NewsLocalThe tragedy of minors who landed alone: ​​"Beaten in...

The tragedy of minors who landed alone: ​​”Beaten in Libya”

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“Mom died when I was 9, at night I can’t sleep my thoughts always go back to when my mother died. I left my city 8 months ago. in Libya it was terrible. In Tripoli for a month I was beaten, forced to work without being paid and so I tried to escape but they caught me and it was the end of me ”. Speaking is R., a 16-year-old boy from Bangladesh who landed in Pozzallo in the summer, together with hundreds of peers, and now psychologically assisted by Terre des Hommes who has been present since July with a team of psychologists and cultural linguistic mediators in Pozzallo, on the quay, at the Hotspot and at the reception center of the former Azienda Don Pietro di Cifali (Ragusa) to provide psychological and psychosocial assistance to unaccompanied foreign minors. On the quay during the month of August, the Terre des Hommes team was present at the disembarkation of over 1,100 migrants in two different landings, offering first psychological support to lonely minors, families with children and pregnant women. There are over 240 minors supported directly by the team during landings and once they arrive in the reception facilities, where preventive quarantines have been started for them due to Covid19, in conditions that do not always comply with the principle of protection and protection of their psycho well-being. physical. “The minors met come from countries where the health regulations inherent to the management of Covid19 and the quarantine times following contacts with people who have tested positive, are unknown protocols, difficult to understand and cause of great stress and fear. Why are we in jail? They ask us. The prolongation of quarantine times and the perception of deprivation of liberty, especially in those cases in which it is not possible to go out into the external spaces of the hotspot, are elements that trigger significant psychological suffering. We found an increase in the symptoms of anxiety, panic and sadness as well as the worsening of post-traumatic symptoms due to previous experiences of violence and torture experienced during the migratory route and in the countries of origin “, reports Valentina Gulino, psychologist from Terre des Hommes . “We are confronted daily with minors, even very young ones, aged 13 or 14, who ask to be able to understand the reason for certain measures. Several want to hug their family again, because quarantines and anti Covid measures scare. The children want to hear from their family and explain that they are alive and are fine, but often they cannot contact their families to reassure them ”, explains Najla Hassen, the team’s linguistic and cultural mediator. Through the intervention offered by the FARO project, the children have a space to speak and listen in which they receive clear information on the reasons for the anti Covid19 measures and in which they can be accompanied by professionals in the new reception context, receiving qualified assistance that allows them to promptly identify the symptoms of discomfort, implementing the necessary containment measures but also activating the individual’s internal resources.Through the psychological support offered by the Terre des Hommes team, minors acquire tools to better manage stress by limiting those risks that can lead to the worsening of a discomfort that must be understood, known and contained, through an approach that allows them to also transmit a hope of redemption. more prone to bullying. During the month of August alone, Faro reported 13 cases to the local services, which for various vulnerabilities required specific and other care than that offered by a reception in places more suited to their needs, compared to those in which the staff operates. “It is good for us when you come, we need someone who listens to us, who talks to us who brings us a bit of the outside world and makes us feel hope” I. A 17 year old from the Ivory Coast. “My mother she is sick, she taught me dignity and to never ask for help, I have not heard from her for 4 days I am sure she will think that I am dead, my family is very poor and my mother needs medical care, I have to help her, I cannot stay here without doing anything guilt suffocates me. I had never asked for help, I always kept everything inside of me but now I was bursting, thanks to you I can breathe a little ”, says W. 17 years old from Tunisia.Federica Giannotta, Advocacy and Programs Italy Manager of Terre des Hommes: “We believe it is really important to be able to offer this psychological service, because it responds to a wide range of very delicate and critical needs that must be listened to and a qualified professional response. It is urgent that children are guaranteed reception in structures with adequate spaces, which allow them to better respect the rules of distancing and protection from Covid19, but also a mediation service that allows children to better understand the reasons for these rules. without causing further anxieties and worries. Our constant dialogue with the territory and the institutions allows us to bring the needs of the children to their attention and this helps us to identify possible solutions that allow a more suitable welcome for these children “. (by Elvira Terranova)

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