Social action 'Families accompanying Families'. has been one of the winners of the Jaume Brufau Award, with which the Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO CEU) recognizes initiatives, institutions or individuals that stand out for their promotion of human dignity and the common good.
The network was born last year when three families belonging to the community of people gathered around the solidarity and pastoral activities of the Santa Anna parish church in Barcelona began a work of attention to the "call for help" of many people.
The philosophy of this initiative is "to generate links at all levels," explains one of its promoters, Jorge Martínez Lucena. Relationships are the key to this project. The gateway, they explain, is the distribution of food boxes (about 140 for about 500 households), but the food is just "the excuse" to generate a space of trust that many lack. "Through a relationship you can help much more than with food."
From giving food to friendship
The bond translates into phone conversations, WhatsApp messages, help with administrative paperwork or arranging medical appointments. And so on and so forth until the moment when the ties become so close as to engage in common family activities. "A Nigerian I met a few months ago just made me godfather to his son," says Martínez Lucena. A network of help that has been growing in recent months, both in terms of the number of volunteer families and the type of problems addressed.
At present, sixty volunteer families help, in different ways, many others, complementing the work of the parish of Santa Anna, which serves, especially the homeless. During these months, the type of problems that this network of families has had to face has also changed. If in the first confinement, many of those who required help came from the world of prostitution, which had been stopped dead in its tracks, now, in the program, there are "many South American and African families". Requests are growing, but so is hope and solidarity, as Martínez Lucena points out: "When we ask for things, people respond much more than expected".
Families accompanying Families' works in a rather informal way. Each family has assigned families or people to support and much of the coordination is done through two WhatsApp groups: one to coordinate the transport of the lots and another to alert about needs that arise.
Jaume Brufau Award
The Jaume Brufau Award, in addition to highlighting the work being done by 'Families accompanying Families' serves to remember the figure of Mn. Jaume Brufauwho for many years was the UAO CEU's consiliar of the UAO CEU. The award has also been given posthumously to the Professor of Psychology at UAO CEU, Francesca Higueras.