Ayuda en acción

Linguistic integration

Integración lingüística

Spanish for families

Although the data on poverty and social exclusion in Spain have slightly improved, we remain one of the EU countries with greater inequality between people with high and low incomes. And the data on poverty and social exclusion remain something to be worried about. Nearly 1 out of 3 boys and girls remain at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Spain. This situation also affects 1 out of 5 adults. The Northern Zone of Alicante is in the ranking of the neighbourhoods with the lowest average annual incomes per inhabitant of all Spain.

According to the European Urban Audit project, the Northern Zone of Alicante is one of the poorest areas in Spain (in cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants). The neighbourhoods in  this urban area of Alicante are located on the periphery of the city and they are characterised by the low socio-cultural and economic level of their population, as well as a high level of mobility due to labour instability.

The Northern Zone of Alicante: The families’ needs.

Zoulikha was born in Algeria and has lived in Spain for 18 years. She is a mother of two minor children studying at Gloria Fuertes Public School (CEIP). She participates in the Literacy and Spanish for Families Project. Also, she participates in the projects Women in Action implemented by the Ayuda en Acción in Alicante Foundation. “I’ve learned a lot thanks to the course, I’ve met a lot of people I didn’t know, and that is very important for me. It gives me strength to achieve my goals.” 

A high percentage of families living in the Northern Zone do not reach the minimum level of studies or have difficulty reading and writing since many of them do not know the language. This is a barrier to access to employment and makes it difficult for them to abandon the circle of people experiencing poverty. A lot of families in Alicante are dealing with this situation. According to the Immigration Plan of the City Department of Immigration, Alicante takes the lead in the number of economic migrants in the province and is the Spanish province with the highest percentage of foreign residents.

Promoting the North

Ayuda en Acción, through the Aquí También program, is on vulnerable families’ side. In the context of our line of action in Spain, we work side by side with educational centres, mostly located in neighbourhoods where there is a high rate of population at risk of social exclusion.

In this area of Alicante, we have been working since 2014 to ensure quality education and equal opportunities; we have been creating opportunities for children, adolescents and families. During the last school year, we have worked on the project Promoting the North in collaboration with La Caixa through its 2018 Valencian Community Territory call and the 2018 call of the  Personal Income Tax (IRPF, in Spanish). And we have done so in three nursery and primary schools, developing actions that have directly benefited more than 1,100 people in this Alicante neighbourhood.

We know that by creating opportunities for children, teenagers and families in this neighbourhood, we will help them to face the situation of poverty. That is why we have developed actions to ensure that their basic needs are covered (with meal and school material grants), and we have carried out the Lecxit project to foster healthy leisure for children. The volunteers of this project have played a fundamental role. When it comes to families, we have reinforced positive parenthood and the acquisition and use of Spanish through adult literacy.

Carmen, a participant in the Literacy and Spanish workshop for families, said that everything she learned because of the course had been really helpful for her: “I’ve learned the multiplication tables thanks to these workshops, and I’ve been able to help my children their with homework”. 

Creating networks: A Day to remember.

One of the biggest problems that people in vulnerable situations must face is isolation. For this reason, we implement actions and activities, such as excursions, based on equal opportunities that promote supporting networks and coexistence.

However, this is helpful for adults participating in our projects too. An example could be the excursion we organised to the Water Museum to which more than 20 women participating in our Project of Literacy and Spanish for families went. They were able to put aside their daily life obligations for a moment, and they learned a lot during the visit. Almost all highlighted that it was very positive because they found a new activity to share with their family. For example, Samira described it as a positive and a memorable day: “it’s very interesting, this is the first time I come here, I will come with my son to explain to him more things about the water cycle, water in Alicante, and water waste.”

Source: Fundación Ayuda en Acción (https://ayudaenaccion.org/ong/proyectos/espana-portugal/zona-norte-alicante/)