I have always believed with determination and firmness that the greatest asset of society today is found, mainly, in the capacity for commitment and transformation of the members of civil society itself. Empowering people’s participation, co-responsibility, and entrepreneurship gives meaning to citizenship in a relationship, not of verticality with public powers and administrations, but of horizontality and full protagonism. In this sense, far from the usual victimhood, we are what we build, there are no excuses or no excuses.
And 40 years ago, an anonymous citizen named Blas García Rodríguez, together with a group of volunteers and families, from Pozoblanco and the Pedroches Valley, made the commitment to expand the opportunities that people with differentiated intellectual abilities had available to them. From this commitment emerged Prode, a modest association at its inception, but driven by the solidarity and fighting spirit of those who founded it, assumed and promoted a new perspective when proposing the support that these people need. The creation of the entity’s occupational center or the sheltered housing service were innovative practices, which were followed by the launch of residences or the creation of day care services, early care and support for the educational stage, as well as the constitution of a special employment center. Which added to the creation of multiple catering, hospitality, multi-service, cleaning, design, painting, professional schools and a wide range of personal, residential and occupational care resources, always built with a passion for improvement that is contagious, placing them ahead the rights, dignity and well-being of people.
Chaired today with notable success and dedication by Blas García, who will take over from the founder who left us a decade ago, the Prode Foundation is a leading entity in services, quality, social and corporate responsibility, and sustainability. And surrounded by the recognition of all institutions and the affection of users, professionals and entities, it now celebrates its anniversary under the motto 40 years sharing dreams, with exemplary growth that serves as a reference throughout the country. More than 900 workers, 1,100 users, a team of 150 volunteers, numerous companies, headquarters in several municipalities and in the Andalusian provinces, which allows it to reach more than 3,000 families. And all this with the purpose of accompanying each person in the development of a meaningful life, based on the search for happiness. From the values of dignity and equality, honesty, commitment and transparency, with quality services, professionalism and social innovation. And the vision and conviction of being an organization that generates trust, satisfaction and results in its entire environment: people and families, workers, clients and society. As the commemorative video points out, if 40 years ago what was different was what was excluded, now what is unique is valued, in the thousand different ways there are of loving, of being and growing, of communicating. Indeed, in these four decades we have learned that without equality there is no justice, without empathy there is no destiny and without purpose there is no valid engine. Without exception, we all need and complement each other to achieve our goals and we all deserve the same opportunity to be happy, building a more inclusive society where we all fit. The Prode Foundation is an engine of transformation and a mirror that we ourselves are the protagonists of that change that we want, and we have in our hands and decisions. The path is always worth it if it is shared. Congratulations to the entire Prode Foundation family. Let’s continue building and sharing dreams.
** Lawyer and mediator