When Marina spoke about her personal contribution to Escola Arboç – Fundació Maresme, BETWEEN’s People team just knew they had to sit down to talk with her to get a full account of the initiative.
While Marina was talking about the project, the People department couldn’t stop thinking about it and soon decided to get involved. The result was a very interesting and enriching volunteer project.
Escola Arboç – Fundació Maresme is an educational centre for boys and girls of school age who suffer multiple disabilities. What does that mean? It means they have several conditions that have neurological impacts on them and seriously affect their learning and development.
Escola Arboç supports these children over acontinuous learning process on motor skills, the development of communication skills and abilities to interact with their surroundings, and work on personal independence.
The question is: how did Marina participate in this?
Well, Marina Gavin is one of our technical developers and her work with Escola Arboç started when she was doing her dissertation. The project is based on developing apps and programmes to make the day-to-day lives of these children with multiple disabilities easier. The goal is to help them improve their communication skills by using electronic devices.
Two of the projects Marina has developed are: “Amida’”, a customisable Web app featuring content which is adapted and accessible for people with different cognitive, physical, and sensory disorders, and the “Inclusive Selfies” app, which is a system that allows boys and girls with multiple disabilities to engage in such a simple, everyday act as taking photos of themselves.
For Marina “this collaboration is very rewarding since it is a way of using my technological knowledge to improve these people’s lives. It’s a type of social project which happens in a very fulfilling setting”.
BETWEEN’s volunteer project
After finding out all about the project and the foundation, BETWEEN decided it would be a good idea to run a pilot of the volunteer project with developers from the company so that we could make our own little contribution and create a starting point for the initiative.
Esther Martínez, our People Manager, tells us about the start of the process: “The directors, programmers, and Marina went to visit Escola Arboç in January to see what the centre did in person and get a firsthand idea of the project. The visit was a success as a good number of developers decided to sign up for the volunteer project”.
The pilot began in March with the software team. Workshops are held on two Fridays every month and the programmers spend 2 hours on it in the afternoon, outside their work hours. The pilot will last until the end of July, when the teams involved will review the work they have done and their experience. They will use this to develop a plan on how to proceed in the second half of the year.
We will be paying close attention to see how this great initiative moves forward and what results the great work of our BETWEEN team brings.