FEMALE EMIGRATION. FROM RURAL ROMANIA TO THE ADRIATIC COAST: WOMEN ON THEIR JOURNEY BETWEEN OPPORTUNITY AND SOCIAL VULNERABILITY. “THE ITALIAN SYNDROME”

Suntem onorati și mândri că activitatea Asociației ADRI & Proiectului „Te iubește mama!”, referitoare la copiii singuri acasa (orfani albi), precum și cea legata de consecințele migrației asupra familiei și societății, au fost utile și citate de Dr. Dino Burtini – psiholog, psihoterapeut, in studiul „FEMALE EMIGRATION. FROM RURAL ROMANIA TO THE ADRIATIC COAST: WOMEN ON THEIR JOURNEY BETWEEN OPPORTUNITY AND SOCIAL VULNERABILITY. “THE ITALIAN SYNDROME”, publicat în 2015, sub auspiciile Universității” Babeș Bolyai „din Cluj-Napoca.

Ne bucuram ca munca noastra este cunoscuta si apreciata, multumim!

…..

:Siamo onorati e orgogliosi che il lavoro di ADRI Associazione & del progetto „Mamma ti vuole bene!”, riguardo i bambini Left Behind (orfani bianchi) e le conseguenze della migrazione sulla famiglia e sulla società, è stato utile e citato da Dottor Dino Burtini – psicologo, psicoterapeuta, nella ricerca „Dalla Romania alla costa Adriatica: le donne tra opportunità e vulnerabilità sociale, „La Sindrome Italia” pubblicata nel 2015 sotto gli auspici della università „Babes Bolyai” di Cluj-Napoca.

Ci fa piacere che il nostro lavoro è conosciuto e apprezzato, grazie!

(…) The migration of women and mothers often brings with it dramatic lacerations in the families, which sometimes have tragic consequences. Since 2008, according to Associations, 40 Romanian children (30 according to official figures) committed suicide. The pain of the children and mothers that were forced to move away from home to find a job is identified in what psychologists call the “Italian syndrome”. It is a severe form of depression that is highly spread among the migrants and among their children. These children are called “white orphans” who grow up with their grandparents and are put to bed via Skype by a mother who lives thousands miles away. “It’s painful to take care of other person’s children while your own are thousands miles away,” said Silvia Dimitrache, president of Adri (Association of Romanian Women in Italy). FEMALE EMIGRATION. FROM RURAL ROMANIA TO THE ADRIATIC COAST: WOMEN ON THEIR JOURNEY BETWEEN OPPORTUNITY AND SOCIAL VULNERABILITY. “THE ITALIAN SYNDROME” 125 In Romania approximately 750.000 children, out of a total of 5 million, have at least one of parents working abroad and many of them are aged between 2 and 6 years; 15% of the Romanian family have at least one member who emigrated for work. 80% of the children left home, miss their mothers so much that they get seriously ill with heavy consequences on growth and personality. Since 2005, the international medical jargon uses the diagnosis of “Italian syndrome” to indicate a deep and insidious form of depression which threatens the health and sometimes the life of the children.

(…) Romania is one of the countries of the Balkan region that in the last ten years has been the most affected by the formation of mixed migration flows, as well as by persons who decided to emigrate for work purposes, even by significant groups of very young women unaccompanied by adult family members. These elements, under specific environmental conditions and existential, increases the degree of vulnerability of these immigrants section. In fact, the risk of being intercepted and involved in criminal circuits dedicated to trading and exploitation, seems rather high. In many cases the trading of women for prostitution determines and gives rise to the phenomenon of child trading, between which we find strong interactions. What affects deeply these women and relate them to us, in our families and Services, is the fact that their countries of origin often enact behaviors of blame towards these women, accused of having broken up their family that they abandoned. This “blame” serves to their countries of origin, because in this way they do not take care of their children, but only take the benefits from their remittances.

This leads to the emergence of a new form of depression that is haunting Europe, which is called “Italian Syndrome.” It’s not about the schizophrenia of finance or the risk of a new recession. The syndrome which takes its name from the beautiful country affects the workers, or better the women workers, or, in a few words, the invisible carers from the East. The typical symptoms are recognized in their years of activity (they are in a bad mood, persistent sadness, loss of weight, loss of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, and suicidal fantasies) and they establish in a different fracture, which mixes the weakening of the sense of motherhood with a deep loneliness and a radical split identity. Those young mothers do not know anymore to which family they belong or to which part of Europe, as if it were an ancient harmony that has suddenly broken.

The first to notice this were two psychiatrists from Ivano-Frankivsk, a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants in western Ukraine, marked deeply by the tragedies of the twentieth century. In 2005, Andriy Kiselyov and Anatoliy Faifrych noticed that two women in their care department have a clinical situation different from the others; they had a bad mood, persistent sadness, loss of weight, and suicidal fantasies. The “dark evil” has clear social origins. It was thus called the “Italian Syndrome”, named after the most “badantizzato” country of Western Europe and perhaps of the world. The women who are affected of this syndrome are caregivers abroad, assure for long periods the company to the Italian women, they are nurses, or handyman in Italian houses. They do this for years, 24 hours daily, they are far from their home, and they have left their children alone, to take care of old people alone too, on the other side of the continent. They hold on their fragile shoulders two delicate transformations: on one side, the aging of Italy and the disintegration of its families; on the other side– because of their remittances, that often are the only source of income for their families left there – the tumultuous transition of the eastern countries. They remain alone for a long time and no one perceives their increased stress. And in the end they can resist anymore and collapse. The first cases have been diagnosed in 2005, just three years after the great 2002 amnesty that allows to regularise tens of thousands of domestic workers.

1526970_412202992216284_1556711183_nIn Romania, some psychiatrists began to study the other side of the coin, the children left in the country of departure, extending the new term “ Italian syndrome “ to them, calling them “white orphans” of an absent mother, children who have grown up with their grandparents and who are put to bed via Skype from a mother who is thousands miles away. “It’s a pain to take care of other people’s children while their children are thousands miles away,” said Silvia Dumitrache, president of Adri (Association of Romanian Women in Italy).

The association has developed a program to help these women and their children, it was called “Mom loves you!” and which involves the network of libraries in Romania, where children and teenagers can find acceptance and a computer to talk via Skype to their mothers apart. There are more than 300 children so far who have used this system to communicate with their distant parents. Even in Romania, the phenomenon is not far behind. According to the FONC (the National Federation of the non-profit organization for children of Romania) 1 million children are left home alone by parents who are abroad to work. EUROCHILD has confirmed that about 350 thousand of 700 thousand “white orphans” in Europe come from Romania and 126 thousand of them have both parents working abroad. 16% of them do not see their parents for more like one year, while 3% of them haven’t seen their parents for more like four years. In the north Italy o n l y, there are more like 130 thousand workers Romanian women with an average age of 40 years who have left children in Romania in the care of grandparents or relatives or just by themselves. Approximately 750 000 children in Romania, out of a total of 5 million have at least one parent working abroad and many of them are aged between 2 and 6 years old; 15% of Romanian households have at least one member who emigrated to work. 80% of the children left home become seriously ill with nostalgia for parents with serious consequences on education and personality. A heartbreaking laceration, which sometimes has tragic consequences: there are forty, according to the associations (30 according to official figures), the Romanian children who have committed suicide since 2008 due to the remoteness of their mothers. How can this European evil be cured? It seems almost to follow the severe economic (and geopolitical) downturns of the new global job market? Often, it is enough to reconstruct the household, and suddenly all the malaise vanishes. But the situations sometimes are more complex. When they return to their country of origin, many women find themselves in a new limbo. They find themselves in a country which no longer consider as their own; and in the meantime, their children have definitively turned their backs to them.

anziani-badante-1110x400Two constants, which affects women, seems to return. They leave often a skilled job as a teacher, doctor, engineer, and they come to Italy to practice disqualified tasks, for which there was not been formed. In addition, over time, they are perceived as cardwomen: the only relationship with their family is sending them money. They become the only source of the income. These women need just to break the cage of loneliness. It is not normal to work 24 hours daily, absorbing upon themselves the problems of the new family, forgetting their own.

Read more female-emigration-from-rural-romania-to-the-adriatic

Dino Burtini, Psychologist, Psychotherapist and anthropologist. Adjunct Professor at the University “G. D’Annunzio” of Chieti (Italy)

 

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