Expansion project for the Fundación Nido home

Mª José Bollaín,President of the Asociación "El Despertar"
"The more effort we make, the more our children benefit, taking into account that each one of us always has 57 children in mind because we care about the well-being of all of them without distinction.”
Expansion project for the Fundación Nido home
How did the project of the ‘El Despertar’ association come about?

The "El Despertar" Association was founded in 1991. Its embryo, the "El Nido" Cooperative had been running since 1977, and the members felt that there was a need for an organisation that was more in tune with the times and the larger number of children who were attending.


What are the Association's main objectives?

The main objective of the Association, as its Statutes state, is to ensure “the care treatment, rehabilitation and, insofar as it is possible, social reintegration of cerebral palsy patients and/or severely disabled people, whatever the degree of their psychological, physical or sensory disability, as well as the provision of all sorts of health and support services for them, including study and research into the effect of the treatments applied in their all-round development”.

To do this, three centres were created: the school, the day centre and the home, to cover all of the needs of our children both in learning new skills, within what is possible given their level of disability, and in improving their welfare.


What is your role in the Association?

The role of the Board of Governors is to represent the Association, manage the resources and implement the projects that are carried out, in order to meet the objectives previously outlined and in full accordance with the mandate given by the members in their General Assembly.

Taking into account that we are parents at the same time as being the Board, you can understand our interest and dedication in carrying out our duties as well as possible.

The more effort we make, the more our children benefit. Especially taking into account that each one of us always has 57 of our own children in mind because we care about the well-being of all of them without distinction.


What is the relationship with the Fundación Nido?

The relationship with the Fundación El Nido is a very close one, since, as the latter was founded by parents who already belonged to “El Despertar”, the resources available to the Foundation are mostly channelled to provide the Association with those resources that it may lack. 

For example, to provide the necessary resources to fund certain services that are provided by the government but not at a sufficient level: physiotherapy (the government provides half an hour per child per week and our children need it every day), hydrotherapy (the government does not provide resources for this and it is essential to encourage their relaxation and motor skills), nurses, etc.


What type of support do you need?

As for the type of support that we need, you can see that it is basically financial. We always have a deficit at the end of the year, despite taking care of every euro, and every year we find we have more needs. 

Our children are growing up and as they get older their health deteriorates more and they need more staff to look after them.



How does the school work?

The three centres (school, day centre and home) have a very similar operation. At the school, the children are streamed into classes depending on their ability. 

In other words, while they might administratively belong in an early-years class or a primary school class, they are grouped by their intellectual and mental capacity. This approach is transferred to the day centre's class rooms and also to the afternoon groups that are educated in the home. 


What activities do you carry out? Which ones do they like most?

They have learning activities or activities to reinforce skills (depending on their age) that are carried out together in the classroom or individually with each child; they also have, as I said before, physiotherapy every day and the swimming pool once a week. 

What they enjoy most is probably the multi sensory space with the swimming pool and music that they put on in class.



How do the children feel in the centre?

I strongly believe that the children think of the Centre as their second home, and this is because we are lucky enough to have people who are enormously involved in the care and development of our children and who we are very grateful to.


How do you value the support of the Fundación Esther Koplowitz?

Words are not enough to describe the support of the Fundación Esther Koplowitz! The new home is the realisation of the dream of each and every one of the parents: to know that our children will have a place where they are cared for when we can no longer do it. And this is the greatest worry of each and every one of us.

But it is also that we could never imagine that it would be so beautiful and so comprehensive, not even in our wildest dreams! 


What does the centre provide?

Fundamentally, one word: PEACE.

For the parents, because of what we said above, and for the children because it will be house full of light, peace, comfort and care. We can never say thank you enough.