Demà (Tomorrow) is a project and the name of the centre of more than 1,500 m2 launched by Fundesplai - a leading social and environmental entity in child and youth education in Catalonia - in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona). This proposal, born to help rethink our way of life and its impact, begins its journey with EAT, ACT, IMPACT, an interactive and large-format exhibition within the framework of the World Capital of Sustainable Food in Barcelona in 2021. Its objective is to demonstrate what would mean for the planet and people to change the current food system.
María José Navarrete, financial director of Fundesplai, tells us what drives the Demà project and the work of Fundesplai.
What social challenge has inspired Demà?
From the beginning, Fundesplai has worked to promote a committed, active citizenry with a will to transform. We are in a change of era, a key moment that urgently requires profound changes in our lifestyles, ways of thinking and acting. Faced with this social and environmental urgency, we want to be part of the dialogue that allows us to imagine and build a better, more sustainable and equitable world. That is why Fundesplai promotes Demà, an initiative that aims to create a space for personal and collective transformation focused on sustainability and coexistence. The first action of this initiative is the exhibition EAT, ACT, IMPACT.
What impact does Fundesplai have on education and leisure for youth and children?
Fundesplai has become a benchmark entity in education, leisure and social transformation. Currently, we develop educational and social programs in 133 esplais (playschools and youth clubs) and educational leisure projects in more than 1,400 schools, we offer training that reaches more than 6,000 students, services for 1,045 third-sector entities, we manage 28 summer camps and other outdoor activities that reach more than 260,000 people each year. And for more than 50 years, Fundesplai's action has grown in scope and impact as a non-profit organisation whose mission is to "educate children and young people, strengthen third sector entities, improve the environment and promote citizenship and social inclusion".
How is your organisation innovative?
Fundesplai has designed and offers new meeting, training, accompaniment and reﬂection spaces in El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona. Recent works at our facilities have doubled the built area to 22,000 m2. These new spaces -a classroom building, a hostel, a multifunctional space and a park to enjoy together and ensure the sustainability of the planet- favour learning and intend to generate well-being. We have built and designed them in coherence with Fundesplai's values and they are 100% accessible and sustainable, with an integration of natural potentialities (close to spaces of the Natura 2000 Network) and invite you to share ideas and time with different groups and people in response to current social challenges.
What impact has Triodos Bank had on Fundesplai?
We have been working with Triodos since 2012 and have always felt their support very much. The processes have been increasingly simple and when we have needed it they have been flexible in the initial procedures. We value very positively that the beginning of our relationship was at a very difficult time, in a context of general crisis, when it was not the best time to offer loans and Triodos opted for us. During these 10 years we have known each other and our mutual recognition and trust has increased. We have also evolved in the validation and expansion of our positions until we found an ideal fit. We have built a relationship full of trust and values, as evidenced by the granting of a mortgage loan of 8.6 million euros for the expansion of our facilities, and which places Triodos as our largest creditor. I also want to highlight the human value of our contact people at Triodos (Montse, Isabel and Xema).
What impact does Fundesplai have on the community as a whole?
Fundesplai's work over the years is the story of a commitment to a better world, the promotion of the rights of children and young people in a situation or risk of social exclusion, the defence of the environment, as well as the promotion of values and committed citizenship, the strengthening of organised civil society, volunteering and, above all, with the happiness of the children. Always from programs carried out on the street, in many low income neighbourhoods and thanks to the work of professionals and volunteers.
From your perspective, what does the vision of Fundació Esplai share with the one of Triodos?
Both entities share, as a mission, the care of people and the environment. And also many values, such as sustainability, transparency, initiative, innovation or inclusion. In addition, both organizations work with a transformative will and want to help build a better world and that is why each activity we carry out and each project we launch must generate a positive impact on people and nature.
We are also consolidated entities, professionals, in continuous improvement, in adaptation and evolution, with investments for the future, with a global and local vision, attentive to new trends and opportunities to have even more positive impact. We share the commitment to what we do, and we also try to measure the social value, beyond the economic one, of our activity.