Her Majesty Queen Letizia and BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman Francisco González presented the 10th edition of the Integra Awards at BBVA City (Madrid) this morning. These awards recognizes the accomplishments of organizations that develop workplace integration initiatives for people with disabilities and launch employment generating programs. The five organizations that received this year's awards are the Juan XXIII Roncalli Foundation, Ilunion Responsible Tourism, the National Confederation of Deaf People, Amimet, and the Mental Health Federation of Castile and León.
Her Majesty Queen Letizia presented the awards with BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González at a ceremony that coincided with the tenth anniversary of the awards. Over the past ten years, BBVA's Integra Awards have contributed to the creation of 865 new direct jobs and the continuation of more than 9,400 jobs.
Francisco González emphasized the fact that: "People with disabilities are an important part of the Spanish economy: four million citizens, of which more than 500,000 work in the social economy sector, which the Special Employment Centers are part of".
A sector, he added, "that is undergoing a transformation that requires everyone’s involvement: businesses, government, and the general public.” He also recalled that the measures to support this sector need to be updated in order to continue serving as an economic driver, and creating opportunities for everyone.”
The Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare María Luisa Carcedo also attended the awards ceremony, as well as representatives of other organizations collaborating with the BBVA Integra Awards.
From left to right: the Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare María Luisa Carcedo, Her Majesty Queen Letizia and BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman Francisco González.
Her Majesty Queen Letizia next to the Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare María Luisa Carcedo and BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González at the awards ceremony for the 10th edition of the BBVA Integra Awards.
In representation of the organizations working on issues related to disabilities, the President of the Spanish Business Federation of Special Employment Center Associations (FEACEM), Daniel-Aníbal García Diego stressed “the importance of this collaborative experience for the organizations, and especially, for the people with disabilities.” “The BBVA Integra Awards have helped numerous people to live full lives,” he added.
This year’s award recipients
The Juan XXIII Roncalli Foundation won the 10th edition of the BBVA Integra Awards for its work to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities over more than 50 years. The “category A” prize for a track record of work on issues related to disabilities is €150,000. The Juan XXIII Roncalli Foundation will use the prize money to expand its kitchens and for the IDEA Project - a joint initiative with nine leading companies to develop disruptive innovation that creates quality employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The Integra Awards also include a “category B”, which recognizes the work of organizations dedicated to occupational integration for people with disabilities through sustainable and innovative projects. The winners of this category receive €25,000.
Ilunion Responsible Tourism was one of the four recipients of this category. It will invest the prize money in the creation of 45 new jobs in order to obtain the Special Employment Center certificate for two of their hotels in Malaga.
Meanwhile, the National Confederation of Deaf People (CNSE) was recognized for starting and expanding a video assistance and support service for older deaf people. And the Navarra based organization Amimet was selected thanks to its Inetenvadis project, which develops a new format of labels for food packaging, requested by companies such as canneries, wineries of soda companies.
Finally, the Mental Health Federation of Castile and León was recognized for its personal assistance in mental health, offering a service based on each customer’s goal of improving his or her quality of life.
BBVA: ten years of commitment to people with disabilities
Since the creation of the Integra Awards in 2009, BBVA has allocated four million euros to this initiative, reaching 61 different institutions. The ten winners of the “category A” employ more than 9,400 people, bolstering their social inclusion efforts.
In addition, thanks to the “category B” of the Integra Awards, more than 50 innovative initiatives have been launched across Spain, creating more than 860 jobs for people with disabilities. Over the past ten years of the awards, there have been a total of 1,176 candidates for both categories.