Fundación MAPFRE’s Sé Solidario program gives visibility to smaller organizations, and puts them in touch with companies and individuals fully committed to their social responsibility.

At the latest gala of the Goya Awards – presented by the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Champions, directed by Javier Fresser, received the coveted Best Film award. And one of its actors, Jesús Vidal, warranted the historic distinction of winning the best newcomer award, a first for an actor with visual functional diversity. In his emotional speech, one of the most viewed moments of the event televised by TVE (Spanish publicservice broadcaster), Vidal stated that “three words came to mind: inclusion, diversity and visibility.”

Many other champions in our country are striving to fulfill this threefold challenge specified by the prizewinning actor. Organizations born out of closely-felt needs or a commitment due to either proximity or firsthand experience. Likewise, those companies with a solidarity mission are also champions, as they support causes related to their underlying spirit and thus fulfill their responsibility to society. At the center of that network of the willing we find the Fundación MAPFRE program #SéSolidario.

One of the goals of #SéSolidario is to offer a voice to initiatives that are somewhat smaller, yet with a big heart, as well as training and economic support. The other goal is to serve as a bridge between those social needs and the desire of so many companies and individuals to satisfy them. How? Well, for example, by implementing corporate volunteering programs. Or supporting projects through micro-donation campaigns.

This is the case, for instance, of the foundation Tengo Hogar [I Have a Home], which currently houses 67 disadvantaged families. These are people who, faced with being left on the street due to some labor or economic setback, are helped to develop their full potential and regain a dignified life. “We provide access to housing, help them to restructure their sources of income through job or self-employment opportunities, and undertake a personalized follow-up of the progress of all their needs,” is how the organization describes its work.

With them, Deisy and her son with functional diversity have regained the hope of a better life, while working and receiving training as an auxiliary nurse: “I want to keep fighting, as I now know I can make it, with the support of the foundation and many other people who have also helped me.” In the case of the project “For a Better Future”, run by the Malaga association Altamar Education and Family, the aim is to combat school truancy and offer opportunities to children from the neighborhoods of La Trinidad and El Perchel, two areas severely hit by the consequences of poverty and marginality.

Or the stories of the foundation Friends of the Elderly, where people like Candelas have found a “princess” – “the princess of my dreams” – in Guadalupe, the volunteer who has been visiting her for ten years. Like her, a further 800 senior citizens benefit from the emotional support offered by their volunteers, which prevents them from being isolated from their social environment, thereby enhancing their quality of life.

At the other end of the scale are the children with intellectual disability attended by APANID, an association that has been going for half a century, which has created a project with the most poetic name possible: “The powerful key of my gaze opens new horizons.” But also concrete proposals such as the use of electronic tablets and computers with optical recognition, so as to help children with special needs communicate with their families – in some cases for the first, truly emotional time – and foster their independence and learning process.

Likewise, children are the ones cared for by the Ana Carolina Díez Mahou Foundation in Santander. In this case, those with genetic neuromuscular diseases (mainly mitochondrial disorders and muscular dystrophies). “The most important thing is not to think what those children cannot do, but rather focus on what they can achieve,” the volunteer Fátima Escudero adamantly states, as “this is what can bring happiness to the child, as well as their families and all those around them.” This was the initial goal of the project “First Star”, which provides 70 children with individualized care including physiotherapy, water therapy, music therapy and dog therapy, in facilities specially adapted to suit their specific needs.

All of them are already “champion” projects for all the people they attend, support or help, thanks to the loving care inherent in manifesting their firm commitment to others in a truly artisan manner. Champions who, thanks to the #SéSolidario program, can enhance their “brands”, overcome their limitations, achieve new goals, and win those medals that can only be achieved thanks to the happiness of others.