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María Sánchez, Tantaka volunteer-Tecnun: "I take with me a friend and someone to learn from".

Tantaka volunteers-Tecnun take stock of this year's course

FotoCedida/ Tecnun student Maria Sanchez gave a book and a rose to Edel, a 93 year old woman, on behalf of Adinkide.

21 | 07 | 2021

One hundred volunteers have taken part in 16 projects this academic year with 12 associations in Gipuzkoa. At present, Tantaka-Tecnun, the School's Solidarity Time Bank, collaborates with 26 organisations.

It seemed that the pandemic would reduce the range of projects offered by Tantaka-Tecnun each year. However, the ingenuity of the university community has made it possible to reinvent the way to support the associations with which the School's Solidarity Time Bank collaborates. Its motto, "Helping those who financial aid" has continued to be present in the campus this year with a hundred volunteers who, on an occasional or weekly basis, have offered their time in 16 projects with 12 associations. Likewise, and for the first time, Tantaka has opened to the alumni of Tecnun.

Students and staff take stock of an atypical year full of experiences.

"Edel always welcomed me with a smile. Our afternoons consisted of chatting, having a snack and playing Parcheesi. He loved to do that. He had lots of photos of himself and his family around the house, he would take out his albums and tell me about his trips and anecdotes," recalls María Sánchez Garbayo, a student at Tecnun. The student evaluated all the options offered by Tantaka and chose Adinkide, an organization that offers companionship, emotional support and friendship to the elderly. At first, María thought that the pandemic would force her to make the volunteer activities by telephone, but this was not the case. Through Leire García, Adinkide's coordinator, she met Edel, a 93-year-old woman whom she has visited once a week throughout the course .

 "Edel was super grateful. Whenever we said goodbye she always thanked me for having been with her. What I admire most about her is her desire to get better. Sometimes she would tell me about painful moments she had gone through, such as the loss of several sisters, but she would immediately change her mind and tell me that it was better not to dwell on it, that I had to be happy for many other reasons." Maria takes away a new friend and someone to learn from. "Hopefully she can get as healthy at her age. Plus, she's very lucky. I know grade that there is a lot of love in that family."

Nicolas Barado and Martín Barrera chose a project related to the financial aid to adolescents in status of vulnerability. They went once a week to the Parish of Aiete to give English reinforcement to a group of ESO students . "Ali needs school support for 1 hour a week for approve", she recalls that they were told at the beginning. However, Amaia Lasa, responsible for the activity in the Parish, recognizes that "the volunteer activities goes beyond academics, because the children see in them people full of values, who care about their welfare and who treat them well. There are families with great needs. Our boys and girls have been very happy to come to their private classes, and on top of that they have C," Lasa continues. The students of Tecnun sometimes gave them joint classes and other times, they did it separately, focusing on the specific needs of each one. "When we had time, in addition to doing English, we helped them with whatever they needed: doing homework, preparing for exams, doubts they might have...", describes Barrera. "It has been a very rewarding experience. We have had a great time together and I sincerely believe that it has been useful for them and they have left with the same feeling," she confesses. "I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone. It's one hour a week, but you gain a lot of experience in little things that you don't learn in the classroom. I'm already looking forward to coming back next year," Barado admits.

Paz Morer, a teacher at Tecnun, is also a Caritas volunteer. She had been approaching Tantaka for some time thinking about what she could offer and how she could approach it. In November last year, the families of the school's students received a letter from director, Raúl Antón, inviting them to be part of this project with their time, as well as to collaborate in the Christmas campaign that Tantaka was launching together with the Red Cross, the Food Bank and Cáritas Gipuzkoa.


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As a result of the Christmas campaign, three interested women called. Thanks to their involvement and Paz's determination, they created "Saramá", a project that offers training workshops to women in status of social exclusion. Inspired by the Miriam initiative of Caritas, the newborn project "Saramá" allows volunteers to teach what they know, either by hobby or profession. Thus, they have started offering yoga, cooking, coaching or cleaning classes at the San Vicente Church in the city. The idea, says Morer, is to create a community and that word of mouth will make more and more women sign up and ask for what they need, to find a job or to have a moment of escape and wellbeing.

There are others like Nicolás Martinez de Urbina who, together with another team of students, brought to Tecnun a basic computer course aimed at people with few resources. With the help of association Pro Family Care, 32 people received a 10-hour training course that will enable them to use the Internet and programs to find a job and communicate with their relatives, most of them from foreign countries. The students of the magazine No Time ForPoetry put voice and face to the protagonists on page 24 of their issue 3.

Those attending the computer course received a diploma

For her part, Raquel Suescun finished her volunteer activities activity in June, while celebrating her graduation. The engineer describes her time at Hazi eta Ikasi as "a fantastic experience" that she is very happy to have had: "The Hazi team is like a family, always ready to help you and give you good advice," she says. She thought carefully before starting, being aware of the commitment it required, because if she signed up, she wanted to do it right. She talked to other volunteers at Tecnun who had had previous experience at association and finally took the plunge. She thus met a girl whom she has taught Math, History and language Spanish during the second trimester. "Personally, I would like to encourage all students at the University to collaborate with Tantaka. You don't realize the impact a few hours of work can have on other people's lives until you do it."

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