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Solidarity projects 2023: expanding our positive impact

There are initiatives that are especially eagerly awaited at Zabala Innovation, and the call for solidarity projects 2023 is one of them. For years the company’s staff, from its thirteen offices, has been proposing a series of social entities that carry out commendable work in fields as diverse as social aid, research, the environment… and the candidates are voted on by the whole team.

Those with the greatest support receive financial assistance from the management of Zabala Innovation to continue their work with a positive impact on society. In 2023, this donation has been increased and the figure is very round: 20,000 euros to be distributed equally among 20 social entities.

They are organisations that operate locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Some of them are old hands at this initiative and repeat it year after year, while others are joining for the first time in this solidarity distribution. But they all have in common their contribution to sustainable development, their great generosity and their social awareness, so we want to pay our particular tribute to them in this article.

Solidarity projects 2023

ADANO’s aim is to improve the quality of life of children with cancer and their families. Since 1989 it has been working in coordination with the Navarra Hospital Complex, and its work focuses on supporting families during and after diagnosis with educational, psychosocial, informative, volunteer and leisure programmes.

The Spanish Association Against Cancer is a reference point in the country for improving the quality of life of people affected by cancer and their families. Zabala Innovation’s contribution will be used to consolidate a nutritional project.

“With our NUTRICIONC project, ‘Healthy nutrition for cancer patients’, we aim to improve the quality of life of cancer patients by offering them nutritional guidelines to increase their wellbeing and reduce the negative effects of cancer and cancer treatments”, says Juan Franco, president of AECC Navarra.

ALS is a degenerative disease of the nervous system, and with it the brain loses the ability to control muscle movement. It causes a progressive atrophy of the body’s muscles that ends in paralysis, which affects crucial bodily functions. There is no cure for this disease, which is why it is essential to allocate funds for research.

With Zabala Innovation’s financial contribution, ANELA will continue to give life to the comprehensive programme ‘VivELA, a life with ALS‘, focusing on physiotherapy, speech therapy, social work and occupational therapy.

ANFAS is the Navarre Association in favour of people with intellectual disabilities or developmental disorders and their families, mainly focused on guaranteeing the rights and social inclusion of its members. They will use the financial contribution to continue with their project of positive parenting workshops, to train associated families on how to enhance their strengths.

“They start the workshops with fears, doubts and day-to-day concerns, and leave recognising their strengths and how to apply them in their daily lives.  The important thing is that the family believes in it, that they are able and empowered. It is a time for shared reflection, for building together and alleviating anxiety”, explain Laura Rincón and Marta Gamarra, ANFAS professionals responsible for the Positive Parenting workshops.

Batten CLN is a neurodegenerative disease that evolves very quickly and has no cure. It is suffered by the brothers Hodei and Ilargi from Navarre, the children who give their name to the Hodeilargi association. It was set up by their parents to make this disease visible and raise social awareness about it.

“Once again, we would like to thank Zabala Innovation for their support. The donation we have received will help us to continue to meet the needs of Hodei and Ilargi (physiotherapy, equine therapy, medication…), as well as to finance new research into the disease that will be carried out at the end of this year and the beginning of next year”, says Leire Vega, mother of the little ones.

The APU, as its members affectionately call it, is an organisation that arose after the death of Pablo Ugarte from a childhood cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. His parents wanted to create this non-profit association to alleviate as far as possible this suffering and contribute to research.

“We dedicate 100% of the donations we receive to research, we have managed to be the association that contributes the most money in Spain to research into childhood cancer. We currently support twenty-nine projects of Spanish teams studying all types of childhood tumours on a permanent basis and with no time limit. The costs of research into childhood cancer (a disease considered rare) are very high, and there is little or no funding from the Administration; that is why private donations are fundamental and we are very grateful to Zabala Innovation for theirs,” says Mariano Ugarte, president of the Pablo Ugarte Association.

ASPACE NAVARRA’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy and/or related disabilities by facilitating their active participation in society as full citizens. They accompany their associates throughout their life journey, and with their commendable work they have already helped more than 800 families.

Ensuring that diversity does not imply inequality is one of the great challenges of the Catalan foundation Bayt al-Thaqafa, which fights for the full social inclusion of the immigrant population of Arab and/or Muslim origin by helping them with language learning, psychological care, legal issues…

This entity accompanies migrants in their process towards full citizenship, as the public administration often does not financially support all the stages. Bayt al-Thaqafa also encourages dialogue and exchange with Arab culture.

“Thanks to your financial support, we have been able to bring the family of two people we have taken in from Afghanistan. They have come from Iran and we have seen how important this reunification is, they are very grateful”, says Daniela Dias, head of the International Protection programme for families.

Disnavarra (Navarre Dyslexia Association) is a non-profit association founded in 2016 to support people with this difficulty, as well as training teachers, advising families and disseminating any studies that may help them to progress.

Dyslexia is a difficulty in the acquisition of reading and writing that does not affect intelligence and that lasts for life, also associated with difficulties in maths (dyscalculia) in writing and ortography. It is estimated that 15% of the population suffers from it (a large proportion undiagnosed) and accounts for 40% of school failure.

“For us it is of utmost importance that teachers are trained and informed about this disorder so that affected students can shine. We want to organise a congress or conference with experts in the field and open to the whole population, and Zabala Innovation’s contribution will help us a lot”, shares Iranzu Ostolaza, president of Disnavarra.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a serious violation of the human rights of girls and women that has serious consequences for the health, both physical and psychological, of the girls and women affected.

The Dunia Musso Association works in Guinea-Bissau directly with groups of women and girls in their training, literacy and accompaniment in their collective empowerment processes, in order to achieve the eradication of this harmful cultural practice.

“The best way for social change to be lasting, and for the community to take ownership of it and raise it to political and legislative bodies, is for the protagonists to be the ones to carry it out. Thus, it will be the women and girls of Guinea-Bissau, and their families, who, with our support, will finally make FGM a thing of the past,” say Fatima Djara de Almeida Sani and Yolanda Rodriguez Villegas, president and secretary of Dunia Musso, respectively.

The Fundación Estudiantes is a non-profit organisation created in 2000 by the Club Estudiantes de Baloncesto. Its aim is to promote the most supportive, integrating and educational side of basketball, a sport that transmits values such as decision-making, cooperation, autonomy, equality, respect and tolerance of frustration, among others.

That is why they promote this sport among people in situations of greater social vulnerability through adapted and inclusive after-school sports schools, and Zabala Innovation’s contribution will help to promote these quarries.

The CRAM Foundation is a private, non-profit Catalan organisation that works to protect the marine environment and the species that inhabit it. They are dedicated to rescuing marine fauna and caring for them in their state-of-the-art recovery centre, to the conservation of marine species and ecosystems, to research and to the conservation of the seas and oceans.

In its long history, it has rescued and returned to the sea more than 800 turtles and cared for more than 350 dolphins, as well as having a volunteer programme in which more than 1,500 people have participated.

“Public awareness is very necessary to raise awareness of the problems that the sea suffers, and thus to be able to provide both individual and collective solutions. The support of companies like Zabala Innovation in environmental awareness actions is of great importance in order to create a philosophy of life based on respect for nature”, says Montse Pal, head of Communication and Fundraising of the CRAM Foundation.

The FSDC has been working for more than 40 years so that each person with Down’s Syndrome can develop their abilities to the maximum without the need to separate them from their natural environment: family, school, society and work.

The Down’s Syndrome Foundation of Cantabria supports people with this syndrome and their families from their first days of life, and continues to do so over the years through various educational, employment and social programmes.

With the Wolof slogan ‘Man na nekk’, or ‘It is possible’, Hahatay is an organisation that seeks the dignity of all people, something that is often forgotten in the migration process.

It was founded by Mamadou Dia, an African activist and migration expert who travelled years ago from Senegal to the Canary Islands in a cayuco. His NGO focuses on cooperation, volunteering and migration, and develops different initiatives in his native Senegal.

The Haszten association was founded in 2014 in the Basque Country to promote physical activity and sport among children with functional diversity. Since then, they have been working with an interdisciplinary team to guarantee universal access to sport for all people with functional diversity and their families, with a comprehensive plan that covers the associative, federative, municipal, educational and therapeutic aspects.

“We are very grateful for this contribution because this way we can give continuity to all the sports programmes we have in the territory of Vizcaya, and thus improve the lives of people with functional diversity, as is the case of my daughter Adriana”, says Raquel Villada, president of Haszten.

Karibia is an NGO focused on supporting local initiatives to empower communities and enhance the development of the most disadvantaged people in Kigoma, Tanzania.

They want to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with different projects focused on women’s empowerment, education, sport or disability and abinism.

“Thanks to the contribution made by Zabala Innovation, we have been able to equip with material our training centre project in sewing techniques for girls in vulnerable situations”, says Nuria Marzo, president and co-founder of Karibia.

This French organisation was set up to create a shelter for animals mistreated on farms.

In its barely three years of existence, they have rescued nearly 300 animals, both mistreated and stray, abandoned or rescued from clandestine farms or animal experimentation. They do not distinguish between species, they take in all kinds of animals, and they also offer training courses in animal care.

Four friends make up the non-profit association Looking for hopes, which was born with the intention of building bridges in the field of education between disadvantaged and especially vulnerable communities and groups in Africa.

In their philosophy, education is the driving force and the key tool for a dignified and autonomous life. Looking for hopes has carried out different projects, such as the opening of an autism centre in Equatorial Guinea, the construction of a school in Tanzania, workshops on reproductive health, sewing and remote education.

“We will use Zabala Innovation’s generous contribution to build a school in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, and thus give opportunities to this African area, which is quite depressed and needs our help,” says Alberto Xava, one of the founders of Looking for hopes.

The Gizakia Herritar/ Paris 365 foundation is a non-profit civic organisation in Pamplona that works, mainly with volunteers, to prevent situations of social exclusion in children and to improve the living conditions of people in situations of social vulnerability.

It has a solidarity canteen that offers full menus to people who cannot access adequate food, and also takes care of their clothing.

“Our aim is to achieve a more inclusive society through community work, social and solidarity economy, the participation of the users themselves, the promotion of human rights and the achievement of social justice for all human beings”, confirms Josean Villanueva, president of París 365.

Promoting mental health is the main objective of the Telephone of Hope, an organisation that has helped thousands of people psychologically. Its staff are experts in intervention in critical situations, and they maintain a telephone line open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to offer counselling and psychological care.

The prevention of suicide and unwanted loneliness are the focus of their work, but they also offer training to improve self-esteem, personal development and listening, among other topics.

“I am grateful, on behalf of all my colleagues, for the collaboration of Zabala Innovation in our project, in favour of people’s emotional health and the crisis intervention that we carry out”, concludes Begoña Arbeloa, president of the association Teléfono de la Esperanza in Navarre.