My name is Lia, I’m 27 years old, I’m from Spain and I’ve been volunteering for 6 months at Tandem.
For me it has been a unique, intense and very beautiful experience. A learning process in which I have learned things about myself and I have learned a lot about disability, institutions and the role of society in dealing with it. Sharing time with children and young people, I have come to the clear conclusion that the problem is not disability but the barriers that society puts up and how the lack of support and stimulation greatly affects their ability to develop and reach their full potential. I can’t deny that there is a very frustrating part, because when you start to get to know the kids, you realize that their big problem is life inside an institution and how it limits their chances of living a full and happy life, that they deserve, as every child in the world.

But within the frustration and sadness of realizing what we do as a society by excluding the most vulnerable people, there is also this side of light, this hope that I feel when I see projects like Tandem and the involvement of volunteers, who together fight for children’s rights to be respected and make their day to day something better, giving them love, attention, education and quality time.
I am very grateful for how Tandem has accompanied me, given support and taught me during these months of volunteering. I am also very grateful for the love that I have received from the children and how they have taught me every day. And of course for being able to share this experience with other volunteers, supporting us and sharing many fun moments.