How Covid19 is affecting Social Organizations in Argentina: The Nursery

Written by Marina Cruzet & Evane Gnabouyou
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To understand how covid-19 affects NGOs, we met with Maria del Carmen, one of the coordinators at the community nursery project.

Hi Maria, how did you get involved in this project?

Liliana and | I have been working in the community kindergarten since it were founded 15 years ago. Previously, I have worked as a cook and now I’m managing the nursery.

Who works for the organization?

I work with Liliana, who is also the founder, she works with me and with 4 others who take care of the children from 8 am to 4 pm. Sandra, the cook, and Sandra’s daughter who helps us a lot.

What are the organization's objectives and actions?

Our objectives are to help the community, families of the neighborhood called Villa Hildalgo, take care of children, the mothers who cannot afford some charges. The actions are to keep the garden, play with them, create activities for them in order to teach them several skills they can acquire, and basically give them love and of course we give them food wish is essential for their growth.

The actions of the organization go mainly to the families of the neighborhood: when parents go to work, they leave their kids with us; there are many single mothers who need help their kids.

How was an ordinary day before the Coronavirus?

The garden is open from 8 am to 4 pm, the kids arrive around 8 and 8:30, then they take the breakfast that we cook for them. After, they can play and learn with activities we create, and at 10 am they have a little snack before the lunch at 12. Then, some of the kids take a 1 hour nap during the afternoon, meanwhile others continue to play. At 4 pm it’s snack time for everybody and after they leave the garden and go to home happy and enjoyed by their day.

How has the coronavirus affected your NGO?

We continue to work, in the beginning of the quarantine, we decided with Liliana to give  theim snacks and launch for the children, we prepare the food for them to pass well quarantine. After a while, Liliana decided to give in every weekend, on Fridays, doggy bags with prepared meals in and we delivered it to their home or we delivery frozen food, so the mothers can cook them at home. As we have food for 50 children, and those are closed at home because of the quarantine, we decided to empty the goods, and give it to them. Since today, we give an amount of money to get the food every Friday, and we restart launch at 12. The children do homework’s at home, we have a what’s app group, and we give them activities through this group. 

When do you think your activities will restart?

We don’t know yet, but we have to wait the president talks, we are waiting that the president lifts the quarantine, we cannot decide for the moment, but we try to do our best to help the families from the neighborhood and stay positive.

Who are the most affected by the situation created by the corona virus?

We are all affected by the virus, but of course the vulnerable ones, where the help is the only thing they can beg to because this is no more work for them, that the people we help in this community who do domestic jobs.

How do you think this situation will affect the country's economy?

The truth is, it will be very complicated for the country, but I know we can handle it because we are Argentinian! So I know and I hope we will get out this difficult crisis rapidly. I have faith!

How do you see the future of society after the coronavirus? Do you believe that society will be more united?

People are more united, solider, they take care of their families, friends, and the little things they have, after the coronavirus, people will see the world with another eye. They will appreciate much more than before simple moments of life.

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