Address: Via Torti 35 r – 16143 Genova
Clotilde De Rege
The figure of the guardian in Liguria was born in 2016 following various training courses held by Defense for Children (an association present in Genoa) until 2019 and subsequently by the Office of the Regional Guarantor.
Our group was formed in February 2020. We started from a self-convened meeting, aimed at all Genoese guardians, in which around thirty guardians, tutors and mentors participated (a figure formed by the Defense for Children Association who accompanies the newly-adult ) with the aim of discussing and sharing the issues involving the children, our experiences, the positive strategies implemented and the critical issues, in order to acquire greater skills and awareness of our role both with respect to the UASC and the institutions.
When the lockdown started, a mailing list was created and we started discussing various problems that arose, via email. Shortly afterwards, a mutual self-help group was formed, with online meetings held on a monthly basis. During the meetings we shared and exchanged experiences relating to the concrete problems that emerged with the children, with the communities, with the social workers and with the institutions. During that period, the difficulty encountered in situations in which it was necessary to express representation of the group, especially towards the institutions, became evident.
Participation in the first national gathering of guardians held in February 2022 was the push that led us to undertake a path to try to join together in an association, to promote awareness of our role, and share knowledge. It wasn’t easy because the intent didn’t seem to meet the approval of many. Unexpectedly, already at the first meetings, participation was a pleasant surprise which confirmed the sharing of our initiative.
In addition to the UASC guardians, the association also brings together a group of mentors, to accompany young people after they come of age, in the development of their life plan and their entry into the world of work, and is open to anyone who identifies and wish to operate in accordance with the aims and objectives indicated in the association’s statute.
Through the association, which we hope will also be able to involve members from other Ligurian provinces, periodic meetings for exchange and discussion will be organised, as well as working groups on specific projects (relationships with institutions, with host communities, with the school network, with the national guardian network…) All this with the aim of examining together the various current problems and building a reception project that truly meets the needs of UASC and former UASC.