Of all the deeply wounding elements of unemployment, not being able to put food on the table ranks as one of the worst.
So in Spain, a country that is experiencing record unemployment, there are people who have carried this wound consistently for years, scrounging to feed a family or themselves.
In order to provide the them with more than just a good, hot meal, a restaurant in the country’s Catalonia region has offered the unemployed a chance to earn their supper.
At La Trobada, customers can volunteer for an hour at the restaurant, serving food, preparing meals or cleaning up in the kitchen. For their labour they receive a delicious full-course dinner and, most importantly, the dignity of having earned it.
It’s part of a work exchange program designed to help rebuild confidence in the face of soul-crushing circumstances.
“This is aimed at people wanting to regain and strengthen their self-esteem. People wanting to improve their daily lives,” La Trobada’s manager, Xavier Casas, told Euronews.
The program has proved so successful that the volunteers make up half of La Trobada’s entire customer base.
While one restaurant won’t solve the country’s problems, it’s vital to the wounded psyche to know that there are still those willing to help others despite their own troubles.
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