Martes, 20 Octubre 2020 14:58

Navigating the Pandemic: Luci's Testimony

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

This time we share the testimony of Luci, who describes the difficult situation in the vulnerable neighborhoods of the city of Buenos Aires. 

"Our daily view is that the crisis has not improved, we believe that this is becoming more severe as time goes by.

We had 100 families who, in order to receive from the food bags given by the government, we present the forms and then gave them to the families. That is now suspended, they are not going to give it to them and we don't know how they are going to sustain it. What the references say is that the people have already begun to go to work and no longer need it and that they are going to gradually cut off certain benefits, which is not a benefit, it is a right in this situation that a state should fully assist without looking at each one.

Week by week the crisis increases and this is what one sees about how the commercial and labor field is handled. Some folks get a pittance of the aid and have to mobilize to get it... it's sad in the face of the pandemic where the state should be assisting without asking. It is the city government that is doing these things and the truth is that what are we going to do? we continue to work day by day and time passes and people are relaxing in terms of care, but we know that the evil, the plague, the virus continues and it is complicated, although there are people who don't believe it so much, it is still a concern. I am very worried, one sees the information and the economy is falling apart.

The truth is that in the face of the crisis I no longer see answers. I do see movement from the families who have to go out because they have to see a way to have money, they are looking for it. We, the community kitchens, have no support and we don't talk about food, we talk about human resources, nobody came to tell us 'you work well, we're going to give you an incentive, to improve your quality of life'. In this situation of the pandemic, we have put body, soul, and life in a society with high vulnerability and we do not know if the government takes this into account or not, if they listen to us or not. But we do have controls, they come and control the beneficiaries, those who work as volunteers but never give an answer, they only ask.It is like routine, habit, and people are only asked questions but they do not respond with facts, not even minimally, motivating the teams that work.

The truth is that I am very worried, I am very worried about the rise of the dollar, the fall of our economy, the fall of everything, the dollar rises and you can't buy anything. We had as a project building improvements and they approved our money that two months ago they tell us they are going to give but they have not done it. Two months ago it was one value, last week another, and today it is no longer enough for anything.  If you give it to me today, I'll start tomorrow, and when they give it to us, it's just pennies.

And I'm talking about our community center, which is a medium-size institution where the team puts everything, puts 100%. Everything is administered, the state funds that approve some project for us, everything. This year it has been difficult, this year the issue of gas, the misery that they contribute for the community groups and you can't afford to pay for the gas, we paid 2300 a month ago and today 3600. They give us two small boxes from the government and they give us a half-liter bottle, a 750-gram detergent, and since we don't have enough, we have to spend the money they give us and we still don't get it. It is fundamental to sanitize our center, we come, we are in contact with people, we are always exposed. This can only be resolved by taking a gamble, with the government recognizing that the situation is critical and not by giving crumbs. We are passing through mid-October, close to December and one sees the businesses with very little sales, people go out to buy food and put their last coins there, for sure some may have other expenses but the truth is that there are many who are not even able to buy food, there are people who used to work and now are limited, they do not have a stable job, they are very limited and this is detrimental to the family basket, to the family group. In a couple of years, we have to evaluate these crises, we have to evaluate how the children are being malnourished, we will see how the children are fed today and the consequences for society."





Read 15472 times

Related items

Voluntariado: un proceso de aprendizaje

Algunas reflexiones en torno al voluntariado entendido como un proceso de aprendizaje desde la perspectiva de la Pedagogía Crítica de la mano de Abi, nuestra coordinadora.

Our weekly coordination update: last week of August

This was a week with a lot of news!

On Monday we had two introductory meetings:

Johannes, now nicknamed "Yoyo", came from Germany and started his volunteering in Comunidad Milpa for a couple of months and this was his first week adapting to a new country and a different language.

Also Emma, Dominic, and now PJ from the USA who are in Argentina for an exchange abroad from their university are joining us. During this semester they will be studying and having their intercultural experience from the service learning subject teaching English, in the community kitchen and in the early childhood center.

Soon we will give you more news about their learning and feelings about the different projects. We hope you all have a great experience!

Volunteering: a learning process (part 1?)

A quick set of questions to deepen on the concept of volunteering delivered by Abi, our volunteers coordinator. Probably the first part on a group of articles reflecting about volunteering as a learning process, so yeah! expect more of these laughing

A Celebration for Mother Earth

In Argentina, August 1st is El día de la Pachamama. Pachamama is what natives call Mother Earth. The translation would be "Mother Earth's Day" In the vision of our natives, it's also our New Year, as opposed to the one in the Western calendar the colonization imposed. In different parts of the country, there are celebrations for this day, and MILPA participated in organizing a festival in the Parque San Lorenzo neighborhood. We translated their article so you could know more about this celebration and Comunidad MILPA's commitment to the community. You can read the original article in spanish in @comunidad_milpa instagram.

Expectations, a big ally and a tricky enemy

Abi, our coordinator, reflects on the learning process of volunteer work, and the expectations and disappointments which come along with it.

An Introduction to: Comunidad Milpa

After about an hour of travel from the heart of the city, Cordelia, Abi, and I arrive at Comunidad Milpa. Located in General Pacheco, the garden and greenhouse of Milpa is one of two projects started by Voluntario Global. As I step outside of the car, I am greeted by Rashu, a majestic, black-haired greyhound, one of Valeria’s (Voluntario Global’s co-founder) two pet dogs. 

10 years remembering Armin: A local hero in a world of international heroes

 In 2008, almost 10 years after my first visit to Latin America having just qualified as a Spanish teacher, I arrived in a cold, grey Buenos Aires. The plan was to spend 2 months volunteering with a relatively new volunteering charity called Voluntario Global. Back in 2008, Valeria Gracia and Armin Díaz, the original founders of the organisation, had set up a grass roots organisation that worked, principally, out of two community centres in impoverished barrios of the Argentine capital. What was unique about Voluntario Global, and remains true today, is that it looked to bring together the energy and enthusiasm of international volunteers with the local members of the poor communities of Buenos Aires who believed that change in their lives, and those of their neighbourhoods at large, was possible through international co-operation and partnership.

Crèche Argentine (English version)


            The crèche is not just a place where your children are welcomed and cared for, it is an institution with a deep history and wonderful human values. Indeed, founded by women many years ago, it was a way for them to combine the useful with the pleasant, but above all it was a matter of necessity. Unable to look after children and earn money, they had to find a solution to both problems. So, by building their own crèche, they were able to keep an eye on the children but also develop a business. The beginnings were not easy, sometimes having to bring food from home to feed the children they were looking after because of the little money they had. But with ambition and courage they succeeded and now allow other women like them to do the same thing by getting a job as a teacher, cook or cleaner in the crèche and also to be able to drop off their children. Most of the women working in this institution are, in fact, accompanied by their respective children, sometimes even in the same class.

Login to post comments