SÁEZ / BILBAO 04.01.2020 | 00:09

solidarity network supports many families. Photo: DEIA

“I thought that no one would remember me, thanks for looking for me and asking how I am and what I need.” María is the name of one of the many people who these days receives the accompaniment of Cáritas and who thanked the person who telephoned her for the treatment received. It is not the only show of affection. Another person sent a photo with the small purchase they have been able to make. “A thousand thanks, really a million thanks. I know they don’t ask for a photo or anything, but they don’t really know how they help us.”

Among the actions undertaken by Cáritas Bizkaia an alternative has been enabled, for these moments, through mobile phones, which makes it possible to send money to families so that they can withdraw it from the ATMs of the Hal Cash network, also through transfer bank. This system allows to attend to everything that was pending delivery in March and also guarantees aid for April.

The testimonies of these two people are added to those of others who are currently being helped by Cáritas to make this health alarm situation more bearable. The feeling of gratitude is shared with the members of the Caritas team. “Since our task as companions, we have received many thanks from the people and families that we accompany. All of them are very understanding of the special situation that we are going to live, also with the deadlines and the small difficulties that arise along the way. Although We have also met people with great anxiety and concern and with less patience, because they do not know where to go and who can respond to their situation, “says Mari Mar Ortiz, head of the Comprehensive Reception service.

HELP FROM NEIGHBORS In some cases, families have difficulties with the language and a neighbor, with whom they have had no relationship so far, has offered to lend a hand in any process. Some people have even volunteered to sew, accompany or care for someone from the municipality, translate texts into their language that can help compatriots, etc. “These are times when any help we offer or offer us feels with much more sense and love,” says Ortiz.

LACK of protection We are in a difficult time for the whole of society and especially for those individuals and families who are left in a situation of greater lack of protection and who hardly have access to resources and aid. “We observe it every day since this damned virus has confined us in our homes and consequently it is affecting, in many different ways, our jobs, our income and our ability to face day to day life,” says the person in charge of the Reception Area.

Caritas Bizkaia, aware of the difficulty it poses for many families, especially with minors at home and who do not have any income, launched several aid actions a couple of weeks ago. From March 16 they began to contact by telephone with people who are cared for and supported financially from the different reception teams –something more than 67 in all of Bizkaia– to find out how they are, offer listening and guidance and communicate that they will continue to support them financially, although they cannot do it in person.

For this, a solidarity network assumes to keep in contact and serve as a link and support over the phone to many of the families who were already served and who offer information on the circumstances and needs they have.

In order to guide and respond to these demands, for Cáritas Bizkaia it is important to know how the different measures that are implemented by the public administration are defined and specified, as well as the role of the Basic Social Services in the protection and care these families. “We are aware that many individuals and families, due to different circumstances, may be left without the necessary coverage and that is where we are called to respond.”

Translated from: