TEXT: LAURA SÁNCHEZ IMAGES: DE LOS PROYECTOS
Sponsor an ice-cream grandparent
Over the years, those known as “ice-cream grandparents” roamed the streets of the historic center of Guatemala offering families and tourists alike their sweet, refreshing products. Some of them had been pushing their carts around for over forty years when the pandemic abruptly disrupted their lives. Without customers they could sell to on the streets, and being a particularly delicate age group given the risk of them contracting the virus, the livelihood of these men and women disappeared overnight.
It was then that María Isabel Grajeda, a local resident, published a message on Facebook accompanied by a photograph of premises with really poor hygienic conditions. “There is a group of 11 ice-cream vendors, most of them seniors with physical disabilities, who work (and some live) in this ice-cream warehouse in Zone 1. (…) They are all very grateful, hard-working people, struggling to earn enough to eat. They sometimes push their carts around for over ten hours and are unable to sell anything (…).” María Isabel asked for donations of food, money or sleeping material, but never imagined that her post would go viral. Together with the organization Sé Feliz Guatemala, they have managed to administer hundreds of donations that are transforming the ice-cream warehouse in the “alley next to the Cerrito del Carmen” into a home for the Ice-Cream Grandparents. The project has also succeeded in creating an online sales service for their ice cream and offers the possibility of sponsoring one of these endearing grandparents. More information: https://abuelitosheladeros.org
Philanthropy using cryptocurrencies continues to grow. In addition to disrupting the financial system, bitcoiners also wish to contribute to the wellbeing of the community. However, they find that not all social action entities are ready and willing to accept this kind of donations. This was the reason behind the creation of The Giving Block, based in Washington, which tries to rectify precisely this question: connecting the philanthropic spirit with the blockchain world, thus helping organizations transform this virtual money into concrete projects. In fact, both NGOs and donors can reap many benefits from the “cryptoworld”: firstly, blockchain technology offers NGOs a reduction in their costs, as it avoids banking intermediaries in donations; secondly, donations can be seen and traced by anyone, as the prime feature of the blockchain is its total transparency. Donors thus have the security of being able to track their contribution and see its ultimate destination. A paradigmatic case was that of the Italian Red Cross which, in April this year, managed to raise 32,000 euros through a cryptocurrency platform to build an emergency medical care facility for COVID-19 patients. For this reason, The Giving Block organized “Bitcoin Tuesday”, operational throughout the month of December and which aims to become the greatest cryptocurrencybased charity event in history. The goal is to raise one million dollars. “We believe that the pandemic is serving as a tremendous catalyst and reminder for blockchain companies to develop Corporate Social Responsibility strategies and for many people – who wish to help with a guarantee of transparency, but were unaware of this technology – to get to know this world.” For more information: https://www.thegivingblock. com/bitcoin-tuesday
They do want to go back to hospital…
Analyzed, tried and tested: hospital clowns improve the emotional state of patients and their families, help reduce their stress levels, and are a therapeutic weapon, not just for children, but also for adults. But hospital clowns are feeling a little sad these days. The health emergency closed the hospital doors to magicians and clowns who put on shows for the inpatients. “Before the health crisis, we went to some 30 centers across Spain” the Theodora Foundation explains. “Bit by bit we’re restoring our hospital activities, but it’s a slow process. We have no doubt that right now is when we may be needed the most, especially as a result of the isolation situations. We are prepared, we know the protocols and we can help a lot.” However, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the clowns have not been standing idly by; rather, they are now virtually present in the hospital rooms. Through the VIVIR [LIVE] program, these medicine, art, education and psychology professionals, trained in clown techniques for dealing with patients admitted to hospital, bring a moment of escape, laughter and joy to what they call “their little im-patients”. More information: https://es.theodora.org/es