SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 30 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The volunteers who intervened during the volcanic eruption on La Palma have been recognized this Wednesday with the ‘Extraordinary State Award for Volunteering 2022’ at the state congress held in Tenerife.
“Our islands have always been characterized by the presence of a very broad associative and volunteer network, which has brought out the best in itself in very complicated and difficult situations such as those experienced in recent years with the pandemic, the La Palma volcano and migrations”, assured the Minister of Social Rights, Equality, Diversity and Youth of the Government of the Canary Islands, Noemí Santana, at the beginning of the congress in the Adán Martín Auditorium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
He has said that the society is “generous and supportive”, with more than 40,000 people who during 2021 have participated as volunteers in the different social entities and highlighted that “an example of this is the delivery of the 2022 Extraordinary State Award for Volunteering that takes place in this state congress to all the voluntary personnel who have worked on La Palma in all areas, both those who have been in the front row such as security and emergency and civil protection as well as those who have helped from the areas of health, mental health, animal care or education”.
For his part, the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, valued the work of volunteers on the island and their contribution to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
Martín emphasized “the importance of promoting associations between administrations, entities, universities and companies to continue working together for the benefit of people, especially vulnerable ones, and the community”.
The Cabildo, he stressed, “has been recognizing the solidarity and volunteer work carried out on the island for 26 years, through the Solidarity Awards.”
Pedro Martín also highlighted the work carried out by the ‘Tenerife Isla Solidaria’ program, dependent on Sinpromi, “which has 603 linked entities, with which we collaborate to provide information and advice, awareness campaigns, provision of equipment and infrastructure, care for migrants, and humanitarian aid, among other services”.
Likewise, José Luciano Poyato Rojas, president of the Volunteering Platform of Spain, pointed out that the platform proposes to weave “from the local level a true culture of solidarity that permeates all layers and pores, that is incorporated as a lifestyle.”
In his opinion, “volunteering is transforming realities, improving the situation of people who do not start out with equal conditions in the race of life, crises affect, above all, those who already start out with greater vulnerability, that is why we want to change the game rules”.
Thus, he insisted, “let us act so that inequality, discrimination and different types of violence are not perpetuated, in the face of hate speech, in front of those who draw a line that exacerbates inequalities, transformative volunteering rises up, volunteering that denounces the injustice”.
The XXII Congress, which is held in the Adán Martín Auditorium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, aims to promote a participatory space where volunteer entities, volunteers, institutions, organizations, public administrations and agents related to Volunteering can analyze and reflect on the reality of Volunteering in the different autonomous communities and cities, mainly taking into account the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the social, health, environmental, and economic situations generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, by climate change and natural catastrophes.
The congress, which has the motto ‘Volunteering as an engine of transformative resilience’, has the participation of more than 400 representatives of voluntary organizations, volunteers, different administrations as well as universities, companies and related agents with volunteers who will attend in person.
The event takes place on the dates prior to the celebration of ‘International Volunteer Day’ on December 5th.
During November 30 and December 1, the Congress will include presentations, round tables, participatory work groups, communications, conferences, an exhibition of experiences by volunteer areas and sectors, a networking format to expand contact networks, creation of synergies, opportunities to share and strengthen relationships around common themes, a media library, audiovisual exhibition screens and panels.