|Spain – On the shoulders of Giants: 15 stories of young immigrants|
|Spain – State Assembly of the Salesian Social Committees and the Pinardi Forum|
(ANS – Madrid) – On May 10 2011 Carlos Izquierdo, Vice-Councilor for Immigration, volunteers and cooperators from the Community of Madrid, accompanied by Pablo Gómez Tavira, Director General for Immigration, visited the site of the “Barrio Abierto” (Open district) set up in the city of “Valora”, belonging to the “Pinardi” Federation of Social Platforms of the Salesians of Madrid.
“Barrio Abierto”, developed in collaboration with Assessors for Social Affairs, aims at promoting the employment and social integration of the immigrants with the native citizens who live in the city of Madrid. Right from its inception in 2004, the project has served over 180 immigrants per year, offering a complete intervention through a personalized plan of action: alphabetization and teaching of Spanish, basic information education, development of social ability and professional skills, workshops to assist job seeking, promotion of gender equality, health education and integration activities, for an annual of investment of over 50,000 €.
In 2011 the total of beneficiaries, including family members added later, was 278. These were offered services of tuition, legal assistance, professional training, and the activities of the “Emplea” programme.
The Centre of Training and Socio-educative Assistance “Valora”, promoted by the Salesians, responds to the specific needs of the southern area of Madrid: it promotes living together and encourages integration in the city of Parla, one of the communes with the highest percentage of immigrants of the entire Autonomous Community, where foreigners constitute 27% of the total population and are mostly between 20 and 24 years old.
The Pinardi Federation of the Social Platforms of the Salesians of Madrid, groups together the social platforms of Lumbre (Madrid Puerta del Sol), Naranjoven (Fuenlabrada), Las Naves (Alcalá de Henares), Pan Bendito (Madrid Carabanchel), Valora (Parla) and Cabria (Puertollano). At present about 325 young people take part in a programme of training for work, thanks to the support of 70 professionals and 29 volunteers and the contribution of the public administration, private companies and the third sector. The level of success – understood as insertion in to the social and work circuits or re-entry into the education system – is over 60%.
In all there are over 200 beneficiaries of the more than 40 projects developed by the various social platforms of the Pinardi Federation in the various sectors of assistance and training.