The activity no longer has the collaboration of entities that participated in the first editions of the program
Down Lorca returns to carry out this year one of the activities most loved by its associates: the summer school. In this space, the users of the association enjoy, for three weeks, various workshops and playful exercises based, mainly, on the cooperation between the participants. The vice president of Down Lorca, María Ángeles Espín, explains to LA VERDAD the changes made around this school and the actions launched by the association for the “return to normality” after the pandemic.
From 2014 to 2019, the participants in this initiative carried out their activities in facilities such as the Ramón Arcas Meca institute or the municipal swimming pools of Puerto Lumbreras. In 2021 and this summer, however, it was decided to rent a rural house to improve the quality of the activities and the comfort of the users, in a more secluded and protected environment. Thus, there have been cooking workshops on healthy breakfasts and personal hygiene, among others, plus water games.
In its last three editions, the Down Lorca summer school has been self-financed almost entirely with the association’s own funds. For several years, the social work of a financial institution collaborated financially with the initiative, but in 2019 it stopped doing so. “They tell us that there are no funds or that we do not meet the requirements,” says Espín with more sadness than indignation. On the other hand, he acknowledges that the City Council has collaborated with 400 euros per year in 2021 and 2022, although the aid “is not very large” considering that 4,500 euros are necessary to execute the project. “We have to buy material, pay the rent and the professionals who work 25 hours a week without increasing the membership fee,” says Espín. “It is true that we are a small association [tiene 28 usuarios, con edades comprendidas entre 7 y 27 años], but it is a shame not to be able to access certain subsidies due to the requirements that they ask you to obtain them, ”explains the vice president, making it clear that she is referring only to the summer project. On the other hand, she remembers that they have a concert with the Murcian Institute of Social Action (IMAS) for eight places arranged within the framework of a personal autonomy program, in addition to the aid received from the City Council to pay the expenses of the premises where they work.
“It is true that we are a small association, but it is a shame not to be able to access certain subsidies due to the requirements they ask for”
In the economic sphere, another problem that the association faces is that, after the pandemic, the carrying out of charitable actions to raise funds has been greatly slowed down. In this sense, Espín appreciates and values the Down-Arte initiative promoted by the Lorquimur Foundation, a “success” in 2021 that is repeated this year with the second edition of it. “The boys make mosaics and pottery products that will be sold to various companies and at the Lorca Craft Fair,” he explains. Along with the proceeds from this charitable activity and beyond user fees, the association also finances its activities through the sale of solidarity calendars and lottery.
Back to normal
«It has been a couple of difficult years due to the health crisis, in which we have had to make adjustments to be able to continue working, adapting to situations such as telematic therapies and, later, to blended therapies, but everything has now normalized and the boys They are carrying out their therapies in person, ”says Espín. Regarding the summer school, the vice president of Down Lorca is confident that the project will continue: “There will be years when more can be done and others when less can be done, but as long as we can maintain it, we will continue along these lines.”
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