Friday, January 27, 2023

La Caixa Foundation recognizes mental health, loneliness and homelessness projects at its Social Innovation Awards

Ten projects working in favor of social initiatives have been honored this Wednesday at the VII La Caixa Foundation Awards for Social Innovation. Recognized Initiatives is committed to “creative, efficient and sustainable” solutions to challenges such as youth mental health, loneliness, homelessness, inclusion of people with disabilities, urban regeneration of degraded neighborhoods and rural schools. The jury recognized the transformative vision of the winning projects, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people in vulnerable situations or at risk.

The 10 winning projects from the 569 applications submitted are selected by a jury composed of members of the third sector, research and teaching centers, public administration, Caixabank, Fundación La Caixa, and various media. The Foundation’s General Director, Antonio Villa Bertrán, highlighted this Wednesday its commitment to innovation as a bridge to combat social inequalities. “In a context of great uncertainties like the current one, we want to continue building a just society and we want to do this by promoting innovative institutions,” said Vila Beltrán.

The event was attended by representatives from all award-winning projects, including Hospidaria Social Sagrada Familia; Emmaus Rural Social Action Association of Cervera (LEDA), awarded for its community action against social exclusion and homelessness; The Alela, Caring People Initiative, of the St. Francesc d’Asis Foundation, which has created a community network for the care of residents with chronic illnesses; and the Click Child and Adolescent Psychosocial Intervention Project of the Cija y Comarca Mental Health Association (Murcia).

Ana Rosa Pareja, social worker and manager of Clique, highlights that thanks to this initiative, they have managed to reduce the social isolation of 20 young people and have seen improvements in academic performance and social and family relationships , as well as a decrease has also been observed. in addictive behavior. “We look at the hardships and isolation that many boys and girls suffer when they arrive and how they make friends and relate to each other after the activities,” assures Pareja.

For his part, the person in charge of the Escuela Rural Activa (ERA) = Escuela Viva, Gloria Falomir, assures that the project arises to face the challenge of the reduction of the population, especially in the case of this rural school which was about to close. for lack of students. The project has prevented the closure of a rural school in Vall de Almonacid (Castellón) and has resulted in an increase in student numbers. “It’s a joy for the people to keep the school open,” said Fernando Collado, the father of three students at the school.

Arquitectura Sin Fronteras’s Acertos initiative has also been recognized for its work promoting social inclusion through Alicante’s urban regeneration; Caravan of the Senses, from the Padre Osso Educational Foundation, which proposes an itinerant sensory stimulation classroom for the rural schools of Paradise. In addition, the Participa program to build links and social inclusion from Vigo; Employment program in the cyber security sector for people with disabilities from the GoodJobs Foundation in Madrid IMPACT # INCLUDE; inclusive leisure service for people with intellectual disabilities promoted by A Toda Vela in Almería; and SOS Advice, a consultancy service for freelancers and businessmen from the Private Foundation for the Promotion of Self-Employment in Catalonia.

Each of the 10 prize-winning initiatives will receive 15,000 Euros and the two runners-up will receive 5,000 Euros. These amounts are added to the endowment that they have already received through the La Caixa Foundation’s Call for Social Programs to develop their respective initiatives. The award ceremony, held at the Caixaforum Madrid, was presided over by Nacho Alvarez, Secretary of State for Social Rights; General Director of the “La Caixa” Foundation, Antonio Villa Bertrán; and Mark Simone, deputy director general of the La Caixa Foundation.

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