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Javi Diaz: "When I knew there was a child I could bring something to, I felt I had to do it.

The teacher of Tecnun and volunteer of Tantaka tells his experience in the Eskutik Programme of accompaniment to minors of the Gipuzkoa Red Cross.

FotoPaulaBerroa/Javi Diaz poses smiling at campus de Ibaeta from Tecnun.

04 | 11 | 2021

The teacher of Tecnun Javier Díaz is a volunteer of the program of accompaniment to minors of the Red Cross Gipuzkoa. This initiative is aimed at children under 12 years of age, cared for by the child protection services of department of Social Policy of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and residing in residential resources of the administration.

Javier became a Red Cross volunteer less than a year ago, shortly before his wife Paula gave birth to their first daughter Ariadna. The need came to him through Tantaka-Tecnun, the Solidarity Time Bank of the School of Engineering of the University of Navarra. The Red Cross and Tecnun have been collaborating for 4 years and project Eskutik is one of the activities promoted among the university community.

"Sometimes in life you react automatically. As you go along, you realize the magnitude of project and the commitment it has and you think about why you reacted the way you did. I didn't think about it too much. I instinctively or naturally came up with what a friend of mine used to say. And that is, in my tribe, the older people take care of the little people. Given the idea that there was a child to whom I could contribute something, I felt I had to do it," Díaz says of his start in Eskutik.

He also confesses that the family status has allowed him to do so. "What's more, my wife likes me to mess with certain things and this is one of them. It suits my status with this child, which involves a strong commitment. One afternoon a week I get off work and I go straight to be with him and we do a little glide together. Sometimes the schedule can be a bit disruptive, but my wife's support is total".

Javi explains that he was very well informed by the Red Cross about the steps to follow, so he was very well prepared before starting the activity. "At the beginning you feel a bit selected or inspected. This is something that might not sit so well with you, but it is totally logical and normal. You notice that they are cautious with you because they want to know who you are, and it gives you a lot of peace of mind that the process is careful and not just anyone goal ," she confesses. "In my case, I'm with a 9-year-old boy that the Provincial Council has taken over the reins because his parents are not able to take care of him. And I think this is something that could happen to anyone," she continues.

"I see that they select very carefully who they put with whom to make the activity work," she says. He also points out that at all times he maintains contact with the person in charge of the house and the child's tutor , while the Red Cross supervises the activity. The Tecnun teacher recognizes that the age difference could be a handicap and that is why they make plans that are neither children's nor adults' plans: "The core topic is that we both like them, and in the end, we usually go for a walk or have a snack. If we go to a park, we stay there because he likes it a lot. I've realized that if you bring a child close to the bike, he falls in love with it and that makes everything much easier for me because lately we make our plans by bike. So I'm happy, and so is he," she says with a laugh.

Javier emphasizes that the child's life staff and what he does with him is separate, and that the child is responding very well to the program. "For him it is something special that every week someone goes to be with him. When you do something and you see that it makes sense, it motivates you a lot. It reminds me of when you give a class to students who are interested. I feel the same status because I go with a guy who is motivated to be with me. You see that he loves you and waits for you to arrive. For me it's important, because if I saw that that didn't work, it would demotivate you a little bit."

Red Cross asks for an annual commitment from people who want to volunteer to make project meaningful. However, he sees it as a long-term plan deadline. "I'm waiting until I'm in my teens and sometimes I wonder how I'll look then. I think at an age we are usually a bit embarrassed to be with a person, who, in a way, plays the uncle. Right now he is very childish, he is happy and I am too. Whenever the plan ends, I come out stronger and feel that the effort was totally worth it.

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