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Javi Erare Alvelez: "My father is unemployed"

Friday, December 13, 2013

"My father is unemployed"

Lisboa - the answer to the question of a child by what dad is unemployed? It may be easier to explain with a story, according to a new Portuguese book collecting sad stories, but at the same time sweet for drama the crisis in the minds of children.

The Portuguese Irina Melo and Carla Jorge, author of "my father is unemployed," take the voice of a girl who observes how suddenly changes his life when his father loses work and begins to spend whole days at home.
Father and daughter can play more time together and now he takes her to school every morning, but his face when he returned to pick it up at the school already is not so happy: today neither he was called for an interview and it's hard to pay attention to the drawing he did that day in class.
"As we were writing, it was inevitable to talk about the negative, but we always resalt√°bamos the positive details, as that dinner time was now longer or vacations were fun even if they were not as before", says Efe Melo.
The concerns and fears of the protagonist are drawing with happy notes and episodes that simplify a reality sometimes too complex but listened and repeated on television with an inscrutable vocabulary.
In addition to unemployment, the writers, both journalists from economy, shelled other topics difficult to understand in childhood, such as debts, bills, emigration or social conflict, with the help of illustrations of the Portuguese Catarina Marques.
For example, a Saturday girl accompanies the father to a March in which all seem sad and angry: a demonstration in which they protest against the Government or, in the eyes of the little one, a slightly different party.
The girl lives the crisis in detail as that family is not going to the restaurant, or afraid the father returns to emigrate as it has already done so young.
Also, on a note of humor for adults, but without falling into the "ideological", according to the author, a character sneaks into episodes to bother the father: a "very rogue" cat that Spider you and bothers you, and named Gaspar, as the surname of the former Finance Minister Portuguese Vitor Gaspar.
The book, which is part of the collection "O que fazem you country" (what do parents) follows an optimistic line and ends with the same idea as other titles on professions: "my father is unemployed and I love it".
"In addition to explain the crisis, we wanted to show how the emotional bonds of family and friends are reinforced by difficulties," says Melo.
In a country like Portugal where unemployment has skyrocketed in the past three years to 16% and there are about one million unemployed, the social consequences of unemployment are difficult to hide the children, according to Melo, who adds that it is more advisable to give answers and questions.
The little ones are "very aware" of these economic difficulties and sometimes "more catastrophic" than the older, considered the author.
"We note that asked the children what would happen if his father lost the job, they responded that they would lose their home or remain without food. Children take to heart adult problems", he stressed.
In that sense, the book serves as a resource or tool for parents, since the story can serve as "unlocker", says Melo, for complicated talks to calm the confusion and dispel confusion of the children.
The author acknowledges, however, that the commercial sense of the work, which went on sale last September in Portugal in the Portuguese publishing house "Voar machine", is limited, since few will buy it as a gift for a friend or a relative.
No data yet on the findings in the libraries, Melo only refers to reactions that they have been receiving, above all, from people who want to explain to their children what the crisis or unemployment and requests.
"Most tell US that we are brave for writing to children on a very sensitive topic," says Melo

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