Measures taken in Ljubljana to help the citizens while tackling the covid-19 situation.
1. Bus drivers delivering food and helping with urgent non-scheduled transport
The City of Ljubljana has organized home food delivery for children from at risk families and elderly citizens. Drivers of city buses are volunteering to perform the deliveries. Over 100 people have volunteered at the Ljubljana Public Transport (Ljubljanski potniški promet) public company.
Bus drivers have also started helping with urgent non-scheduled transport of people, organized by the Slovenian Red Cross. The transport is intended for people who urgently need access to essential services or errands.
2. At home child care – volunteers
When the Slovenian Government adopted the decision to ban the gathering of people in public institutes in the area of child care and education as well as universities and independent establishments, therefore cancelling all organized child care, the City of Ljubljana sent a request to kindergarten and elementary school principals to find out if any of their teachers and educators would be willing to volunteer to take children into care, either at the volunteer’s home or the child’s home. 53 educators from Ljubljana’s kindergartens and 26 teachers from Ljubljana’s elementary schools responded to the request. Due to the virus’ specificities, the volunteers can only be healthy people under 50, with no chronic illnesses and those who do not have small children at home. In this way we have managed to guarantee child care for the children whose parents are obliged to work in extraordinary circumstances.
3. Hostel Celica to be used by medical personnel and portable beds to be fitted for employees in nursing homes
Medical staff are in the very thick of things. Some drive long distances to work in Ljubljana. As public transportation has been temporarily cancelled, many medical workers find the drive to Ljubljana and back home to be very stressful and exhausting. The City of Ljubljana is well aware of this and has therefore offered empty and disinfected rooms in Hostel Celica, run by the Ljubljana Castle public institute, to be used by the University Medical Centre for the accommodation of their staff. The hostel is intended for workers who come to work at UKC Ljubljana from other towns, which means that they no longer need to drive back home every day and that their self-protective measures are made easier. The City of Ljubljana has also opted to provide for all employees of nursing homes who cannot return home every day for various reasons. The nursing homes are now fitted with portable beds which the workers can use when they spend the night in Ljubljana.
4. Volunteer help for the elderly
Elderly citizens who are alone, do not use social networks and are anxious about the current situation, need our attention. For this reason, the City of Ljubljana has connected with a network of volunteers who want to make everyday life easier for the elderly. The people involved are workers and volunteers from the Home Care Institute (Zavod za oskrbo na domu) and Ljubljana’s cultural public institutes (e.g. theatres, galleries). From Monday to Friday, the volunteer project manager is using the Home Care Institute Ljubljana’s phone number to collect the contact information of those who wish to be called by volunteers. The volunteers talk to the elderly about their jobs and about how the city’s cultural institutes work, as well as about normal everyday things, in order to help the elderly overcome their feelings of loneliness.
5. Bringing culture into the homes of citizens
Even when Ljubljana’s cultural public institutes are closed due to the epidemic, we bring culture into the homes of citizens:
– Festival Ljubljana has gathered numerous options for viewing concerts and operas currently taking place without audiences, or art centers have made free online access for their repetitions.
– The Ljubljana City Theatre has opened its archives and offered several past performances to be viewed on its YouTube channel
– Kinodvor is offering the free viewing of documentaries by Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, who filmed successful documentaries for the BBC in the early 90s.
– The City Gallery of Ljubljana has opted to support artists via Art in Isolation (Umetnost v izolaciji), a Facebook page where artists and creators can use their creativity and artwork to brave the anxiety we are all currently feeling. They are certain that many interesting works are being created during this time and they have invited artists to email the artwork they create during social distancing which addresses the current situation we have found ourselves in. When the epidemic is over, the City Gallery of Ljubljana will collect the original artwork and prepare a donation evening with the aim of aiding the financial situation of the authors, brought upon by the coronavirus, to the best of our abilities.
– The Ljubljana Puppet Theatre will show some of its most successful plays online.
6. Psychosocial support during the epidemic
The Ljubljana Health Centre has ensured psychosocial support for anyone potentially struggling with the current epidemiological situation. The support is offered via phone or email. It has also been offered by some non-governmental organizations, whose programs are co-financed by the City of Ljubljana.
Source: E-mail from Ljubljana City official