“Prefigure the Future” in earthquake-affected areas: a community-based neuropsycho-pedagogical intervention to support the people of Central Italy
In 2016 and 2017, Marche and Umbria faced the devastating impact of the earthquakes Amatrice-Norcia-Visso that caused 303 deaths, 388 wounded and 40,000 dispersed. Dealing with an earthquake is one of the most tragic and stressful life events, which alters the life quality of those affected in the immediate term and can undermine, even in the long term, the general well-being of the individuals and communities affected. For this reason, with a view to providing an intervention and prevention, the neuro-psycho-pedagogical team of the Research Institute of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation promptly intervened to support the earthquake-affected populations with the first editions of the “Prefigure the Future” (PF) Project, from 2017 to 2019.
Since then PF has been implemented in various emergency contexts (earthquake in Turkey and Syria with the dissemination of the vademecum “How to talk to children about the earthquake” and support for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war), rehabilitation (prison, juvenile and adult contexts) and education (schools).
Based on the interdisciplinary model of Pedagogy for theThird Millennium (Paoletti, 2008) the course aimed to improve the wellbeing of those who had lived through the earthquake in order to increase their positive internal resources, hope and future planning. By means of 15 monothematic educational-experiential meetings of 3 hours and 30 minutes each, the involvement of more than 650 members of the communities of Ascoli Piceno, Camerino, Acquasanta Terme and San Benedetto del Tronto, Cascia, Preci and Spoleto was achieved.
The training experience and the results of the follow-up survey with respect to the intervention were the subject of a peer-review publication, available in the scientific journal “Orientamenti Pedagogici”, under the title “A survey four years on from ‘Prefigure the Future’, a post-earthquake neuropsycho-pedagogical intervention“, by Tania Di Giuseppe, Grazia Serantoni, Patrizio Paoletti and Giulia Perasso.
It describes the results of the follow-up survey carried out in November 2021 involving 248 members of the communities participating in the training (75% women with an average age of 50), shows how participation in PF fostered a perceived improvement in the ability to plan for the future professionally, spiritually and collectively, and an increase in positive thoughts and hope for those who participated. With this work and, more generally, with the dissemination of the educational activities launched within the PF Project, we aim to to draw the attention of the scientific community to the benefits of a multidimensional neuropsycho-pedagogical approach to support populationssuch as those affected by natural disasters, who face major challenges in regaining well-being, hope and planning ability after a traumatic event.
Di Giuseppe T., Serantoni G., Paoletti P., Perasso, G. (2023). Follow-up data 4 years after Prefigure the future, a neuro-psycho-pedagogical intervention to support earthquake victims. Orientamenti Pedagogici , May.