There's a lot of misinformation among the people we help. There are people in the neighborhood of Collblanc - La Torrassa for example, who don't receive enough information on the State's social system, and this leaves many people on the sidelines. That is why AE Itaca's partnership with Generali and The Human Safety Net is so important. It allows us to put these people at the center and to provide them not only with that information but also with the resources for them to have the chance not to be left behind.
My name is Felipe Campos, I am Managing Director of the Asociación Educativa Itaca, it is a non-profit that works with groups who are socially at-risk and vulnerable, trying to guarantee their rights and dignity. In a week, some 1,500 people will pass through our facilities in search of an opportunity.
How are you facing the COVID-19 outbreak?
First, we performed an analysis based on the needs, to find out what is the situation of the families. Unfortunately, in many cases, families have run out of resources, do not have any support from the State, and are therefore highly vulnerable.
Second, an educational reinforcement analysis. In our neighborhood, we have many families who unfortunately know the language, neither Catalan nor Spanish, and that makes it very difficult to accompany their sons and daughters in their education. That is why we have created a support and accompaniment group. We have tried to get devices, with an internet connection, to allow many of these children to continue their school year with some normality.
Third, and not least, we have created a group of educators who enable them to put this available time in confinement to good use through activities and workshops, digitalizing part of our educational intervention as well.
How do you see the situation evolve over the coming months?
It is tough, because we see despair and, in many cases, we see the deep loneliness that was already there previous to the 14th of March is now much greater, and much more difficult to bear. I believe that we must be extremely responsible and prudent, given the high uncertainty we are facing. Unfortunately, many of the cities in which we live were built to be consumed and not to be lived in.
It is everyone's responsibility: the private sector, the public sector and the third, social sector, to work together in this public-private-social alliance to ensure that no one is left behind and that we respond to the great challenges we face as a country. This is what AE Itaca is doing, what Generali is doing, this alliance that we have thanks to the THSN program.
What are the NGO’s and the beneficiaries’ most important needs?
On the one hand, AE Itaca's most important need is to have sufficient financial and material resources to guarantee the work of this team of 50 men and women.
We believe that it is necessary to be able to ensure essential services and basic needs and, on the other hand, psycho-educational support systems, like psychologists who can attend to the needs of many children and all the educational support.