2008-03-04 SPAIN

One, two, three… ten years of sharing hope

The social organisation of the Asociaci├│n Espiral Loranca, de Fuenlabrada (Madrid Sur) has just celebrated its tenth year of existence. Ten years of hope and educational efforts among the children and young people who frequent the area.

The Espiral project started in November 1997, in collaboration with the parish of la Sagrada Familia de Fuenlabrada, Caritas and the Marist Brothers. Its objective: to respond to the socio-educational needs of the children and young people in the neighbourhood of Nuevo Versailles who find themselves to be socially vulnerable.

The work began in the area of games. Then school support, urban camps, and workshops on computer technology, plumbing, electricity, and opportunities for work experience. Everything involved working with the family, especially the mothers, for whom even courses in cleaning have been organized.

At the moment there are two centres: Centro Espiral Loranca, dedicated to children and adolescents, always cooperating with the families; and Centro Espiral Humanes, located in an industrial estate in the municipality of Humanes, for the formation of young people starting at the age of 16.

In 2004, the Asociaci├│n Espiral Loranca was set up as a charitable social entity. The Association is linked, through a contract, to the Marist Province of Iberia.
Our work is driven by a sense of constant initiative, of establishing programmes, methodologies and improvements in working with perceived needs. We have not had a decade of repetitive action, but one of continuous adaptation and shared work.
Those of us who are part of Espiral have a dream and a vision that encourages us: to constitute a group which, in collaboration with other institutions and people, to be a reference point of service to society, in which the children and young people, together with their families are satisfied with their achievements; to be an element in the promotion of the development of our environment, and to encourage a society in which the dignity of the person, equality of opportunity and absence of discrimination helps to avoid situations of risk and exclusion, and to facilitate work and social inclusion.

A decade is a long time, although it has passed very quickly. They have been ten very intense years in which we have had to adapt to the new needs that have arisen in the environment. The expense is great and it is not always easy to support the pace that we follow. The relationship among us passes beyond hierarchies or work structures. The family atmosphere helps the educators and offers our lads a new scenario for interacting with their peers or with adults.

Ten years is nota long time, if we look at what is ahead of us, knowing that we will always have the poor among us. Sadly, this will always be a work in progress, for the future. We want to continue creating areas for encounter, spaces of companionship for the less accompanied. We want to offer closeness and to involve ourselves in welcoming all of those who, in their own way, will come to us.



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