We celebrate 3 important events with the people with intellectual disabilities whom we support in our organization every year. The first is the Christmas lunch, followed by the Epiphany lunch in Lleida, and the third is the Feria de Abril, which we celebrate in Barcelona.
The Feria de Abril is a highly enjoyable, emotional, and unique event that takes place in Barcelona. More than 200 people with intellectual disabilities whom we support, our team and volunteers, come together at the Hermandad Rociera Los Romeros fair booth to sing, dance, share, and celebrate life in a fun and festive atmosphere.
This event has its roots more than 15 years ago. In 2007, we organized the first Feria de Abril and we have celebrated it always in the same booth. This event was born out of the monthly meetings that we organize to promote social relationships, social inclusion, and a sense of belonging to Som – Fundació among our users. Due to the pandemic, we had not celebrated it for 3 years. However, this year, we have revived it to enjoy together once again and have more direct contact with the people we support.
Loneliness among people with intellectual disabilities
One of the main challenges faced by people with intellectual disabilities is their difficulty in establishing personal relationships, which often leads to unwanted loneliness. They frequently suffer from social exclusion and have fewer opportunities to connect with others. This problem is more severe for those who receive support since most of them do not have a family or their family environment has not a good influence.
Som – Fundació recognizes that we cannot replace the deep bond that families provide. However, we also do not want to sit idly by. Therefore, we have created events where they can socialize with other people we support, out team and volunteers. The Feria de Abril is a prime example of the success of these meetings. People with varying degrees of autonomy and abilities come together in a fun, friendly, and festive atmosphere to socialize, break with their routine, and combat the feeling of being alone in the world. It brings us great joy to see them having such a good time.
To combat the unwanted loneliness of people with intellectual disabilities, it is essential to make an effort to understand and support them. This includes creating social and labor integration programs, promoting educational and employment opportunities for this population, and raising public awareness about the prejudices and stereotypes that they often face.