EU Parliament awards European Citizen’s Prize to Catalan NGO

Barcelona’s Arrels Foundation receives recognition for promoting EU values in its work with homeless people

Volunteers searching for homeless people throughout the city of Barcelona (by G. Sánchez)
Volunteers searching for homeless people throughout the city of Barcelona (by G. Sánchez) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 7, 2018 12:35 PM

The European Parliament has awarded the 2018 European Citizen’s Prize to the Arrels Foundation, a Catalan organization that helps homeless people in Barcelona. The foundation is one of three organizations in Spain to receive awards, along with the Fundación Universidad Camilo José Cela and the Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío.

Arrels will receive its prize, which celebrates projects that promote mutual understanding and EU values, in the European Parliament in October, but will also receive a tribute in the chamber’s Barcelona office, according to EU sources. Arrels was put forward for the award by Catalan MEP, Francesc Gambús, a member of the Group of the European People's Party.

“Solidarity, volunteering and mutual cooperation”

Gambús declared himself “proud” of the EU’s recognition of the Arrels Foundation, “which represents the European values of solidarity, volunteering and mutual cooperation.” Other Catalan organizations to receive the prize, which began in 2008, include Societat Civil Catalana, Proactiva Open Arms and the Fundació Barraquer.

Since 1987, Arrels has helped over 10,000 homeless people become more independent, to find accommodation and to access social and health services. The foundation employs some 54 people, but also depends on the help of almost 400 volunteers and 4,000 donors to be able to carry out its different programs in the Catalan capital.