Today, Thursday June 18, FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE presented its 2014 Social Outreach Awards, recognizing people and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to society, and which total 120,000 euros in prize money. The ceremony was presided over by Her Majesty Queen Sofía.
The awards ceremony was attended by Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, and by Antonio Huertas, President of FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE, who highlighted that these awards “aim to recognize the efforts made on a daily basis by individuals and institutions to improve the world in which we live”. For Antonio Huertas, “It is important that society is aware of these fine examples of effort, dedication, self-improvement and working for the good of others, as these winners show on a daily basis in their communities”.
The “Jose Manuel Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award”, which recognizes an exemplary career at the service of society, was given this year to the Spanish tenor, Plácido Domingo. The jury recognized him for his great ability to move those who are privileged enough to see and hear him, his great generosity and commitment when it comes to supporting the needy and his outstanding personal involvement with young talent.
The earthquake that shook the city of Mexico in 1985 and in which almost 30,000 people lost their lives was a noteworthy example of his generosity in caring for those affected. The tenor canceled his professional commitments, participated in the rescue work, provided housing for many families without resources and donated his earnings for the whole year to help alleviate the effects of this disaster.
FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE also recognized at the awards, which received more than 450 submissions worldwide, the merits of the Colors of Calcutta Foundation. Established in 2006, the foundation received the award for the “Best Social Action” initiative for its “comprehensive health care program in the Pilkhana neighborhood in Calcutta”, which it carries out in the place known as the “City of Joy” that is home to 100,000 people living in extreme poverty.
Together with its local collaborator, the Indian NGO Seva Sangh Samiti (created by local residents 48 years ago), the Colors of Calcutta Foundation executes this project via a medical center that attends to more than 25,000 people every year. Of these patients, 7,000 are children who benefit from pediatric, physical therapy and dental care.
The invaluable work that people or institutions carry out to help prevent traffic accidents and their tragic consequences has also been the subject of praise. To recognize this effort, Her Majesty Queen Sofía, presented Youth for Road Safety (YOURS), headquartered in the Netherlands, with the award for the “Best Accident Prevention and Road Safety” initiative for its “Youth Capacity Development” program.
This project, which will be extended to Spain and Latin America in the coming years, consists of something that is quite simple and yet very effective: turning young people themselves into protagonists, into accident prevention and road safety activists. This is always done with the aim of helping to reduce the more than 1,000 young lives that are cut short daily on roads around the globe.
Young people were also the protagonists in the “Best Health Promotion” initiative award that Her Majesty Queen Sofía presented to the British charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), for its contribution to the prevention of sudden death from heart disease in young people, which affects about 600 people under 35 in the UK each year.
Since its creation in 1995, CRY, an organization funded entirely through modest private donations, has conducted examinations on over 70,000 young people and has identified more than 200 people with life-threatening heart disease.
The awards ceremony, held in Madrid, was also attended by Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, as well as leading figures from the social, cultural, political and business worlds.
Full details of the Social Outreach Awards, including audiovisual content, are available at: www.salaprensa.fundacionmapfre.org