To all that are interested to european voluntary service in Italy inside a host family house
Casa Betania is a Family-House which has been working in favour of mothers and children, who, because of familiar and social problems, need a special help. Casa Betania wishes to share with hosts a piece of their long path towards serenity and autonomy. In a familiar context, we offer food and lodging, help to find a work and a house, psychological, social and spiritual support until our hosts are more independent. The House hosts also children, from birth to 8 years old, under suggestions of social services or Minor Court. The House has hosted during the years some children with disabilities (physical and mental, including sieropositivity): everytime they were all situations that could have been managed from a singular family. When we work together all of us always try to increase the value of each person and take out the characteristics and potentialities that this special children have. For each host we elaborate a specific educative project aiming that the experience in Casa Betania is only a moment within a wider project, in respect of the needs of each person. Our general aims are: to help lonely women to face their maternity and to build their autonomy; to help children coming from situation of abandon or bad-treatments to find serenity and to face the future (coming back to their family or through entrust or adoption); to guide the mothers in the process from a partial autonomy to a complete one with the help to find a house and a work that can guarantee them an economic stability; the dissemination of the hosting culture through meetings in schools and parishes, with parents who would like to adopt a child, through our magazine or organisation of events in our local territory.
At the very beginning the volunteers be prepared from our staff (Italian language course and meeting with mentor and responsible of Casa Betania) we give them some time to look around our House, try to approach our guests establishing a first contact with them. Observation, understanding and collection of information about the activity are the most important elements during the first phase. During the implementation phase the volunteers is involved in our daily activities, they cooperate in the management of the House with operators, other volunteers and mothers but they will concentrate on children. In the morning the older ones go to school and the little ones stay at home with volunteers and operators. In the afternoon the older children are supported for their homework following their progresses and difficulties and the little ones sleep; then all together take part to recreational activities until dinner time. We require to volunteers affection and daily care for our little hosts who are alone or whose mothers are at work. European volunteers can take care of nourishing, personal hygiene, clothes etc. or of school support for our children respecting their wishes and daily needs. Anyway, the most important part of their service is the organisation of recreational activities for children (little and older ones). We ask to our volunteers fantasy, enthusiasm and energy to plan and do recreational, artistic or easy sportive activities (games, plays, pictures, laboratories, fairy-tales, artistic creations …). We permit to the girls to express their personality and creativity giving them the possibility to create good relationships with children and to become a positive reference point within the House. Each EVS volunteer can put something of herself and of her culture personalising and enriching our activities. We hope the girls can get on well together and create a good atmosphere receiving satisfaction from it.
Evs volunteers participate to volunteer meetings for 3 times for month.
Volunteers work into two turns respecting the needs of the House. Anyway timetable is from 7.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. or from 2.00 a.m. to 8 p.m. They work 5 days a week and they have two free days a week to agree with the staff (not always on Saturday and Sunday) according to a monthly time table that is different each month and is communicate at the beginning of the month. They have 2 weeks vacation to agree with the staff (not during the busy time of the house suchs as summer holidays and Christmas or Easter holidays). They can live in the House and will eat with the family or they could sleep in one of the other family-house we have in Rome near Casa Betania. They share a bedroom (usually two girls) and a bathroom. The Houses are in Rome and it is very easy to move with public means of transportation.
The EVS in their free time have the opportunity to visit Rome: they is requested to come back to sleep in the house unless some expection to plan with the mentor and the responsible of the house. At night they must come back not too late than 23.00 P.M. with some expection to plan with the mentor and the responsible of the house but in any case not too late than 1.00 A.M.