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ITALY: Don Bosco Institute in Florence hosts summer camp for children who are blind


(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Institute in Florence, Italy, is hosting a summer camp for children who are blind. The camp is organized by the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Tuscany with the support of the CR Firenze Foundation Summer Together, the Red Cross, and the Institute for Research, Training and Rehabilitation. The camp, which is in its fourth year, has 11 youth participating.

“This is an important moment of interaction with peers before school resumes,” said Elena Ferroni, project coordinator. “These kids suffered during the lockdown period because their relationships with their teachers is very important. They all have a great desire to go back to class with friends and are now delighted to have a week dedicated to the group and learning.”

The camp is being held with strict adherence to COVID-19 health and safety measures. As soon as the youth arrived at camp, each one was provided a backpack with twenty masks and sanitizing gel inside. Activities at the camp include computer science activities, theater workshops, cinema, and excursions to the adventure park in Pratolino and the Acqua Village in Cecina.

Antonio Quatraro, presidents of the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Tuscany, said, “Those with visual impairments are unfortunately used to doing without. COVID-19, unfortunately, affects each of us and in a certain sense calls everyone to order. This, paradoxically, could ‘open the eyes’ of even those who do not want to see. We are happy to have managed to offer such a beautiful opportunity to these young people who are giving their utmost in every activity even in this difficult year.”

Director of the CR Firenze Foundation, Gabriele Gori, noted, “We believe it’s very important to support an initiative like this, and we designed and launched the Summer Together call precisely to encourage these forms of aggregation and socialization. The Foundation cares very much for those living in a condition of disability and is always available whenever collaboration is requested to implement programs that aim to make them feel fully integrated into the community.”

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.



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ANS – Italy – First post-Covid summer campus for blind children at Don Bosco Institute in Florence

Salesian Missions – Italy

UNICEF – Italy Poverty