In the image in the first row, from left to right: Luis Guillermo Plata, Ambassador of Colombia in Spain; Milagros Paniagua, General Secretary for Inclusion and Social Welfare Objectives and Policies; Raphael; Her Majesty the Queen of Spain Doña Sofía; Miguel Carballeda, president of the ONCE Social Group; Antonio Huertas, president of Fundación MAPFRE; and Concepción Dancausa, Regional Minister for Family, Youth and Social Policy of the Community of Madrid. In the second row from left to right: Ignacio Baeza, vice president of Fundación MAPFRE; Abel Veiga, doctor and professor of Insurance Law and Commercial Law at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas; HE. the Infanta Mrs. Elena de Borbón, director of projects at Fundación MAPFRE; Catalina Escobar, president of the Juanfe Foundation; and Luis Hernando de Larramendi, vice president of the MAPFRE Foundation.
HER MAJESTY QUEEN SOFÍA PRESIDES OVER THE SOCIAL AWARDS CEREMONY
Raphael: “I was always very mindful of the importance of harnessing the microphone to move us towards a more just world”
Fundación MAPFRE presented its social awards today, Wednesday, October 6, in Madrid . The aim is to recognize the commitment, generosity, and solidarity of individuals and institutions that have carried out outstanding actions for the benefit of society in the fields of science, culture, and social affairs.
The event was presided over by Her Majesty Queen Sofia and was attended by Milagros Paniagua, Secretary General for Social Inclusion and Social Protection Objectives and Policies.
At the awards ceremony, Antonio Huertas, president of Fundación MAPFRE, congratulated the winners for contributing to “reducing inclusion gaps, helping those most in need in society and saving lives on numerous occasions.” Also for “leading actions that support, integrate, provide care, foster knowledge, and offer opportunities.” In this sense, he emphasized the importance that “we must all take action, follow the example of the award winners and find a way to move towards a more socially oriented, fairer, inclusive, and supportive world, one in which we want to live and leave to future generations. Together we can all do better,” said the president of Fundacion MAPFRE, an entity that for more than two decades has recognized “people and institutions that do not move forward on their own, but rather do so while thinking about and for others.”
RAPHAEL, RECIPIENT OF THE JOSÉ MANUEL MARTÍNEZ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The singer, who is committed to culture and society, received this distinction for an entire professional career that has been closely linked with his more humanitarian and solidarity-oriented concerns, especially his active commitment to one of society’s most invisible social problems, homelessness.
Raphael (Linares, Jaén 1943) carries the symbol of Mensajeros de la Paz, “the dove,” which Father Angel gave him in recognition of all his years of support. In 2020, he traveled to Rome to sponsor, together with his wife, the newly opened residence for the homeless in the church of San Francesco.
Deeply moved, the artist’s expressed his gratitude for the award, “which rounds out a very special year for me, one in which we are celebrating together 60 years of music on stage, a life dedicated to music in which I have always borne in mind the importance of using my microphone not only to sing, but to address topics that could stimulate discussion and help move us towards a more just world.” “This is how I feel it should be,” stressed the singer, who pointed out that “social awareness and a commitment to the common good should be present in each of our actions, especially those of us who are in a privileged situation and able to help.”
THREE SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS
In this edition of the awards, which offer a total sum of 120,000 euros, the Fundación MAPFRE received a total of 1,219 applications from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
The following received awards: Project “360º Model of Social Development,” carried out by the Juanfe Foundation of Colombia, which received the Award for the Best Project for its Social Impact; the ONCE Social Group of Spain, which received the Award for the Best Entity for its Social Work Trajectory; and the expert in law and insurance, Abel Veiga, doctor of the Pontificia de Comillas University of Spain, who received the 10th Julio Castelo Matrán International Insurance Award. This international award gives recognition to scientific works and innovative projects that contribute to the expansion of insurance activity within society and that promote economic stability and solidarity through insurance and social protection.
A FUTURE FOR THOUSANDS OF TEENAGE MOTHERS
Catalina Escobar, founder and president of the Juanfe Foundation, received the Award for Best Project for its Social Impact, for the initiative, “360º Model of Social Development,” which helps underprivileged teenage mothers in countries such as Colombia, Chile, Panama to become self-sufficient women through programs that help improve their mental and physical health, promote education in rights and values, and provide training for their entry in the labor market. The ultimate goal is to integrate them into society, giving them a path out of poverty and new opportunities, not only for them but also for their families.
Twenty years ago, Catalina Escobar (Bogotá, 1962) began this work in her country, where one in five mothers is between the ages of 15 and 19. Since then, this social entity, which is also working successfully in Spain, has assisted 2,000 minors and helped 2,500 teenage mothers to find work.
The president of the Juanfe Foundation moved the audience with the story of Daniela Martínez, a pregnant teenager who was rescued from a certain future by the Foundation and who, thanks to the Foundation, will earn a degree in International Business Administration next year. “It’s not just Daniela, it’s Dina, Xiomara, María Helena, Valentina, Yamile, a total of 245,000 people whose lives we have changed,” she said during her address, in which she pointed out that teenage pregnancy is the “greatest spiral of poverty” in her country, and that “behind the pregnancy of a young girl in poverty there are high rates of suicide, deep pain due to sexual abuse, prostitution, drugs and racism.” “We will always represent women and children,” she said,” because we know that without them and without their dignity cannot have a country with true economic sustainability.”
EMPLOYMENT: KEY TO THE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Fundación MAPFRE also recognized the work of the Grupo Social ONCE (Award for the Best Organization for its History of Social Work), an institution that, since its creation in 1938, has made great strides in the inclusion of blind people and people with other disabilities.
Miguel Carballeda, president of the Grupo Social ONCE, who accepted the award, expressed his satisfaction, which recognizes “our history of social work, which amounts to saying to our history of more than 82 years of work carried out for and by people with disabilities.” He also stressed that “awards such as that of Fundación MAPFRE help us sustain and strengthen our enthusiasm even more, if that’s possible.” ONCE has maintained this enthusiasm and effort, he said, during the pandemic, aiming to reach all blind people and, especially, the 11,000 blind people over the age of 55 who live alone. “We listen to them and meet their needs, as we do with the other 71,000 blind people affiliated with ONCE and with our ONCE Foundation, which helps many people with disabilities, with the help of an incredible team of volunteers,” he said.
The organization, one of the most reputable companies in Spain, has developed a successful, solidarity-based business model that generates wealth, offering millions of people with disabilities the opportunity to have a decent job and economic independence, an aspect that this institution considers essential for their social inclusion. Over the last decade, Grupo Social ONCE, which currently employs more than 71,000 workers, 58% with disabilities, has managed to create 22 jobs per day thanks to the popularity of its lottery products, its main source of income.
THE CHALLENGE OF INSURANCE IN THE FACE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Professor Abel Veiga, PhD and Professor of Insurance Law and Commercial Law at the Pontificia Comillas University of Spain received the 10th Julio Castelo Matrán International Insurance Award for his work “Insurance and Technology.” The impact of digitization on insurance contracts.”
In his research, the author explained that new technologies are revolutionizing the design of insurance contracts as well as the way they are marketed and distributed, and this is being done with a highly competitive spirit between insurers and distributors. He also highlighted that insurance is in the middle of a transition while facing an enormous challenge: the need to adapt, amid new regulations, to the new scenario that has emerged due to companies, mainly financial firms, breaking into the market with innovative methods, lower costs, and a thorough understanding of consumer needs.
In his talk, he stressed that researchers and professors must work towards understanding, “in the knowledge that legitimate disagreement brings us closer to compromise, to a meeting point, which is simply to work and give the best of ourselves to the cause of knowledge and for society.” He also emphasized the value of the work of teachers. “There may be other professions that are just as beautiful, but none more beautiful than something that is, quite simply, pure vocation, a vocation for service, of self-improvement, and making one’s mark. That is the great reward and we don’t need any others,” he said.