The indescribable satisfaction of being a volunteer
On 20 October, the MarketPlace, located in the Born CC, will become a meeting point for over 70 organisations and companies that will be promoting volunteering. 17% of Catalonia’s population, or 1,250,000 people, work as volunteers, a figure which makes Catalonia one of the most active areas of Spain and Europe in this sector.
In this second edition of MarketPlace, the Catalan Federation of Social Volunteers wants to make it easier for companies with Social Responsibility to find a project they can actively take part in. For this reason, over 70 organisations are meeting at the Born Cultural Centre on 20 October, in an event which aims to stimulate volunteering, a key factor in the social transformation promoted by the organisations.
Apart from the 77 stands located in the centre, there will also be training activities for volunteers and organisations, an exchange of successful experiences and debates on the sector, which in Catalonia actively mobilises 1,250,000 people, or 17% of the population. This figure makes Catalonia one of the most implicated areas of Spain and Europe in this sector.
Invaluable personal enrichment
Assumpció Ventura is one of those 17%, and she sets aside one day a week to visit Maria Asensi, who is 94 years old. Assumpció has been a volunteer for ’Avismón, a foundation that strives against loneliness in the elderly, since she took early retirement because “she yearned to do things for social causes”. The two ladies have established a relationship based on friendship and trust, the result of all the time they spend together. Assumpció has no doubts: “It gives me a lot, both as a person and as a part of society, because we have to make our emotions work”. Maria, one of the organisation’s clients, waits for her every Wednesday: “I like talking and she listens to me. We just have a normal conversation. I know I’m very old, but when I’m with a younger person, I feel younger”.
Elsewhere in the city, Antoni Segado is installing a new television for Anna Maria. He is a small-job volunteer. His task at Avismón is to help elderly people with little repair jobs around the house. This is of great benefit to their clients, but it is much more than that for Antoni: “It gives me a lot of satisfaction, it’s something that you simply can’t buy”. “I always say that as volunteers, we always receive more than we give”, he declares.
The essence that makes them grow
The children’s charity Yamuna has received around thirty volunteers who decided to travel thousands of kilometres, to Madagascar, to provide support for single mothers. They do essential work, as Glòria Pérez, Yamuna’s co-ordinator, explains. “the most important thing that they can give is new ideas, the essence of life and there is really nice feedback”, she affirms. She also says that “normally when they come back they really want to stay involved because they see what is being done out there and, obviously, the children are really engaging”. The Women’s Co-operative that they have set up in Madagascar is the project that Yamuna decided to showcase at MarketPlace 2014.