By Damon Mitchell • 24 March 2020 • 14:23
VOLUNTEERS of a platform created through social networks named Plataforma Ayuda Covid 19 Marbella y Estepona has achieved 2,286 followers on Facebook in their aim to distribute masks, gloves, gels and hydroalcoholic solutions among the at-risk population of villages in the Malaga mountains such as Guaro, Monda or Coín.
Pablo Martín began by trying to devise through social networks a way to distribute the 200 masks that he acquired a month and a half before the coronavirus crisis broke out in Spain.
Now he is the face of the group that seeks to respond to the hundreds of notices and calls from residents of both municipalities “in the face of this blow that we have given life.”
“I am not an expert on Facebook nor have I worked with social networks, but I am a very hard-working person and think that I had to stay at home… I only generated a stimulus to help others,” says Martín.
During the first few days, he distributed material to children with Down syndrome, residents with physical problems or disabilities, elderly people in a state of loneliness. The initial distribution of masks to people at risk has been extended to the distribution and reception of gloves, gels and hydroalcoholic solutions.
“I contacted the mayor of Guaro and he said he had nothing. Among all the residents of Marbella and Estepona we have obtained masks and gloves so that they can start working there safely”, explains this small businessman from Madrid, who moved to Marbella five years ago in search of a more peaceful life and thus be able to enjoy his family.
The volunteers of the ‘Plataforma Ayuda Covid 19 Marbella y Estepona’ have also provided material to Coín and Monda and have asked Pablo for advice on how to launch similar initiatives between the towns of the Madrid mountains and the Bierzo region.
The group has four carriers who distribute the material donated by other residents to those who request it.
“The platform has shown me that, in difficult times, we are able to unite and respond quickly. We cannot reach everything, because it is impossible, but we have a shaped structure with lawyers, psychologists, therapists and transporters. We have four telephone numbers to collect emergency calls,” adds Pablo, who indicates that in one day they can receive about 90 notices of help.
The project taught him to see that “the people who have the least are those who give the most and those who need the most, those who offer the most. People with lung cancer who have a provision of 20 masks at home for their use have donated 10 to us.”
He believes that the current situation will teach society to use social networks for solidarity purposes and “do things that have value.”
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From the interviewed to the interviewer
As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.
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