Volunteers in lockdown: time to reflect and innovate

Iman, volunteer at The Black Box in Belfast, playing drum

Despite the challenges we are all currently facing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some of our European Solidarity Corps volunteers have managed to stay involved with their projects, both in the UK and abroad. 

This includes Iman Masfene Martinez. Iman supports a range of projects at The Black Box, in Belfast, for those with learning disabilities, who are often socially isolated.

She left Northern Ireland earlier than planned due to the outbreak, and returned to her home in Spain – but that didn’t mean the end of her placement. Iman was able to help the organisation to adapt to the new situation quickly, by moving their usual in-person workshops to a virtual setting: 

 

“It is brilliant for our group members, and for the whole staff and volunteer team, to still be able to work with her from a distance”, says Seonaid Murray, Outreach Officer at The Black Box.

Iman’s placement is coordinated by the Bryson Charitable Group. From Spain, she shares the projects and workshops that she continues to support online.

“It’s amazing to see all of us through the screen, and be able to talk, share our thoughts, feelings and, of course, to continue working on the sessions. The Women Carers Project has fantastic sessions like dance and movement, song writing, poetry and music. 

I enjoy meeting with all the group, not only because we can see each other, but also because all of us are full of creativity, improvisations, ideas and enthusiasm for the sessions. 

"I enjoy meeting with all the group, not only because we can see each other, but also because all of us are full of creativity, improvisations, ideas and enthusiasm for the sessions."

Creating Connections – with activities like poetry, singing, painting, bingo, meditation, drama and exercise – is really creative, and it’s great being able to do it. Moon Music through Zoom is a really innovative way to practice music with instruments that we have at home, or just be able to listen and join in. It has become international, with all of us joining from different places in the world, including Northern Ireland, New Jersey, New York and Spain. (…)

It’s nice to meet new people and collaborate in such a great and welcoming atmosphere where music connects all of us. We are far from each other, but at the same time we are all connected and united!”

You can also read how ALYVE UK kept promoting youth participation with a Solidarity Project in lockdown.

 

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