In the virtual meeting, that the Som Companys group held on May 6th, they proposed to make phone calls to other people with intellectual disabilities, attended by the foundation, in order to accompany them during these weeks of lockdown. Since then, the support teams of Som – Fundació proposed this activity to the users who have more need of this type of attention, with the purpose of expanding the social network and prevent them from the possible isolation that they might be suffering.
Rafi V. has been one of the first to start calling the person assigned to her, Mercedes C. They started their contacts through WhatsApp and, later, they make some phone calls. As they were getting to know each other, they discovered they had many hobbies in common and they increased the frequency of their contacts in order to talk about their interests in common.
In the first calls that Carme P. made to Montserrat G. they found a topic very interesting for both of them: everything related with the rights of the persons with disabilities. Both of them are highly involved in this issue and Montserrat collaborates with the Fundació Cermi Mujeres, helping girls and women who have suffered gender violence. They share many contents through WhatsApp and they call each other on Fridays to talk about the topics they have in common.
Marta F. and Luisa L. are very active persons. Both take part in the programme #ICanToo be volunteer. They share a flat with other flatmates and both of them enjoy sport. Right now, they call each other almost every day. Marta likes to explain the walks she has done during the phase 1 of lockdown. Luisa comments her the daily activities she carries out.
Gemma C. received the proposal of participating in this activity through her social referent. Although, she does not take part of the group Som Companys, she was highly interested on helping other colleagues. Montse Gozalvez, coordinator of the project Friendship Calls, made the adequate introductions with Antonio R. through a video call and since then, they are in contact once a week. They have so many things to talk about that their first call lasted more than one hour.
The initial assessment of this initiative is very positive. The persons under our support have the the opportunity to meet other users and share moments of talks related to topics they interest them. This is a long run project, which promotes the participation and empowerment of the persons with intellectual disabilities under our care.