Voluntary initiatives cover a multitude of social needs that are unfortunately rooted in our development model: help for the homeless, integration of groups at risk of exclusion, accompaniment of immigrant minors, home care for elderly people living alone, provision of Basic services for vulnerable groups… However, the crises that occasionally occur in our environment often generate new demands for collaboration, and the Covid-19 pandemic is no exception.
In effect, this health crisis has multiplied the usual needs for volunteering in areas already consolidated (health, housing, food …) but it has also generated situations that are hardly imaginable a few weeks ago, which demand a solidarity response from the society that we all conform to. Among these new needs is the fostering of minors whose parents have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and who must be isolated or hospitalized for days or weeks by medical order.
Different initiatives have been launched to face this challenge, when there is no friend or relative who can take care of these children. For example, in Catalonia, the Institut Català de l’Acolliment i l’Adopció (ICAA) is leading a project to attend to them and accompany them in these times of general uncertainty, forming two different groups. On the one hand, in the case of minors between 3 and 18 years old, they are accommodated in Xanascat hostels. On the other hand, when they are still under 3 years old, they are looking for host families previously accredited by the ICAA. Thus, it is intended to provide them with a family environment that can temporarily meet the needs of care, food and affection while their fathers and mothers remain unable to care for them. Without a doubt, it is a necessary and very special form of volunteering in the times that we are living.