Africa and Mediterraneo’s Welcoming House is designed to house mothers in difficulty and their babies. The structure of the house has a farmhouse feel to it and is found surrounded by a large garden. The mothers and their children live a community life, sharing amongst themselves the communal places and deciding on the places reserved for individual use.
The object of the project is the empowerment of the housed mothers on the premises. The welcome provided, indeed, is temporary and subject to the achievement of the objectives of the individual path of each guest.
The life of the community is not however this simple, the mother must be able to combine the needs of her family with the habits of another who has different schedules, interests and life styles unfamiliar to her until the moment of first contact. The house can accommodate a maximum of two families, who must share the kitchen and living room.
In general, however, the children are at school all day and the community only comes alive in the afternoon with the return of the children who go to middle school. The house allows the older children to have some space where they can do their homework away from the smaller children: this is truly fortunate, above all when the desire to study is lacking and thus it would end up being very complicated to convince them to study if the younger children with their toys were disturbing them!
During the winter the children are encouraged to take part in sport activities, from athletics to swimming, but it is not always easy to cope with the irresistible lure of Facebook and Whatsapp.
On the other hand, with the smaller children, everything is much simpler, for them a piece of paper and some colours or a book of fairy tales is enough to make them smile. Yet even they have their moments of discouragement. In this instance, we try to support the mother to manage them in the best way possible.
Even for the mothers it is not always easy to learn to share the communal spaces, like the laundry room and the kitchen. There are those who have a greater heart for cooking and those who are more tolerant and less prepared to always and in anyway order, in these cases it is very difficult to find a balance, but one must try in every way possible. One of the objectives of the House, among others, is to increase the skills of mothers with a view for employment offering computer literacy courses or training internships when possible.