“When I was told that Luigi was going to have a bone marrow transplant in Rome, we were a bit anxious because we came from Apulia and didn’t know how we were going to do it. I can’t describe the emotion I felt when, together with the discharge from hospital, we were told that we would be welcomed at the Grande Casa di Peter Pan Onlus.
When we arrived, we felt at home even though it wasn’t our home, there was so much love from everyone. In this difficult period we are so sorry not to be able to embrace you but, despite all the difficulties, you are helping us.
You put your soul into your work so that we can have a place to stay free of charge together with many services, especially the precious one of the psychologist. You are angels to us, you have shared every single day with us without ever leaving us alone”.
(Angela, Luigi’s mother)
The testimony of one of the many families hosted by the non-profit organisation Peter Pan in Rome during this year of pandemic encapsulates not only the importance of having a place to stay, but also the basic importance of practical and psychological support to deal with the everyday life of a disease and the health emergency.
In addition to the annual renewal of the payment for two rooms, the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy have taken on another project to provide psychological counselling for children suffering from cancer who are undergoing treatment at the BambinGesù hospital in Rome and to their families.
In particular, the Savoy Knightly Forces, through AICODS, fully support the cost of two psychologists who take care of both the children and their families at the hospital.
The Covid-19 emergency forced this support network to reorganise, as it had to deal with the difficulties of long-distance assistance.
Over the past year, two psychologists have worked using mobile phones, video calls and other digital tools to keep the service running.
Thanks to the contribution of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy, a fixed workstation at the Casa di Peter Pan has been made available to parents and children. From there, they can contact the psychologists directly and can talk and play with them also from a distance. It was easier for the parents to keep in touch in this way, but the support for the children required more effort.
but the support for the children required more effort.
The children of Peter Pan are very familiar with and used to using the colour cupboard, plasticine, the doctor’s briefcase, “magic” sand and other expressive tools that allow them to tell their experiences, express their wishes and create bonds with peers. These games bring out conflicts to be resolved, or simply allow closeness in dealing with the illness.
The psychologist had to find a new way to relate to them in long-distance support. In the first phase, she provided information material for adequate communication with the children with regard to Covid-19.
Through phone and video calls, games such as “names, things, cities” were created. With teenagers it is easier because the mobile phone is a device they already know and use very well to communicate.
This process of change has taken and still takes time, although in-person and remote activities are alternating at this moment. For the families, children and teenagers living at the Peter Pan centre it is fundamental to feel that, despite the situation, they still have a space of their own to share their feelings.
And, thanks to the precious contribution of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy, it has been possible to support 87 children and teenagers together with their brothers and sisters who are hosted with them.
The guests are between 3 and 20 years old and the families who have been hosted in the last year come from Albania, Montenegro, Iran, Italy, Romania, Syria, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uganda, Peru.
We urge all of you to support the Peter Pan association through the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy by clicking on the “Donate now” link on our official website.
We can still do so much for these children, in your name and in that of the House of Savoy.