Over the last 10 years, Fundación MAPFRE has contributed to improving the lives of more than 100 million people, thanks to countless projects that have helped to significantly change the economic, social and cultural conditions of the most disadvantaged sectors of society. A decade later, we take stock. We explain the impact of our work on these people and the challenges we face in order to continue being one of the benchmark social institutions.
TEXT: NURIA DEL OLMO @NURIADELOLMO74
“Working in a foundation teaches you to be more generous and more human. It enables you to discover firsthand the social drama of many people, to realize how useful our work is, the importance of expressing solidarity.” This is the feeling of Pedro Méndez, one of the 90 employees who make up the Fundación MAPFRE team. His opinion is shared by many other MAPFRE workers and collaborators, who have participated over the past decade with the utmost enthusiasm and commitment in more than 3,000 social and cultural projects, all designed to improve the world in which we live.
Throughout this period, our Foundation has allocated 500 million euros to this end. Its budget has grown progressively, even during the economic crisis, enabling it to undertake activities in the fields of education, health and culture, among others. The
overriding goal has always been to assist the most disadvantaged, those with the least resources and opportunities, and often excluded from society. Its work, as recognized by the people it has benefited in over 30 countries, has enabled it to offer “second chances” and improve the quality of life of many people, turning their lives around with the outlook of a better future.
Fundación MAPFRE is taking stock of this decade’s work and wondering what social footprint it has left, and what impact it has had on the 100 million people who have received its support, who have had the chance to get a job, improve their training or been able to feel more integrated into society, as well as those who have greatly enjoyed its painting and photography exhibitions. Not forgetting those who, thanks to our prevention campaigns, are now more aware of the importance of road safety education and of incorporating healthy habits for a longer, better life, and those who have had their first volunteering experience, something that has changed the lives of many of them.
On the Fundación MAPFRE website – www.fundacionmapfre.org – there is a video offering an overview of what has been achieved in the last ten years. There now follows a summary for our readers.
This is perhaps our Foundation’s most relevant program, both for its international scope and for the number of beneficiaries and collaborating institutions. It encompasses 830 projects which, over this time, have managed to improve the lives of almost one million people, mainly children and adolescents. Some of the figures speak for themselves: each year, over 55,000 children from 23 countries have received at least one meal a day, while over 79,000 have learned how to stay healthy and have received basic health care.
This is a key factor for breaking the cycle of poverty. For this reason, the Foundation has endeavored to make it available to five million youngsters through the Educa tu Mundo [Educate Your World] program, an initiative whereby, to date, it has trained over 5,000 teachers in values and subjects such as accident prevention, the promotion of healthy life habits and financial education, key if future generations are to know how to deal with the common risks to which they are exposed throughout their lives.
We boost the integration and the employment of people who, given their personal circumstances, find this more difficult. In this regard, our Foundation has facilitated the creation of 2,700 jobs for people with an intellectual disability or mental illness, a chance for these people, who generally suffer from social exclusion and long-term unemployment, to prove to society that they are just as capable as the rest of the population.
Painting and photography
Promoting culture is one of the most important elements for the development of society, and this is why our Foundation strives to bring it to the largest possible number of people. Over the last decade, 12 million people have enjoyed 300 major painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions.
Most noteworthy is the success reaped in Brazil, where nearly two million people visited two unique exhibits of Impressionist and Post- Impressionist works.
Prevention is fundamental for avoiding accidents and, for this reason, over the past ten years, the Foundation has invested nearly 100 million euros in, among other things, offering 2,800,000 youngsters road safety education. The aim is for pedestrians and cyclists to behave more responsibly and, in the future, be safer drivers. This work is reflected in the statistics. The Youngsters and Road Safety report, presented recently by Fundación MAPFRE, shows a 75 percent reduction in the number of youngster fatalities from road traffice accidents.
Promoting mental and physical health, investing in research as a motor of scientific progress, and helping society know about certain conditions such as cardiovascular
diseases, and be sensitized to what they entail, have been some of the mainstays of its activity in this field. Throughout this period, the institution has invested 79 million euros to boost the development of cell therapies, develop applications to save lives in the sporting arena, and draft protocols on what to do in cases of choking, drowning and cardiac arrest. It has also helped improve the healthy habits of more than two million children in 15 countries.
Insurance for All
Fundación MAPFRE never forgets its roots and is therefore keen to disseminate financial knowledge and, above all, the insurance culture. To this end, it possesses the most significant center of insurance documentation in Spanish in the whole world, which receives some 300,000 visits each year. It has also provided 22 million euros to carry out 600 research projects and help promote the talent and expertise of more than 1,000 professionals in the sector.
Fundación MAPFRE believes that volunteering is an opportunity to experience and enjoy unique moments and demonstrate that, if we all did our bit to help those suffering from the greatest inequalities, the world would be a very different place. This is why, for years now, it has been encouraging its employees and their relatives to contribute to a get some laughs out of children hospitalized with serious illnesses. These are initiatives which, according to all of them, provide them with a unique form of energy and enable them to realize how much a bit of someone’s free time can mean in the lives of the most needy. In the last 10 years, MAPFRE volunteers have helped one million underprivileged people in situations of vulnerability.
Work in which everyone wins
42 years ago MAPFRE created Fundación MAPFRE. Over the following 20 years, further foundation projects were created within the group, up to a total of five. In 2006 they were all of them were consolidated into one single project, with a logical division into the specialized areas we know today: Culture, Prevention and Road Safety, Social Action, Health Promotion, and Social Protection. This new phase has now completed exactly 10 years, over which time we have invested more than 500 million euros, run thousands of projects and reached millions of beneficiaries.
As a business group, MAPFRE considers Fundación MAPFRE one of the mainstays of its social presence and commitment. Whether employees or collaborators, all of us are proud of the important role our Foundation plays in practically every country where our company is operating in the insurance sector.
Working in insurance is highly satisfactory, given that this is undoubtedly the economic activity that expresses the greatest solidarity and commitment to our society. In each of the activities inherent in the insurance activity, we are helping others to improve their quality of life, protecting them or assisting them to successfully deal with any contingency. But, in addition, the fact that our Group sets aside significant budgets and human resources each year to the activity of its foundation comprehensively ensures our continued commitment and collaboration with the development of all the communities in which we are present.
This new phase has now completed exactly 10 years, over which time we have invested more than 500 million euros, run thousands of projects and reached millions of beneficiaries
A great many adverse circumstances are currently affecting our society, calling for our decisive support and action. But we are sure that helping disadvantaged people,
mainly children, people with other abilities and the unemployed, preventing traffic accidents and those in the home and in companies, organizing major displays of the masterpieces of important painters and sculptors, helping to spread basic knowledge of financial, insurance and complementary social protection concepts, and, last but not least, assisting in general to improve the quality of life and the promotion of health matters are all priority tasks in which we are putting all our attention and endeavor. Each and every one of them is a clear example of how we can achieve small advances that translate into major achievements which have a positive impact on millions of people, through dissemination, training, prevention and contribution.