Volunteering in Spain provides a fantastic opportunity to not only make a tangible difference to the lives of others, but also to absorb Spainish language and culture as you do so. Entrelenguas works closely with Proyecto Hombre in Ronda, part of the Senda Association, to provide volunteers with a meaningful Spanish learning and volunteering experience. We have interviewed Josefa Becerra, the president of the Senda Association since 2011, to tell us more about the organization and how Entrelenguas volunteers can help:
What is your role in Proyecto Hombre?
Proyecto Hombre is a rehab programme, which requires a legal entity to run it, which could be a Foundation, religious charity or an Association, as in our case. My role is above all to be the main person responsible for the programme, as president of the SENDA association. I manage the economic and human resources that the implementation of the Project Hombre programme requires, as well as getting involved as a volunteer. The association is committed to the rehabilitation of every person who comes to seek help. I believe in personal change and growth. No one is condemned to be damaged for life. Those who want to change, change. To these people we offer a therapeutic programme whose philosophy is to liberate and re-encounter the real person that we all have inside. That´s essentially it. A good and beautiful cause. This is our commitment, offering said programme.
What does Proyecto Hombre do and why?
The Senda association was founded in Ronda in 1990 to offer solutions in treatment and rehabilitation of drug and other addictions. It works in three fundamental areas: Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration. At Proyecto Hombre we attend to all types of addictions or risky behavior and provide treatment at a cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social and human values level, in which the integral development of the person is sought. The basic programme consists of three different phases, in chronological order: Motivation, Personal Growth and Socio-laboral integration. It works at all levels of a person:
-At a behavioral level, acquiring self-control and a new, healthy style of life, as well as new strategies of behavior to solve problems and conflicts.
-At an emotional level, with an appropriate control of the different emotions that can lead to more authentic and positive personal and familial relations.
-At an existential level, understanding as such all ethical aspects, scale of values and lifestyle.
The work to be done by the person in the program will be fundamentally a process of maturation and personal growth that facilitates integration and socialization in the best conditions possible. The user should show their willingness and active participation in the treatment, as in the respect of the rules of communal living. Proyecto Hombre understands addiction as an inadequate response to their desires and necessities.
Is Drug Addiction especially common in Ronda?
No, the profile of consumers and beginning of consumption is similar to other Andalucian cities and provinces.
What does an Entrelenguas student who comes to work as a volunteer with you do?
They would accompany the users in the different activities that they do: responsibilities, going out for leisure and sport, going out for personal errands, etc, as the residents in the first phase cannot go out alone.
What sort of person are you looking for? Do they need to have experience or special skills?
A committed person and with a healthy style of life (who isn´t involved with any addictive substances or behaviors), who knows how to listen, is respectful, sensitive to the problems of others, and firm when faced with manipulation. They do not need experience, as we will train them in the philosophy and rules of the programme, and they will be accompanied by a professional in the first activities that they undertake until they understand their role and how to do it.
What would you say to a person who is thinking about choosing the Entrelenguas volunteer programme and working with Proyecto Hombre? Why should they do it?
A volunteer placement with the Senda Association/Proyecto Hombre allows volunteers to see the need for a change of lifestyle for people who, although different, all share attitudes and behaviors that mean that they lose their meaning and motivation, as well as allowing them to share experiences and values which lead to personal development, and enjoy the satisfaction that solidarity provides.