Seaside Summer Vacation for 20 Children Hosted in a Family House

Project location: ITALY, Rome/Focene
Project start date: June 2014 - Project end date: December 2014
Project number: 2014-012
Beneficiary: L'accoglienza Cooperativa Sociale ONLUS


The project includes offering a seaside summer vacation for 20 handycapped children hosted in a family house.
Ensuring outdoor time to the children during the summer involves high expenses and resources commitment, both human and material: it is necessary to rent an holiday house with specific facilities for disabled people, near to the sea and without architectural feature that denies access to the handicapped; in addition it is necessary specific facilities such as lifter and some “jobs” (JOB is a wheelchair adapted to the beach, that allows having bath); finally it is mandatory to train and build a staff with professional educators and voluntaries who accompany and give continuous assistance to the children during the holidays.
The project is carried out in Rome. The family homes are managed by the Social cooperative L’Accoglienza.
The family homes of L’Accoglienza follow the model of housing nucleus for a restricted number of persons, continuously assisted by a team of operators 24 hours a day every day of the year.
These services are governed by a specific regulation, the ‘L.R. 41/2003 del Lazio’ which indicates the organizational and structural requisites which said services have to possess in order to be authorized to function and accept guests with partial or total agreement with the public social services.  The family homes in Rome which operate as indicated are 54, and host 324 persons.
The L’Accoglienza family homes pursue the general aim to provide to children a warm environment, full of tenderness and attention to the individual needs, in which the children with disability can grow up achieving their realistic goal of autonomy, well-being, social relations.
The main problem that family homes must now tackle is the risk of isolation of children in the domestic environment, due to their poor state of health. An internal assessment conducted during 2013 showed that the young hosts benefited from not more than 100 hours during the year of outdoor life, against an average of at least 1.000 hours for year  by their other children (4-14 years hold) in Rome.

The main difficulty in ensuring that children  spend time in socializing activities, in playing and in spending time outdoor is the lack of mobility (almost all the hosts are in wheelchairs, some are in a bed with a breathing machine) and the poor health condition, causing the impossibility during the winter months to go outdoors. Due to this situation, it is very difficult for the young hosts to build relationships with their mates. In addition the lack of light and outdoor life is unhelpful for their health situation.
The management of L’Accoglienza began in January 2014 to  look for an affordable holiday house, and they found it in Focene, a sea place very near to Rome, in the north coast close to Fregene.
The house has large rooms with private bathrooms,  and it is very close to the beach. The services involve food and accommodation for the host. It is possible to get to the beach without physical barriers, and the place allows to spend time in outdoor relaxing activities.

In the Spring of 2014 various preparatory work was done on the premises.

From the 20the of July 2014 to the 20th August , L’Accoglienza will enjoy with the children the summer holiday.   

20 children, 13 with serious disability, both mental and physical, will take part to the activities, together with their educators, assistant and voluntaries who will live with theme during all the days involved in holiday period.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. The short term objectives are: to increase the mental and physical well-being of the young host of our three family homes, in terms of:
-    better temper, better emotional feelings by the young hosts, especially by who has disorder in linguistic communication;
-    improvement of breathing, especially for who depends from artificial respiration  and has serious pulmonary affections;
-    improvement of group dynamics and relations, between young hosts, voluntaries and professional staff;
-    improvement of staff dynamics and relations, between voluntaries, professionals and heads of the services.
At medium-long term we expect to gain these benefits:
-    a lower number of critical events linked to pulmonary disease;
-    a lower number of hospitalizations due to pulmonary disease;
-    a lower assumption of drugs, especially skin drugs and cortisone;
-    increase of the scholar attendance, due to a lower number of disease.

 In 2015, this project received another grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation.

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