Publish date 20-01-2022
From the month of August, with great joy, we began to welcome our children and teenagers again and again for the activities in presence also here at the Arsenale dell'Incontro. To protect as much as possible the many who attend the Arsenal and ensure the continuity of activities in the presence even in the long term, we have chosen to make the completion of the vaccination for Covid-19 of all children over 12 years old as a requirement to participate. and of both parents for younger children. To many, this condition initially appeared a bit "severe", but the desire to meet again, our firmness on this decision and hearing both from us and from the educators that at the basis of this request there was an attention to the weaker people and the need to take care of them together meant that within a few weeks most of the families were convinced and completed their vaccinations.
So day after day the Arsenal returned to be inhabited more and more by the little ones, whom we had missed very much in these months of pandemic. And once again they, with immediacy and spontaneity, have given us a very interesting cross-section of humanity and precious teachings. Everyone, arriving, got off the bus with a giant smile, with eyes that seemed to say: «Are we really here again, together ?!». And their joy has infected us all. At the same time, however, the criticalities linked to this long time lived at a distance also emerged: a little girl spent her first day here with a fixed, somewhat absent gaze; another did nothing if she was not encouraged and personally followed by at least one educator; one of the older boys was so happy that he couldn't handle her emotions ...
Looking at them was a bit like seeing all of us again, the reactions that everyone has had in front of this particular time, our humanity marked by the efforts of isolation, but tenaciously attached to the desire to leave again, to return to meet face to face and enjoy all the nuances of being together. As always, the children have shown us a path of hope for this restart which instead sees many young people and adults who are very closed in the difficulties they have experienced or are experiencing. Children and young people with disabilities, due to the particular needs they have, could be the most affected by isolation, by being forced to change routines and to lose many essential services ... and this has been our concern many times. over the past few months. Many times we have asked ourselves: "Who knows what they will be like after the pandemic?". But also this time they surprised us: with simplicity, with their behaviors, they are telling us that the network of closeness that - even though we cannot meet in person - has been created around them in the past months without ever failing to protect them and kept "alive". And we are experiencing first-hand that even those who are most tired and suffering thanks to this network, now more visible and palpable, are recovering quickly.
We carry with us this message of hope: if we choose to be in the network that we form together, if we make community always and in any case, even the apparently most difficult situations can find solutions and this difficult time can become an opportunity to become more human, to look to our humanity with different eyes.
NP Ottobre 2021