"False work, de-professionalisation, the abuse of debutants, formation that doesn't exist, no vacation, lack of materials and staff.."
Jesús Redondo Navarro, 27 years, Spain
Still I remember my first job as a Social Worker, when I was only 18 years old. I was an innocent boy and I looked forward to work, to do things, and most of all; to change the world....They promised me a job with a future. It was summer and if we consider "future" till September of the same year, well, that's exactly the time until I worked.
There I was, very eager to start, in front of the door of the Local Government of Granada, where they celebrated the Day Without Cars, a day which they used to try to make the society aware of using cars as less as possible.
Once I prepared my table to hold a workshop with kids, the boss was worried about me, rather about my inexperience, and so 5 minutes before starting, he explained to me what to do.
I had to make hats of foam rubber for all the kids who would come to my workshop during the next two hours. Not even 10 minutes passed by since the beginning of the workshop and already 20 of these little kids, together with their mummies and in some cases together with their grandmothers, were waiting for their little hat that never arrived, and when it arrived, let us say, it didn't convince a lot of the kids because I didn't have a lot of experience and no one explained to me before which tasks I had to do.
By the time I had got used to my task, the material had run out, so I looked for my boss. I asked my colleagues where he was, as they already knew him, and no one would tell me where he was. I decided to improvise. I told the kids that, while we were waiting for the materials (they are on the way), that they go with me to visit the other workshops, like the workshop of make-up, bubbles, archery, inflatable castle and so on. The truth is that I never found an activity in relation with the Day Without Cars, or an activity to make the people aware about the use of cars.
Once I finished the workshops, I found my boss. He told me that I didn't have to make so quickly these hats and that it's not a problem when a kid stays alone without the social entertainer. In relation to this, I think words are unnecessary.
The conditions I face every day include false work, de-professionalisation, the abuse of debutants, formation that doesn't exist, no vacation, lack of materials and staff; and if this doesn't seem already precarious, we can speak about contract and salary....well, not about contract, because there was no contract, and for 30 euro it's possible that you are doing an activity in your street or in a lost village of the Alpujarra ( a population in the mountains of Granada with a difficult access) that takes you all the day and pays you month that you will not receive until two months later. And if I tell all this without speaking in details about the lack of reimboursement of expenses and for extra working hours or dangerous conditions etc.
I want to emphasize, to be clear, that these kinds of benefits are assured by the animation agencies who are themselves hired by the local municipalities to save money (obviously), and to avoid having to take all the steps inherent in engaging professionals in the social sector.
I could go on telling experiences. Like I mentioned, 10 years working as a social entertainer gives you a lot of experiences. Some stories would be funny, others dramatic, happy, sad, incredible, fantastic...but all of them have something in common...they are precarious.
Anyway, now I think that it's complicated to change the world, but it's not impossible, and probably, the things that are in our hands to change, we don't see, but by keeping on walking, we move things therefore I believe in the action of the YCW.