Young migrants inside the hotspot of the Imbriacola district on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Young migrants inside the hotspot of the Imbriacola district on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

A playroom for children between the ages of three and 14 has been inaugurated in the hotspot of Lampedusa to provide a distraction after their terrible journey by sea to reach Italy.

The hotspot of Lampedusa has a new space designed for children where they can gather and play after having experienced a dangerous and terrifying journey by sea to reach Italy. The playroom, reserved to migrants between the ages of three and 14, was inaugurated on Thursday, May 26.

It was opened right after an emergency ended last week due to overcrowding at the hosting facility after immigrants were not transferred to a quarantine ship. This had led to a water shortage and difficulties in managing waste, a recurring problem with overcrowding.

The social cooperative Badia Grande, which has been managing the hotspot in the Imbriacola district since March, turned a room into a play area with toys to give children who reach the island with their family as well as unaccompanied minors the possibility of spending their time at the facility in a more pleasant and serene way.

Creative labs, entertainment and a space to play soccer

The playroom is an area where children can draw, color, play with toy cars, puzzles and experiment with constructions. An outdoor area has also been reserved to children.

Educators and social workers will reportedly organize creative labs and entertainment for kids there while "older" children will be able to play soccer or other games. The activities, which are coordinated by a psychologist, are organized every morning and once a week in the afternoon.

The hotspot on Lampedusa currently hosts 250 people, including seven minors who arrived with their families and 165 unaccompanied foreign minors.

"It is an important day for the hotspot of Lampedusa because we offer a service to our little guests," said director Mihaela Dima.

"In the playroom, they will be finally able to spend moments of distraction after having to experience the terrible phases of the trip that took them away from their homes and their habits."

"We are convinced that playing is an important right for children, even in a peculiar situation of transit like the one at the hotspot," concluded Dima.

 

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