In the framework of the celebration of World Water Day, at midday today Agbar presented its actions of commitment to the people and the projects with which it collaborates in relation to improving the quality of life of children and safeguarding their future.
Angel Simón, Agbar’s Executive Chairman, highlighted the group’s “clear and decisive” attitude of commitment “to a fairer and more equitable society”, and recalled the example of Chile where, thanks to the collaboration of the Agbar Foundation and the Astoreca Foundation, access to education is guaranteed for children with scarce resources from primary school to university.
During the event, which was attended by Santi Vila, the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) of Catalonia’s Territory and Sustainability Minister, Antonio Balmón, Mayor of Cornellà and Vice President of Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), in addition to mayors, councillors and other representatives from Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the different projects were set out which, with the support of the Agbar Foundation, try to give educational opportunities to all children without exception. They include the school grants of the Marianao Foundation, the Clavé XXI children’s choir project of the Orfeó Català Foundation, the “No school without going to the museum” social programme of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and Viladecans Town Council’s project against school failure “They are specialists”. The objective is to contribute to the social inclusion of people without resources, above all the most vulnerable groups, children, women and the elderly.
These actions exemplify the foundation’s commitment to sustainable development and assistance for people and education as a tool to achieve social progress, their greatest exponent being the Agbar Foundation’s Solidarity Fund, which exempts from payment of water consumption those families at risk of social exclusion. Ignacio Escudero, Director General of Aigües de Barcelona and Managing Trustee of the Agbar Foundation, stressed the success of an initiative which, two years after coming into operation, ‘‘has granted over 9,000 subsidies benefiting more than 25,000 people thanks to the collaboration of the social services of town councils, and organizations such as Cáritas, the Red Cross and the Mambré Foundation”. So far, more than half a million euros have been allocated to this fund.
The example of Astoreca in Chile
One of the best examples of Agbar’s commitment to children and education can be found in Chile. In this Andean country, for over seven years the Agbar Foundation has been awarding grants to pupils from the schools of the Astoreca Foundation to study Industrial Civil Engineering. The grants cover in full the registration fees, the tuition fees and the basic expenses over six academic years. The Astoreca Foundation has worked for over 24 years in the most deprived areas of Santiago de Chile to break the circle of poverty and offer students new horizons. Over 2,000 Chilean pupils have been able to access high-quality education thanks to the efforts of this foundation.
During the event the foundation’s Director, Ximena Torres, and Daniela Rebolledo, the first of the students to graduate thanks to the help of both foundations, stressed Agbar’s commitment to and “passion” for high-quality education in sectors with scarce resources, a positive attitude which “favours not only these pupils, but the whole of society”.
Agreement with the ONCE Foundation
Angel Simón moreover highlighted the importance of the special ONCE lottery ticket to commemorate World Water Day, which will be held on Saturday 22 March. The Chairman of the ONCE Foundation, Miguel Carballeda, and the Executive Chairman of Agbar, presented it on Monday in Madrid, and recalled “the importance of spreading the value and the repercussion of good management of fresh water, a natural resource which represents 3% of the planet’s water, to guarantee sustainable development”. Five and a half million lottery tickets will help to celebrate this day throughout Spain next Saturday.