How far are you from the opportunity to create change in the life of your city?
© Helder Berenguer
What if it was possible to map the solidarity fabric of a city? What if consulting distances on a map triggered empathy? What if the scale, the ratio between a distance in a map and the real distance, would relate with the impact that volunteering has in the life of a community?
What’s a solidarity map?
For the duration of a month, our local volunteers in collaboration with the European Solidarity Corps developed a “Solidarity Map” which aimed to identify the different institutions of Aveiro that stand out for their hard work in the field of solidarity.
The objectives of this initial mapping project are to give visibility to the causes to which our partner institutions work for, to get to know in more detail the challenges they face in the field and to awaken the community’s conscience of them. The responsible cartographers for this map decided to amplify the concept of solidarity beyond the social contexts and include also institutions about sustainability, solidarity and inclusion, intergenerationality and multiculturalism.
From this project came out a conceptual map of easy access in which presents ten institutions that find solutions and provide services to the community in many fields, as well as the necessary information so the future volunteers can engage and discover more about their work.
This map represents just the beginning, a matchstick, of what could be a collaborative and multidisciplinary network between solidarity institutions. How can volunteering fortify the communication bonds between the different institutions? How can the sharing of good practices and common problems fortify the answers that the solidarity fabric offers to the city?
The motivation for the creation of this project started from the need that we identified to connect people with spare time and willingness to help with institutions who need to reinforce its solidarity body. We recognized the difficulty that potential volunteers may feel when seeking how and where to help and, for that, we’ve decided to offer them this “matchstick-map”. We’ve also recognized the lack of visibility in the third sector and of updated communication platforms oriented to encourage the civil society to volunteer, to donate specific goods in need in the institutions or to fill other needs.
This map aligns with the cartographer’s vision of the importance of establishing synergies and promoting the collaboration culture between the many “streets”, “corners”, “terrains”, “roads” and “arteries” of the solidarity fabric of our municipality.
What is the nature of distance?
What reality distortion exists in your inner map?