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Main Catalan savings bank improves social cohesion in neighbourhoods with many immigrants

The Welfare Project of the La Caixa’s Foundation aims to foster social cohesion in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of immigrants in Barcelona, Tortosa and Salt. The project has specified 17 zones throughout Spain that it will work with to develop community intervention models for the next 3 years.


08 September 2010 11:21 PM


ACN / Sarah Garrahan

Barcelona (ACN).- The Welfare Project of the La Caixa Foundation was created to foster social cohesion in 17 Spanish zones with high levels of cultural diversity. In Catalonia, the Intercultural Community Intervention Project is working in the neighbourhoods of the Raval, Sant Martí and Nou Barris of Barcelona as well as Tortosa (Baix Ebre) and Salt (Girona). The objective is to provide resources to already existing entities that are working to improve interrelations between administrations. The general director of the La Caixa Foundation, Jaume Lanaspa, stated that it is not a matter of working with immigrants but rather promoting joint cooperation projects between locals and foreigners. The project will focus on socioeducational matters such as health and social relations.

The other zones listed by the Welfare Project are Getafe, Leganés, Elx, Granada, Jerez de la Frontera, Logroño, Paterna, Zaragoza, El Ejido, San Bartolomé (Canary Islands) and Daimiel. Non-lucrative entities from these zones will initiate collaboration projects with local administrations.

The zones and were chosen based on specific characteristics including the entities that are working there, their proposed projects and their relationship with the territories. For example, in 2 of the chosen zones there are a high percentage of Roma people so the entities that work in the area must represent this collective.

In addition to the La Caixa Foundation, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the Ministry of Employment and Immigration also participate in the Welfare Project. The final objective is to create a referential community intervention model about cultural diversity management that contributes to social cohesion. It also aims to provide exit solutions for societies affronting problems and situations of social exclusion.

The project will last three years in each territory. It will begin with an initial diagnostic of communal living and a survey of a representative of the population (that will be repeated annually). This year\u2019s budget is 3 million euros.

The challenge is integration

The Spanish State Secretary of Immigration and Emigration, Anna Terrón, stated during a presentation that the current challenge is integration. She assured that the management of the arrival of immigrants has already been \u201Ca success\u201D. She also said that efforts must now be focused on those who have chosen to start a life in Spain. The secretary said that there has been a \u201Cchange in the cycle\u201D and that the local population must adjust to \u201Cforever\u201D living with a diverse society.


  • Anna Terrón (left) and Jaume Lanaspa

  • Anna Terrón (left) and Jaume Lanaspa