This academic year, going back to school will be much easier for more than 100 pupils from three schools in Son Gotleu and Nou Llevant in Palma de Mallorca. RIU Hotels and Resorts and the Ayuda en Acción (“Help in Action”) Foundation have come together for a second year to support the “Aquí También” (“Here Too”) support programme for children at risk of poverty that the organisation runs in Spain and, of course, in the Balearic Islands. This partnership offers children swimming lessons, scholarships and discounts in the school canteens at the CEIP Pintor Joan Miró, IES Josep Sureda i Blanes and CEIP Es Pont schools in Palma.
Over the 2018-19 school year, 75 pupils from CEIP Pintor Joan Miró in the Nou Levant area of Palma will be able to attend swimming lessons at a pool close to the school. At the same school, as part of the support programme for pupils in disadvantaged situations, the cost of meals from the school canteen will be reduced for 90 boys and girls, which helps to relieve their family finances. In addition, scholarships for canteen meals have been awarded to 10 pupils in the learning support programmes at IES Josep Sureda i Blanes school in Son Gotleu, Palma. At CEIP Es Pont, a school located in the same neighbourhood, an extra canteen monitor has been appointed for the purpose of caring for and helping pupils who use the canteen service, as well as encouraging them to develop good eating habits.
RIU wanted to support Ayuda en Acción’s line of work focused on healthy lifestyles for children at risk of social exclusion and poverty, addressing the basis on which the company’s CSR pillars are founded: childhood and health. Last year, also in partnership with Ayuda en Acción, RIU took part in the “Ningún niño sin desayunar” (“No children without breakfast”) programme throughout the school year by subsidising 60 breakfast scholarships for children from CEIP Es Pont school in Son Gotleu.
RIU Hotels’s support for Ayuda en Acción has also been channelled towards the local community, as support will be given to 30 women in vulnerable situations in the form of tools that enable them to increase their social skills and employment opportunities. In 2017, RIU offered employability support for 25 women vulnerable situations in the Son Gotleu and Nou Llevant neighbourhoods: 10 of them trained in basic cooking skills and the other 15 as maids in RIU hotels. In this way, a total of 21 of the participating women, or 84%, obtained work, seven of whom were given contracts for more than three months. A visit to Riu San Francisco was also organised for the training participants, to introduce them to the company and bring them into contact with the world of work.
According to international statistics, Spain has the third highest child poverty rate in Europe, with 28.8% of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Ayuda en Acción affirms that childhood poverty and exclusion entail, in practice, a violation of children’s most basic rights: fewer opportunities to enjoy quality education, proper nutrition and the leisure that, as children, they need.