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”La Caixa” steps up its social action programme

Barcelona, 3 March 2005

The Strategic Plan of ”la Caixa” 2004-2006 foresees increased activity in social, healthcare and environmental protection fields, adding to the groups that will benefit from it.

Battered women, immigrants, and young people facing difficulty in entering the working world will be among its main beneficiaries.

Social Work is opening new lines of work in areas such as fostering volunteerism, promoting affordable housing, and financing microcredits.

Altogether, 11,293,511 people benefited from 12,514 activities sponsored by Social Work of ”la Caixa” in 2004.


Social Work of ”la Caixa” will create seven new programmes this year.

Attention to domestic violence

Social Work has created a programme focused on domestic violence. To carry it out, it will set up Abuse Shelters in conjunction with other institutions for women who have been victims of domestic violence.
The initiative also focuses on prevention, social awareness, stimulating training programmes so that these women will have less difficulty finding employment, and supporting the healthcare network that serves this group.

Facilitating access to the working world

The aim of the programme is to foster the labour insertion of those facing obstacles in joining the working world. Its main beneficiaries will be young people having trouble finding their first job, older women without work experience, and those undergoing social reinsertion.

”la Caixa” employees to carry out volunteer activities

Social Work of ”la Caixa” supports volunteerism as a tool for social participation. To prove this, it has started a programme aimed at promoting social volunteerism among its employees who are active, retired and those who have taken early retirement. The programme has already got underway in the Basque Country, where Social Work has created a volunteer association made up of ”la Caixa” employees who devote their free time to stimulating children’s activities in hospitals.

”la Caixa” Foundation develops senior citizen volunteer initiatives. In 2004 it created 13 volunteer associations in different autonomous communities throughout Spain.

Microcredits: Social Work will finance 1,500 self-employment projects

Social Work of ”la Caixa” is promoting a new channel aimed at those people facing access problems to the financial system. In this area it has created the Microcredit Programme, which will finance 1,500 self-employment projects this year.

Within the framework of this programme, Social Work will host the 1st Spanish National Microcredit Congress in Madrid on 9-10 March. The event will be presided over by H.M. Queen Sofía, and its purpose will be to foster social awareness of the microcredit as a support tool for the most disadvantaged group.

3,000 families will have access to housing at below market prices

The aim of this programme is to meet the housing needs of groups of young people under 30 and senior citizens over 65 years of age. Social Work of ”la Caixa” will create 3,000 dwellings, with rents ranging from 140 to 240 euros per month.

Close to 8 million euros allotted to the integration of immigrants and the excluded

Social Work of ”la Caixa” pays special attention to the immigrant group. This year the organisation is expanding its programme devoted to the social and labour insertion of immigrants. 3.2 million euros has been allotted to this expansion, increasing its budget by 88% over 2004.

Another of the programme’s initiatives is the www.integrateXXI.es portal which provides information, resources and tools of interest for the immigrant population. It is also intended for use by public institutions and non-profit organisations.

Aimed at the social and labour integration of the excluded, the programme will also see its funds increased by 63% with a budget of 4.4 million euros.

Forest fire prevention and environmental protection

Social Work will decisively reinforce its commitment to the environment through initiatives for the preservation of natural systems. To do so, it will work on systems for the prevention of forest fires and the conservation and cleaning of natural spaces. People experiencing the risk of social exclusion, such as former prisoners and former drug addicts, will preferentially carry out the work of improving and preserving these spaces.

The budget that Social Work will allot to environmental projects this year is 5.1 million euros, a 64% rise over that of 2004.


Social Work of ”la Caixa” will expand the activities of all its already-existing programmes, whether social, cultural, educational or scientific.

40 new cyber classrooms for Spanish hospitals

The year 2005 will see the creation of 40 new cyber classrooms in as many Spanish hospitals. Cyber classrooms are spaces for socialising and leisure, intended to help make the hospital stay easier to bear for both sick children and their families. In the past year this programme has benefited 8,852 families and 11,300 children and young people have taken part in the cyber classroom activities. Social Work now has 10 cyber classrooms at hospitals.

4.7 million euros for biomedical research and social attention to neurodegenerative diseases

”la Caixa” Foundation will contribute 4.7 million euros to its programme of attention to sufferers of Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and autism, which means a 42% increase over last year. This amount will be allotted to projects involving research and assistance to sufferers, through joint efforts with Alzheimer’s family support groups.

Cancer programme budget increased by 73%

“Society and Cancer” is the name of the programme devoted to cancer sufferers and their families. The programme, which in 2005 will have a budget of 2.6 million euros, a 73% increase over last year, includes projects involving research and healthcare actions through family support groups.

10 years of AIDS research

Thanks to the efforts of the IrsiCaixa Foundation, Social Work devotes special emphasis to biomedical AIDS research. Based at Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona, 39 researchers work to make the IrsiCaixa Foundation a leading institute and a renowned national centre for the study and treatment of AIDS.

Senior citizens: three new centres

Social Work of ”la Caixa” will create three new CentroCaixa branches for senior citizens in Bilbao, Seville and Valencia. The organisation will continue developing activities for senior citizens in its 549 centres, 73 of which are directly owned and the rest in collaboration with different public administrations. This year it will foster volunteer work among senior citizens by adding 3 new volunteer associations to the 13 already in operation.

3.6 million euros for International Cooperation

Together with social aid at the domestic level, the Foundation, through its International Cooperation Programme, helps in the fight to eradicate poverty in the world’s most needy countries, cooperating with NGOs throughout Spain. This programme will have a 38% budget increase, with 3.6 million euros for 2005. Moreover, a special fund will be created to allot 1 million euros yearly for three years to projects to relieve the effects of the Tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.

The disabled

The social and labour insertion of the disabled and the improvement of their living conditions is another programme to which ”la Caixa” Foundation devotes enormous effort. The amount set aside for these programmes in 2005 will be 8.2 million euros, a 57.6% increase.


100 new grants

The scholarship programme of ”la Caixa” Foundation will expand in 2005 with 100 new grants for university studies or professional training in Spain. Furthermore, it will offer 120 grants for post-graduate study abroad.

”la Caixa” Foundation assembles educational material on a variety of subjects in the area of non-formal education. This year 800 environmental rucksacks are being prepared with the purpose of teaching about environmental and natural parkland conservation.

Finally, mention should be made of the Social Studies Collection, a library that already boasts 16 publications devoted to socially relevant issues. In 2005 this collection will see four new titles focused on immigration, the crisis in education systems, new family models and good civic behaviour.


Fostering respect for the environment and spreading scientific knowledge are also included in the aims of Social Work of ”la Caixa”. The official opening of CosmoCaixa Barcelona, in September 2004, was a major step forward in this respect. During its first four months of operation, 987,287 people visited the museum. CosmoCaixa Madrid also received a significant number of visitors: 754,688. This year 2005 an important programme for popularising science will be carried out at both science museums.

”la Caixa” Foundation spreads scientific awareness by means of travelling exhibitions. This year it will organise new exhibitions which will tour 57 Spanish cities.


Through its nine social and cultural centres, ”la Caixa” Foundation brings culture to everyone and fosters the diffusion of art as a meeting point between creators of all periods and the citizens.

This year, 42 exhibitions will be organised in our cultural centres spanning a broad vision of art, from the great classics, such as the works of Millet or Matisse, to the most innovative artistic expressions, such as that of Bill Viola. 61 concerts, poetry readings and other literary activities will all form part of an extensive music and humanities programme organised by our centres. This rich cultural offer is being created for a wide-ranging public: 1,300,000 people visited CaixaForum Barcelona in 2004. Moreover, this year will see other travelling exhibitions featuring art, photography and history in 117 cities and towns across Spain.

More information: www.fundacio.lacaixa.es

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