This is all we have achieved
Our journey in time
In 1998, a group of evangelical Christian faithful, led by President and Pastor of the Evangelical Church “Nueva Vida” Mr. Julio García Celorio, felt the need to carry onwards their religious activities which had been carried out in the church until that moment.
This is how the 7th of January 1998, at 21:35, they met and signed the Foundational Act which legally originated the association. The signing members were: Mr. Pablo Muñoz Luque (deceased) as President, Mr. Juan Luis Vicente Baldro as Vice-President, Mr Juan Manuel Ochoa Oceja as Secretary, Mr Philip Enrique as Treasure Manager, and as vocals Mr Jesús Calvo Piñar, José Mª Almanza Caro and María Luisa Bustillo San Juan.
It was all about answering and meeting the needs of families of prison inmates at that point, such as aid for their inmate family relatives, and also about helping gender violence victims and sexual exploitation victims. Facing such realities required planning, both structured and legal, and so the Association was born to be the Social action wing of the church itself.
It is the 4th of February 1998 when the association was officially included in the Assocation Register of the Autonomic Government, and the 16th of September it was included in the Town Hall register. Since that very first moment until now we have worked hard with the help of local, autonomic and State public administrations.
It is in December of 2004 when Julio García Celorio is chosen as President of the Managing Board who has since then been re elected in several ocassions, continuing in the position as of today.
From 1998 until 2005 the Association worked with a very small budget made up of public aids, church donations and a lot of volunteer work. In 2005 the first professionals filled the ranks of the Association to make their contribution in the Project formulation to meet the needs of the moment, and that is how our task becomes more and more known by the Administration, earning their confidence.
The year 2006 will mark a turning point in the young life of the association. From that moment on the Projects of the entity will sign more and more professional personnel to meet specific needs, without abandoning the volunteer projects and the extensive use of goodwill workers. In July 2006 the autonomic Government signs our first cooperation agreement in order to take charge of integral treatment for women victims of Human Trafficking and Smuggling (HST) for Sexual Exploitation Goals (SEG).It was in this momento that the Association found itself with two clear lines of social intervention: The so-called centerpiece of the Association´s work, Prison intervention, and the integral treatment of women victim of HST and SEG criminal networks.
In November 2006 we signed the second Agreement with the Autonomic government in order to take charge of a Project of Sheltering of under-18 unattended inmigrants, a Project that made the Association exponentially grow in attention centers, users and hired personnel. This Project would continue under the Association´s watch until 2012.
In 2008, we signed an agreement with the Penitentiary Institutions Secretary in order to admit social labor sentenced defendants in our Association, being them integrated in our Projects at once and ever since then.
That same year 2008, our Association signs an agreement with Obra Social La Caixa, a private institution dependant of a bank which will financially support the ongoing reforms in the Prison inmates residential shelter located in Renedo de Piélagos.
2009 marked the start of agreements with the local Town Hall, the first of them being the agreement for Social Assistance Support in the Homeless shelter “Princesa Letizia”, which is still in full application, having extended assistance to 24h a day 365 days a year in this center.
In 2010 the Town Hall calls upon us to sign the “Enlace” agreement in order to manage home sheltering for families under social emergency circumstances. Such agreement has been in place since then and until 2017.
In 2011 the Government of Cantabria trusted once again in our social action, commissioning management of the Gender violence attention center with us.
During that same year, we widened our relationship with Obra Social La Caixa by signing an agreement which turned us into the entity that would manage the “Reincorpora” Project, aimed to accomplish work and social inclusion for prison inmates in the last months of their prison internments. In 2012 the “Incorpora” Project, more general and aimed to unemployed general population would be added. And finally in 2013 we took charge of the first experimental Project “Reincorpora Salud Mental”, which aimed at social integration of inmates under mental healthcare treatment, specifically created by our entity based on the general Incorpora methodology.
In 2012 the association was awarded the Volunteer Prize from Diaconía España, the Spanish Evangelical platform for social action issues.
The next step would arrive in 2013 when for the first time the Spanish Government, specifically the Ministry of Equalty and Social Services would allow financial support for one of our Projects: The “Integral treatment Project for women victims of HST with SEG”, support which was signed that year but has been maintained and widened since then.
In 2014 we were awarded the first European funding with the “Emcan” service (Autonomic employment public service), which was named “Actívate y Emprende”, aimed at work and social inclusion.
That same year we were also awarded the first tax aids from the Spanish Government, which came to solidify our Penitentiary Projects, signings a wide arrange of agreements to carry them on.
2015 was the year in which we signed an agreement with the General Secretary of Penitentiary Institutions for sheltering of conditional freedom inmates and another for intervention in gender violence treatment in prison.
That year we also started our “Punto de Formación Incorpora”, cooperating once again with Obra Social La Caixa, offering three courses per year for a total of 300 hours of work training each, including practice in enterprises. The Project has continued active since then.
In 2016 we added the Project Alicia Gordon Gulick to our integral attention Project for women in prostitution networks. This Project is aimed at preventing and detecting HIV and other STIs amongst women in prostitution networks. The Project also offers residential sheltering and any kind of required social assistance.
In 2017 the renamed Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security granted the Association´s management regarding two Projects centered in Refugee and Political asylum protection solicitants, named “Nuevo Hogar” and “Crea tu futuro”, marking a new growth and challenge for the association itself.
Year 2018 marked a new signal of public trust in our entity when the government of Cantabria granted the Association funds for a new Project, the first center of integral attention for under-18 girls victims of HST and SEG.
Our history is just another one which tries to add up in the field of social welfare, but it is not just another one for each one of the people who await and believe in an answer from us, and it is not just another one given that we work for social justice from a deep Christian belief.