Scicli, Ragusa, 15 July 2015 – Terre des Hommes is a human rights association established by the Swiss journalist Edmond Kaiser in the 60s. In 1989, Terre des Hommes opened an office in Italy and in 1994, it became a charitable organisation with a special focus on child trafficking and child sexual abuse.
Over the years, Terre des Hommes Italia Italia has organised a number of campaigns in defence of children, facing critical situations worldwide: the 1998 emergency in Kosovo, the 2009 Haiti earthquake aftermath, the post-tsunami in Thailand and Indonesia in 2006. However, Terre des Hommes has not only operated during emergencies created by conflicts or major natural events: It has also fought against child abuse by developing a dozen projects across Italy, including those called FARO, dedicated to foreign children. Faro 2 has been developed in the provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa. It aims at promoting children’s rights and at the psycho-social assimilation of children and their mothers This project has been conceived to create a path to restore children self-esteem, their ability to relate with others, and to discuss life experience. The main idea is, in fact, to rebuild these children identity in the new context in which they are living: a sort of long guided re-socialisation, which is linked to the acquisition of the tools that are necessary to process and re-process their own life plans. The team of Terre des Hommes, in fact, promotes literacy and Italian language courses, the assessment of competences and computer labs to provide IT basics. FARO 2 team divides its work into two main areas: the psychological domain – this unit headed by Marianna Cento – and the psycho-social domain – the second unit is headed by Domenico Verdoscia, an anthropologist. Both units employ Zaira Ben Abdelkader’s linguistic and cultural skills. This team is travelling and works in different towns of the area, including the CPSA (Center for First Aid and Hospitality) of Pozzallo, in which promotes the dissemination of information about rights and provides psychological and social support to those who are just arrived. The team also works from a help desk at the Scicli House of Culture/Mediterranean Hope, focusing on children. They intervene often at the request of the internal staff, when there is evidence of discomfort, difficulty, or to help those expected to stay in the center for a longer period. Domenico Verdoscia, from the psycho-social team, twice a week provides Italian classes and supports the MH centre operators by conducting psychosocial interviews mainly based on studying individual path and aimed at identifying individual skills to promote projects designed on specific cases. Together with the cultural mediator, the team promotes literacy courses for children, recreational activities and a geographical orientation class for those who will remain at the centre, and for those who are just in transit.