to COVID-19 outbreak.

2020. Campagna Italia 1

Like many other parents around the world, Giovanni Videa, 45 years old, has only one way to describe the routine of juggling work during COVID-19 while taking care of his three children, one with a learning disability and anxiety: "It was tragic".

Giovanni is an unarmed security guard who continued working during the pandemic. "Kids wanted to go out, have fun, spend at least five minutes on the playground, but they couldn't because of the virus. As a result, they would fight all the time. It was a nightmare." After months of strict lockdown imposed by the Italian Government to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Giovanni was ready to wave the white flag and ask for help. And help came. Thanks to AVSI’s response, a pool of activities with funds from public and private donors, Giovanni started receiving psycho-social support for Bruno. With learning disabilities and anxiety, the six-year-old boy was struggling to attend online classes and complete his homework.

"During the lockdown, Bruno was always scared," remembers Giovanni. "He has never been through something like this and could not understand what was going on. We would have to remind him that everything was going to be alright constantly, or he would get very anxious."

Photo by Aldo Gianfrate

To make sure that Bruno would not go “out of kilter,” a social worker started coming to Giovanni’s house and take the boy to a quiet place where he could concentrate on his homework while having one-to-one attention.

"This support was essential because with the social worker Bruno could see other people, play, and spend his energy," remembers Giovanni. "As a result, when he returns home, he is less anxious and worried."

The Videa family hopes that this period of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty will soon be over. In the meantime, AVSI short-term projects provide support to families who have lost their income and lack access to education as a result of COVID-19.

"I hope the situation will keep on improving. We cannot stand being in lockdown anymore, ask kids not to touch this, not to talk with this person or another," vents Giovanni, who has only one simple dream. "Now I just want to take them to the beach."

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