Families can find in our program a kind of a safe place

When Covid-19 pandemic hit Spain, Fundación Tomillo quickly realized that the families they assist needed extraordinary support both economically and emotionally. To better respond to their needs, they kept a continuous contact with families while asking them periodic feedback about the activities made. Discover more in this interview with Tomas, the project coordinator at Fundación Tomillo.

Thanks to the continuous contact we maintained, we could realize a diagnosis of the principal needs the families were facing during these weeks.
Hello everyone, I'm Tomas from Fundación Tomillo, an NGO based in Madrid, Spain, and we are part of the THSN family since 2018. Together we are developing a project called “Crecer Felices en Familia".

How are you facing the COVID-19 outbreak?
The first thing that we found out was that families had a lot of economic issues. A lot of people lost their jobs, so they were experiencing problems to buy essential goods such as food. So we realized a campaign thanks to the Generali Spain volunteers, and we could help 57 families. 
The second step was also to take care of the emotional side because we found out that a lot of people were experiencing stress and fears. So we provide them a lot of individual counseling sessions by phone and video calls. And then, the third step was to be able to provide educational content to families and parents that we were working with. 

How did you get organized?
We organized our activities in three principal steps. The first one we provide input to families, we propose an activity to them that they can realize at home with their children at their pace. Then we maintain a group call once a week to clarify questions about these activities, and then at the end, we ask them to give us feedback about the activities that we are proposing. 

What are their challenges?
We found out that there are families that don't have a good internet connection, so they were experiencing problems following our activities online. We are now giving them the chance to access to a better internet connection.
 Aside that, there's also another problem that there are a few families that don't have the skills to use the programs and follow our activities. So we are also doing individual follow up with these families to allow them to access our online platform. This is also why we decided to make our activities accessible from a mobile phone because most of the families don't have a computer, but all the families own at least one smartphone.

What is important now for you and for families?
Families can find in our program a kind of a safe place, so in the end, basically, we want to provide a more holistic answer to families during next year. Thanks to everyone, and stay safe!