Financial problems and family tensions: how the Gender Alternatives Association helped Yana and her husband cope with the crisis
The Gender Alternatives Association is one of dozens of organizations to have made tremendous efforts over the past year and a half to assist families affected by the Covid crisis. Their ‘Save the Family project’, funded by the Iris Programme, is devoted to helping Bulgarian families facing special pressure as a result of the global pandemic. Assistance comes in the form of legal and psychological help in the resolution of conflicts related to family relations, helping prevent difficult situations from becoming risky for children.
Yana and her husband have two children and have been living together for ten years. In April 2020 her husband lost his job because of the Covid crisis. Her work, meanwhile, was cut down to just four hours a day. Yana reported that the couple were unable to cope financially with raising their children and paying the bills, and also had a loan they couldn’t keep up repayments on. This began to strain relations between them, and they started arguing and being rude to each other in front of their children.
Confused and hopeless, blaming herself for the situation her family was in, Yana sought support from the Gender Alternatives Association. The specialists there ensured that she received legal advice on her rights are, and they also advised the family on what to do about the loan repayments (including how to avoid the seizure of Yana’s salary). Specialists conducted psychological consultations with both parents to control the build-up of negative emotion between them.
These consultations and the hard work of lawyers and psychologists helped inspire confidence in the family: “Thanks to your strong support, our family has come out of this difficult time.”
This project was funded by the Iris Programme, which was set up to provide assistance to vulnerable children (and their families) affected by Covid-19. The Programme sprang out of an initiative by the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum, the National Network for Children and the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation. It is managed by the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, and the main donor is Tanya’s Dream Fund.