“In times of this pandemic, this kind of initiative becomes even more relevant,” Queen Letizia said as she presided over the closing ceremony of the XII Call for Social Projects of Banco Santander on Tuesday.
Held at the Banco Santander headquarters in Madrid, the annual programme supports 12 winning social support projects, with each organisation receiving 42,117 EUR. The money is contributed from Banco Santander employees through their “Euros from your payroll” scheme which matches every Euro employees donate.
“I am grateful to the Santander Group employees for their sense of responsibility and their ability to incorporate different sensitivities to cover such a wide spectrum of assistance to such diverse sectors,” Queen Letizia said at the awards. “Congratulations to the twelve entities that will receive this impulse that is born from the full awareness that we are all part of a help network where each person counts. In this way we will be able to perpetuate the virtuous circle of solidarity and co-responsibility that lead to well-being and fair and inclusive growth for all.”
In the past 12 years, Banco Santander has supported 94 NGO initiatives in Spain, helping nearly 80,000 people. This year, more than 350 projects were presented and after selecting 30 finalists, 12 projects were chosen in the categories of international cooperation, disability, health, social exclusion, and early childhood education.
Some of the winning projects include Fundación Also, which is working to prevent bullying of students with disabilities or special educational needs in the Community of Madrid; Action Against Hunger, which aims to “improve the quality of life of refugees and the local population through the improvement of waste management in Lebanon;” and Fundación Mujeres, an organisation which awards the Soledad Cazorla scholarship fund “to support study or psychological support for orphaned children as a result of murders of gender violence.”
Along with the 12 projects receiving awards, Queen Letizia presented a special honour to the Spanish Red Cross for its “Red Cross Respond” programme during the COVID-19 pandemic. Javier Senent, President of the Spanish Red Cross, received the award from Queen Letizia in recognition of the charity’s efforts to help families in vulnerable situations.
Because of Red Cross Respond, Casa Real reported “one million people have received assistance and telephone support, 25,000 families will receive basic goods, 16,000 people will be supported in terms of employment and 3,000 homeless people will have a place to sleep.”